Skip to main site content.

Shameful history

Site of Salem witch hangings confirmed by researchers

January 16, 2016

The Boston site known as Proctor’s Ledge, where 19 people accused of witchcraft were hanged in 1692, has finally been confirmed by researchers who spent years combing through records to pinpoint its exact location. A wooded area that now overlooks a Walgreens will be commemorated with a modest tribute. “This is part of our history, and this is an opportunity for us to be honest about what took place,” Mayor Kimberley Driscoll told the Boston Globe.

Historians first believed that the hangings occurred at the peak of Gallows Hill, but later found through eyewitness accounts, aerial photography, and images created with mapping technology, that the deaths occurred at the base known as Proctor’s Ledge. At the time of the hangings, the area was public land where sheep openly grazed.

In addition to the 19 people hung at Proctor’s Ledge, where no bodies are buried, five others died in jail and another was crushed to death for witchcraft.

Read the full story at the Boston Globe.


Pulitzer-winning author captures the mania of the Salem witch trials