Everything you need to know about The Witch House in a minute and a half! Keep scrolling past the video for a full transcript and much more information.
Welcome to the Salem Spotlight, a series in which I tell you everything you need to know about attractions, restaurants, hotels, witch shops, tours, and a bunch of other locations in Salem, Massachusetts. Today we’re having a look at the Witch House.
History of The Witch House
The house is the only remaining structure which is directly related to the infamous Witch Trials in 1692. Originally built for Captain Richard Davenport, the Witch House became Jonathan Corwin’s residence in 1674. The judge, who was on the court that ruled on the Salem Witch Trials, stayed in the house for 40 years, but the building remained in his family for several generations. Corwin is also said to have held meetings relating to the trials in the house. Throughout the years, the Witch House had undergone many renovations. In the 1850s, the house was sold to a local pharmacist who opened a pharmacy inside the building.
The house was set to be destroyed in 1944 due to the widening of the North Street, but the building survived thanks to a group of locals. They raised enough money to move the building about 35 feet to its current location.
What’s Inside The Witch House?
During the tour, which you being by entering the rear of the house, you’ll find countless items from the 17th century, including some fairly disturbing illustrations of what life was actually like back then.
Also, in a display case you will find a black shoe said to be found inside the wall of another house. In the ancient tradition, a shoe put inside the wall of a house would ward off witches. Another display case will show you a poppet – a doll used when people performed witchcraft.
The Witch House Tours
The house contains four large rooms – a kitchen, a parlor and two bedrooms. The tour begins in the kitchen, which has a brick fireplace which covers almost an entire wall. Moving forward, you will find Witch Bottles full of hair, fingernails and urine (told you it was disturbing).
More than that, you will experience 17th century life by enjoying the incredible architecture of the the large dining area included in the parlor, and the upstairs bedrooms. Also, you can find a gift shop – where you can buy tickets for tours and shop the oft-lauded Salem merchandise array in the back of the house.
Hours of Operation
- March, 15 to November, 15: open everyday 10 AM – 5 PM
- Winter Hours (November, 16 to March, 14): Thursday – Sunday 12 PM – 4 AM
Address: 310 Essex Street, Salem, MA