The Old Burying Point (Charter Street) Cemetery is the city’s first graveyard. It opened for business in 1637, just 55 years before the Salem Witch Trials, and is the second oldest cemetery in the country. Additionally, winged “death heads” decorate the graves, which were popular motifs in the 17th century. The symbol represents the ascension into heaven or the flight of the soul. Even after years of tourist bombardment, the old tombstones are mostly intact and supremely carved.
Who’s Inside The Burying Point Cemetery?
There are about 300 individuals resting in Burying Point Cemetery, including two Witch Trials judges. Unfortunately, none of the accused were interred here. Sadly, most of them weren’t given graves at all. But, just next door you can visit the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, which features the names of each of the hysteria’s twenty victims.
One of the principle magistrates of the witchcraft trials, John Hathorne, lies in a grave on the left of the cemetery. Also, in the center of the graveyard, you will find a red sandstone tabletop tomb. There are the remains of another judge from the trials – Bartholomew Gedney.
Touring the Burying Point Cemetery
To put in plainly, if you’re in Salem, you must see this cemetery. At the entrance of the graveyard, you will find a map of the location. There are also several tour companies that make the cemetery a central stop.
Hours of Operation
The cemetery is open everyday from 9 AM to 5 Pm and it’s free to visit.