Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Salem Witch Trials Memorial


Salem was a spur of the moment stop on our trek back home so I did not have near enough time for research to get to all the places I would want to see. But I knew the big thing for me would be to see the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. The “witches” bodies were not actually buried so you cannot find tombs for them.


Instead there is this open area, which I was not wise enough to venture into. If I had walked in, I would have found that each empty bench bore the name, date and method of death for a victim.
The Salem Witch Trial Memorial
This memorial to the victims of Salems witch hysteria of 1692 sits in the same cemetery as the Judge who condemned them. The memorial consists of a walled courtyard surrounded by empty stone benches. The benches each bear the name of a victim of the hysteria. The emptiness of the bench represents the absence of the victim caused by their execution. Quotes from the victims are carved into the ground across the entrance. The words are partially covered on either side where the stone walls of the courtyard start and end. These words are cut off to represent how the lives of these victims were cut short as well. Since most of the Salem Witch Trial victims never received a proper burial, the cenotaph benches are the closest they have to actual gravestones.
Taken from ~ Dark Destinations


I did stop at the entrance and read the words engraved there. They didn’t make sense at the time, but they do now. I took photos of all the text, but am only showing you one - the words written there:

. . .my life now lies in your hands
. . .If I would confess I should save my life
Oh Lord help me
I am wholly innocent of such wickedness
God knows I am innocent
I do plead not guilty
I can deny it to my dying day. . .
I am no witch. . .

It was my original intention to share the cemetery next door to the memorial in this post. But I feel very sad for what was done to these people and think that will have to wait for another day. I do hope to get back to Salem one day and over to Danver.


  1. And it never really ends.
    On a happier note, did you show Tristan his Blood Pop photo...speaking of witches.
    (Posts went up today.)

  2. It was a horrible example of human hysteria...unfortunately, a trait that keeps rearing its ugly head be it in WWII Germany or in 2009 American town hall meetings!

  3. unchallenged mass thinking of any kind is truly a frightening aspect of humanity.

  4. What a haunting and lovely memorial!

  5. And the term "Witch Hunt" was born. The human capacity for inhumanity always astounds me.

  6. This is someplace I'd like to visit as well to pay my respects to the women who gave up their lives for insanity.

    June's comment - very good.

    btw - congrats on POTD over at David's. I'm just getting caught up before leaving again today.

  7. I'm so envious this is somewhere I am eager to visit. Thanks for the photos.

  8. Intriguing! I would love to know more.

  9. Fascinating. I just read a historical fiction book written about this time period. I loved it!

  10. These deaths were senseless but I'm happy to see through the years they've gotten a decent memorial. Those words upon entry are powerful. I still can't wrap my mind around the fact people want to do away with those they don't understand. Love your pics, btw.

  11. Very interesting and yet very sad, thanks for sharing. *hugs*

  12. Crazy isn't it? I would love to go there.

  13. [...] Salem Witch Trials Memorial | Lisa's Chaos [...]

  14. Ahhh!! My favorite place to visit for Halloween...Salem, Mass., strangely makes me feel home!!!! I try to visit every year in the month of October. This year I get to stay for Halloween, and treat my boyfriend and my children to my obsession as well lol