17th Century New England, with special emphasis on the Salem Witchcraft Trials


Site Index



These links have to do with historical perceptions of witchcraft in Europe and the Americas, including methods of detection and the people who were persecuted, not with modern-day Wicca.

Best! A Guide to the On-Line Primary Sources of The Salem Witch Trials by Margo Burns [Link #375]
This website is a portal to make it easier to access the on-line primary sources -- both in transcription and facsimile images -- of the Salem Witch Trials located at other websites on the internet. Most of the links will take you to the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive at the University of Virginia, others will take you to the Witchcraft Collection at the Cornell University Library website, and a few others will take you to other sites, such as the Library of Congress, Maryland State Archives and the NEHGS. Texts or images are generally not hosted at 17thc.us: these webpages are only an index to make locating what you want on-line easier.

Includes cross-references to digital facsimiles available on-line of the original manuscripts and the entries in Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt, Bernard Rosenthal, General Editor (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Salem Witchcraft Papers, Paul Boyer ∓ Stephen Nissenbaum (DaCapo, 1977), and Records of Salem Witchcraft, Woodward (1864).

Best! The Samuel Wyllys Papers by Connecticut State Library [Link #378]
From the site: "The Samuel Wyllys Papers are a group of 88 court documents from 1600s Connecticut, with the official title Depositions on Cases of Witchcraft, Assault, Theft, Drunkenness, and Other Crimes Tried In Connecticut 1663-1728." This is an amazing collection of digital facsimiles of 17th century court documents, with a very easy interface to find and examine them.

Best! The Salem Witchcraft Site by Richard Latner [Link #381]
Prof. Latner has posted an enormous amount of data about the communities involved in the witchcraft trials. Check the Site Map (under the Home menu) to find all the data sets he has compiled in his own work and for his classes on the subject at Tulane.

Best! Mayflower and Early Families [Link #6]
This is a very cool site -- full of texts of wills and deeds, image scans of actual documents, a bulletin board for discussions, some vital records (Saybrook, CT, and Plymouth County, MA) -- even a couple of "slide shows" about the Plymouth colony and the events in Salem. The site was orginally called "The Massachusetts Enquirer: Mayflower, MA & New England Events, People, Life" -- an interesting attempt to portray colonial New England events as if being reported today -- but the site has been deepened and that has become only part of the site, renamed "The Colonial Gazette" when the site was given a major overhaul in March-May 1999. Thumbs up to the folks at Maddox Interactive for this contribution to the Internet!

Best! Notable Women Ancestors: Witches by Sam Casey [Link #70]
This site includes links to many biographies of women accused of witchcraft, including these Biographies located at this site include:
  • Susanna North Martin by Sam Casey. A superb, well-documented biography of her ancestor who was executed for witchcraft in 1692, with links to transcriptions of the warrant for her arrest, her indictment, and depositions of John Pressey, John & Mary Pressey, and Bernard Peach; Jarvis Ring & Joseph Ring (2); John Kimball, John Allen, Joseph Knight & Elizabeth Clark; Robert Downer, Mary Andrews, Moses Pike, Thomas Putnam, Sam Parris, Nathaniel Ingersoll, Abigial Williams & Ann Putnam, Jr.; William Brown, Elizabeth Hubbard, Mercy Lewis, Sarah Vibber, John Atkinson & Sarah Atkinson.
  • Elizabeth Jackson Howe by Cynthia (Frazier) Abbott
  • Rebecca Nurse by Dana A. Wildes
  • Sarah Wild(e) by Rhonda Little
  • Mary Bliss Parsons , one of the women accused of witchcraft in Hartford, Ct.

Questia: Salem Witch Trials [Link #324]
Questia is "the world's largest online library of over 47,000 books and 375,000 journal, magazine and newspaper articles", -- and is a commercial site. Still, for less than $20/mo. or $120/yr. (prices as of 1/1/04), you can access a LOT of excellent book-length material as well as articles on-line about the Salem witch-hunt.

Best! National Geographic's Salem Witchcraft Hysteria [Link #120]
This site is unlike any of the other materials I've found on-line: it's a hypertext, multimedia account, casting you, the reader, as one of the accused, and links to a discussion 'forum' and a chance to ask their expert questions!

Best! National Geographic's Salem Witch Hysteria Ask an Expert by Richard Trask [Link #123]
The best Q and A about Salem on the Web -- with answers by Historian Richard Trask, Town Archivist for Danvers (formerly Salem Village). You can even ask him your own question, but look through all the other questions first to see if someone has already asked it!

Best! The Salem Witchcraft Trials by Doug Lindner [Link #181]
This site is so chock full of transcripts of the primary sources -- depositions, warrants, letters, petitions -- you really have to go and explore it for yourself! There are images, including portraits of Samuel Sewall, William Stoughton, William Phips, and Cotton Mather. The brief biographies of various participants are excellent, and the timeline of events very helpful!

Best! Danvers Archival Center: Witchcraft in Salem Village [Link #182]
from the site: "This site was created by the Danvers Archival Center, the local history, rare book and manuscript department of the Peabody Institute Library of Danvers, Massachusetts, with the support of the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia. Its purpose is to introduce a major area of Danvers' collections relating to the infamous Salem Village Witchcraft Trials of 1692. This Website is designed to provide accurate general information about these witchcraft events, as well as information on other aspects of Danvers' history. We hope you enjoy browsing our information." Includes a wealth of good stuff from the places where the events happened.

This site includes the portrait of Rev. Samuel Parris, with information about the circumstances of its discovery, and its dimensions The image is black-and-white, however, and seems to be a mirror image of the the real thing. See a version of this image at my site:

Best! The Salem Witchcraft Papers by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum , editors [Link #189]
This is the full eText version of the 3-volume Salem Witchcraft Papers: Verbatim Transcripts of the Legal Documents of the Salem Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692, which is frustratingly no longer available from the publisher. This is, bar none, the most important single website for anyone doing on-line research on the Salem Witchcraft Trials.

Best! Witchcraft Accusations Feb. 29-Mar.31, 1692 by Ben Ray [Link #213]
This is one of the most amazing multimedia goodies on the trials I've seen so far. It is an animated timeline, highlighting the accusers and accused on a map of Salem Village on each of the earliest days of the accusations -- with links to lots of other primary information. Requires Shockwave, which you can download at http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/

Best! Salem Witchcraft: Holdings from Various Archives by Benjamin Ray [Link #230]
This is an archive of digital images of all the actual handwritten legal documents concerning the Salem Witchcraft Trials from various manuscript collections. You can actually look at the image of Samuel Parris's handwritten transcription of the examination of Martha Corey! Or the death warrant of Bridget Bishop. A small part of the site is still unavailable to the public because the holder(s) of some documents have not yet given the University of Virginia permission to do so, but the number of restricted manuscripts is very low. Some of the images are of better quality than others -- for instance, the images of the documents held at the Peabody-Essex Museum is taken from older black-and-white microfilm, but the new full-color digital photographs of the manuscripts at the Boston Public Library are absolutely luscious, with all the detail of the paper and ink. Each archive provides at least two sizes of each image, in case you are looking for very fine details in a manuscript. Definitely a class act!

Best! Witchcraft Accusations: Feb. 29-Mar. 31, 1692 by Benjamin Ray [Link #236]
ShockwaveThis is a really amazing use of interactive media to show the geographical progression of witchcraft accusaions in Salem Village in March 1692. You have to see this one to believe it!

Best! Goody Cole and Jonathan Moulton by John Putnam Demos [Link #261]
Excerpts from "Entertaining Satan : Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England", pp. 319-339, Chapter 10, the case of Goody Cole and Jonathan Moulton. Should encourage you to buy the book itself -- a must-hove on the bookshelf of anyone interested in witchcraft accusations in that period.

Best! Cases of Conscience concerning evil SPIRITS Personating Men, Witchcrafts, infallible Proofs of Guilt in such as are accused with that Crime. by Increase Mather [Link #269]
The full text of this rare book from 1693 about witchcraft, in digital image format. Superb!

Best! The Malleus Maleficarum by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger [Link #277]
Adobe Acrobat ReaderThe Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer) was first published in 1486, and was undoubtedly known to the witch-hunters in Salem. From the site: "Unabridged online republication of the 1928 edition. Introduction to the 1948 edition is also included. Translation, notes, and two introductions by Montague Summers. A Bull of Innocent VIII. " Currently this is available as webpages, but also in PDF, eBook, MS Word, and ASCII text versions at the "Downloads" link. A terrific addition to the eTexts of rare books on-line!

The Salem Witchcraft Trials Live Cabin Chat [Link #278]
Every day, on the hour, fans of the Great Books from around the world gather here to participate in a live campfire chat. Generally this chatroom is most active from 9:00 PM to 3:00 AM EST

The Salem Witchcraft Trials Forum Frigate [Link #279]
Fom the site: "Post yer opinion, a link to some of yer work, or yer thoughts regarding the best books and criticisms concerning The Salem Witchcraft Trials."

Best! Some Miscellany Observations On our present Debates respecting Witchcrafts, in a Dialogue Between S. & B. by Samuel Willard [Link #282]
The text of a pivotal public dialogue about the witchcraft trials in Salem in 1692, transcribed more accurately than the version at the University of Virginia website.

The Exchange: Salem Witch Trials, Oct. 31, 2003 by Laura Knoy, host [Link #283]
Real PlayerWindows Media Playerfrom the site: "A new book suggests that colonial America's most infamous episode was the result of a complicated web of political and social factors extending far beyond the borders of the town of Salem. Rather than the hysterical whims of a group of young girls, our guest says the episode was part of a larger political crisis involving the Indian Wars, Puritanism, and Colonialism. Laura's guest is Mary Beth Norton, a Mary Donlon Alger professor of American History at Cornell University." 51-minute program.

Salem Witch Trials 1692: A Chronology of Events [Link #296]
A brief timeline of the events of the witch trials.

Witch City -- Our Review by Peg Aloi [Link #297]
A review of the documentary "Witch City" by Witches' Voice. From the site: "The Witches' Voice makes every effort to keep up on the media's portrayal of Witches & Witchcraft. Since our fundamental mission is to educate and 'undo' centuries of bad press we are always on the lookout as to just how the media views our religion and its ways. "

Best! The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft: 1563-1736 by Julian Goodare, Lauren Martin, Joyce Miller and Louise Yeoman [Link #317]
From the website: "This is an electronic resource for the history of witchcraft and witch-hunting in Scotland. It is in two parts: an interactive database, and supporting web pages. The database contains all people known to have been accused of witchcraft in early modern Scotland -- nearly 4,000 of them.... There is also supporting material. An 'Introduction to Scottish witchcraft' [a FAQ] explains some of the findings from the database and puts them in context." A truly amazing on-line resource for anyone interested in the study of witchcraft trials. Terrific narrative bibliography included under 'Further Reading.'

Vehement Suspicion: Eunice Cole of Hampton (1656-1680) [Link #333]
Transcriptions of the documentary evidence of the numerous attempts to prosecute Eunice Cole for witchcraft, as they appear in David D. Hall's Witch-Hunting in Seventeenth-Century New England: A Documentary History, 1638-1692. Reprinted at this site by permission of the publisher.

Witchcraft cases in 17th century New England (other than Salem 1692 executions) [Link #338]
A terrific chronological list of all the non-Salem witchcraft cases cited in John Putnam Demos' book Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England, 1983, Oxford Univ. Press, (Appendix A, pp. 402-9).

The Trial of the Bideford Witches by Frank J. Gent [Link #339]
Foreward of the booklet on the subject of the last witches executed in England in the 1680s. The site includes two of the contemporary accounts of the trials.

Witch-Hunting in Early New Hampshire by Margo Burns [Link #343]
In the seventeenth-century, the best-known witch-hunting cases in New England took place in Massachusetts and secondarily in Connecticut, but my home state of New Hampshire had its share along the seacoast. Includes information about the following, which include a growing collection of primary sources about the cases:

A Further Account of the Tryals of the New-England Witches [Link #350]
This is a letter prepended to Increase Mather's Cases of Conscience in the London printing, not found in the first edition. It includes a brief description of the trial of Sarah Dustin/Dastin (spelled "Dayton" in the text), at which the letter-writer claims to have been present.

NH Outlook: Tracing Family History, July 7, 2004 by Beth Carroll, host [Link #358]
Real PlayerBeth Carroll talks with Margo Burns about her ancestor, Rebecca Nurse. The segment starts at 17:38 into this streaming video. (Recorded and originally aired July 7, 2004 on NHPTV, Channel 11, Durham, NH)

The Witchcraft Delusion In Colonial Connecticut (1647-1697) by John M. Taylor [Link #360]
Newly added to Project Gutenberg in May 2004, this is the text of a terrific book about the witchcraft cases in Connecticut.

The Front Porch: Salem Witch Trials Revisited, April 14, 2005 by John Walters [Link #361]
Real PlayerWindows Media PlayerA radio interview with Margo Burns by John Walters, host of The Front Porch, about the Salem witch-hunt, broadcast on April 14, 2005 on New Hampshire Public Radio. [Correction: The Indians in Maine who I mentioned were actually the Wabanaki. --Margo]

Historical Sketches of Andover (1894) by Sarah Loring Bailey [Link #362]
The on-line text of this 19th century history of Andover. Lots of genealogical information and a history of the town during the Indian wars and the witchcraft trials of the 17th century.

Another look at the Salem witch trials, Oct. 31, 2005 by Midmorning with Kerri Miller, Minnesota Public Radio [Link #373]
Real PlayerThe women convicted of witchcraft in Salem more than two hundred years ago were caught in a web of community fear and politics. Guests: Bernard Rosenthal and Mary Beth Norton

Best! Forum: Salem Repossessed by William and Mary Quarterly [Link #374]
Vol. LXV, No. 3, July 2008, of the William and Mary Quarterly contains articles by Margo Burns & Bernard Rosenthal, Richard Latner, and Benjamin C. Ray, introduced by Jame Kamensky, with comment by John Demos, Mary Beth Norton, Carol F. Karlsen, Sarah Rivett, and Paul Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum. Individual articles are available in PDF format as they appeared in the journal, but requires a subscription to JStor.

Salem Witch Hunt by Explore.com [Link #382]
Documentary (2010), including appearances by Richard Trask (Danvers Archival Center, author of The Devil Hath Been Raised), Marilynne K. Roach (author of The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege), and Katherine Howe (novelist, author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane).

Cogito, ergo not ergotism: The Salem Witch Trials by Bob Blaskiewicz [Link #385]
The author discusses Linnda Caporael's ergotism hypothesis of Salem. He's skeptical.

Ten General Historical Theories about the Origins and Causes of the Witch Hunts by Brian A. Pavlac, Ph.D. [Link #386]

Rebecca Nurse Homestead [Link #10]
A nice profile of this 17th-century house in Danvers, MA, with several photographs. From the site: "Today the house includes three restored rooms with period furnishings of the 17th and 18th century, together with the out buildings and exhibition areas. The house is open to the public from June 15th to October 15th, Tuesday through Saturday from 1:00 to 4:30 and Sundays from 2:00 to 4:30, or by appointment throughout the year by calling (617) 774-8799. Admission is $1.50 for adults and $.75 for children under 16. To reach the Nurse homestead from route 128, take exit 24, north on Endicott Street, right on Sylvro Street, then bear left on Pine Street."

Putting the Pieces Together... The Puzzle of Salem by Eric Miller [Link #14]
This essay speculates that the causes of the events in Salem Village in 1692 were the result of the interaction between village factionalism, an historical tradition of witch hunts, changes from agrarian to mercantile economy, and ignorance of psychological problems. It is heavily based on the work of Boyer and Nissenbaum, but the bibliography includes eleven sources.

Historia: Salem in 1692 by Chris Schlect [Link #16]
Summary of the events in four parts:

What about witches? [Link #18]
Account of the events, from the tourist website provided by the Town of Salem.

The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 [Link #19]
Account of the events, from the Salem Witch Museum.

Robert Calef, 1700, Opposer of Witch Trials [Link #21]
Short profile of the author of More Wonders of the Invisible World, an attack on Cotton Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World.

Salem-Witch List by Margo Burns [Link #24]
This is an e-mail discussion list for descendants of the people involved in the Salem Witchcraft trials of 1692, hosted by Roots Web, a terrific source of genealogical information. There is a digest mode as well as regular mail mode.

FAQs About the Salem Witch Trials [Link #30]
Ten commonly-asked questions about the witch trials and short answers.

Best! Cornell University Library Witchcraft Collection [Link #321]
from the site: "Cornell's Witchcraft Collection contains over 3,000 titles documenting the history of the Inquisition and the persecution of witchcraft.... The most important materials in the Witchcraft collection, however, are the court records of the trials of witches, including harrowing original manuscript depositions taken from the victims in the torture chamber." Many of the texts are available on-line!

Salem Selling a Dubious Past by Michelle Delio [Link #309]
What better place to spend All Hallow's Eve than in Salem, Massachusetts, site of the infamous witch trials of 1692. Or was it? Michelle Delio reports from Salem for Wired.

Thaumatographia Pneumatica (The Wonders of the Spirit World) by Cotton Mather [Link #310]
from Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana (Vol. II; Chp. VII): Relating the Wonders of the Invisible World in Preternatural Occurrences

Examination of a Witch by T. E. Matteson [Link #39]
JPEG of the painting by T. E. Matteson, 1853, from the collection of The Peabody-Essex Museum. (526 x 379 pixels)

Salem Witch Trials Memorial [Link #41]
Several pages with pictures of the memorial to the people executed, created for the 300th anniversary of the event.

The Peabody-Essex Museum, in Salem, MA [Link #56]
Most of the surviving documents from the trials are housed here, a handlful on display in the Essex Street Building in an exhibit called "Days of Judgment: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692," although this website doesn't have very much available about them. I've included a link here as a plug for the museum because of the wonderful work they do, preserving the primary sources of the events.

The Salem Witch Museum [Link #57]
Yes, the one right in Salem!

Medieval Sourcebook: Witchcraft Documents [15th Century] [Link #62]
  • Innocent VIII: BULL Summis desiderantes, Dec. 5th, 1484
  • Johannes Nider, the ANT HILL, circa 1437, Nider, Formicarius, ed. of Augsburg, ca. 1476Lib. V. cap. 3
  • Extracts from THE HAMMER OF WITCHES [Malleus maleficarum], 1486

Groton In The Witchcraft Times by Samuel A. Green, M.D., Groton, Mass. 1883 [Link #68]
This account includes the letter Reverend Samuel Willard sent to Cotton Mather about the affliction of Elizabeth Knapp of Groton in 1671. From the essay: "The original letter of Mr. Willard, describing the case, is still preserved, and is found numbered 3 in the second volume of the "Mather Papers" now at the Boston Public Library. It is written in a very small, cramped hand, and contained in four pages of manuscript, which is extremely difficult to read. It has been printed in the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, volume viii., fourth series, pages 555-570; but the present copy is made independently of that one, and varies slightly from it." This document also includes other various texts from the trials, and excerpts from Thomas Brattle's letter and from Calef.

from the Salem Witchcraft Papers [Link #73]
Books about the Salem Witchcraft Trials, specifically for young readers [Link #80]
My bibliography does not include materials for young readers. This is a list from the Salem Witch Museum's bookstore, although I think it has gotten shorter since I first included it at this site.

Books about the Salem Witchcraft Trials [Link #81]
Books and more books. These are books for sale at the Salem Witch Museum. There are nice images of the jackets of the books on these pages. Current listings, plus the following two special lists:

Research Guide To Some Materials on Witchcraft at the Connecticut State Library [Link #84]
From the site: "The following is a bibliography of general materials on witchcraft available at the Connecticut State Library. While not exhaustive, it should help researchers formulate successful strategies for consulting materials dealing with witches and witchcraft."

Early Modern Europe: The Witch Hunts by Hanover Historical Texts Project [Link #325]
Lots of good primary texts on European witchcraft. Links to many excellent articles, but which require a JSTOR account.

The Witching Hours FAQ [Link #326]
Part of a larger website, "The Witching Hour," which "is a starting point for historical research into the great witch craze of 1100-1700 AD."

Giles Corey of the Salem Farms by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [Link #327]
Play about witch-hunt victim Giles Corey

Ergotism: The Satan Loosed in Salem? by Linnda R. Caporael [Link #328]
This is the infamous 1976 article from Science magazine, which started the whole myth that rye tainted with the poisonous fungus ergot "caused" the Salem witchcraft hysteria. Please note: within a few months, in the same publication, Spanos & Gottlieb completely refuted this theory, based on the evidence. (When I can find it on-line, I will make a link to it, but for now, you must trust your library to help you find a copy of this very important and often-overlooked article!) Nevertheless, there is something attractive about it, perhaps in its simplicity. People like simple explanations to complex, difficult problems. Even if ergot could be proven to have caused the hallucinations of the afflicted (which it can't), what this theory fails to explain is why the ministers and magistrates, who no one claims were affected by ergotism, interpreted the behavior of the afflicted the way they did, and took the actions they did to arrest and execute so many people.

Biography of Rebecca Nurse by Allan Gilbertson [Link #110]
A short biography of Rebecca Towne Nurse, executed July 19, 1692 in Salem for witchcraft, with citations.

Salem Wax Museum [Link #115]
Site for the hokey wax museum in Salem, MA.

Days of Judgment: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 [Link #119]
Information about items available from the Education Dept. of the Peabody Essex Museum: "A series of nine interdisciplinary lessons for students in grades six through twelve developed by teachers and the Peabody Essex Museum that explore the Salem Witch Trials of 1692....This book contains a series of lesson plans, developed and tested by educators, designed to help you teach the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. These materials evolved from a workshop held at the Peabody Essex Museum in June of 1992 in conjunction with the city-wide tercentenary commemoration and the exhibition Days of Judgment: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692....These materials can help a class to prepare for a visit to the Museum or be used as follow-up after the class trip. If you are unable to come to the Museum, these materials will serve to augment your regular classroom studies....Each group of lessons, called a Theme Packet, is organized around a particular topic. The grade level, materials needed, objective and procedure for each lesson is carefully delineated. Each lesson also has a reference to the video Days of Judgment: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Although materials for the lessons are not generally provided, most are available through libraries. Others can be ordered from the Peabody Essex bookshop, including the video."

The Brewers' Witch WWWBoard -- The Taproom [Link #121]
There is often a thread about the Salem Witchcraft Trials on this web-based bulletin board at a pagan site. Mostly people are asking for someone to please send them information for a paper they have to write -- but sometimes someone posts some useful information.

Petition of Mary Esty [Link #122]
The text of Mary Esty's petition is included on this page, "American Fanaticism in witch hunts and special prosecutions."

17th c. Witchcraft Accusations by Margo Burns [Link #124]
A list of the basic information for over 200 people who were accused of witchcraft in 17th-century New England.

E! Online - Fact Sheet - Three Sovereigns for Sarah (1985) [Link #127]
Basic info about the 1985 made-for-TV movie about the Salem Witchcraft Trials, from the perspective of Sarah Towne Cloyse (played by Vanessa Redgrave), the only one of the three "Towne sisters" not hanged. This is a much more realistic depiction of the events than Miller’s "The Crucible", but still suffers from a simplification of the number of people/characters involved. From the site: "A fine made-for-television production starring Vanessa Redgrave as a woman accused of being a witch. Based on a true story, this program dramatically recreates one of the most vile episodes in American history - the Salem Witch Trials."

The Witches' League for Public Awareness [Link #142]
If you are more interested in witches today than in the Salem witchcraft trials of over three centuries ago, try this site. From the site: "The WLPA Mission Statement: The Witches' League for Public Awareness is a proactive educational network dedicated to correcting misinformation about Witches and Witchcraft. The work of the League springs from a shared vision of a world free from all religious persecution. The League was founded in Salem, Massachusetts, in May, 1986, by Rev. Laurie Cabot H.Ps." NOTE: My website's primary interest is in the historical events of the 17th century, not in current-day witchcraft or Wicca. If you are interested in that, follow this link.

Witch Dungeon Museum [Link #143]
The Witch Dungeon Museum in Salem, Massachusetts -- from the site: "The mood is set from the moment you enter the Witch Dungeon Museum. You are there - in Salem Village in 1692, and you are guaranteed a unique educational experience with a chill or two. You'll experience the acclaimed performace of a Witch trial adapted from the 1692 historical transcripts. Professional actresses in repertory reenact the electrifying scene followed by a tour of the Dungeon."

Witches of Salem: The Horror and the Hope [Link #150]
Catalog info about a 21-minute educational video: "Witchcraft in America: Behind The Crucible." From the site: "Explore the background of the witch trials of 17th-Century Salem in the context of the religious and social conditions of that era and as a background to The Crucible." Includes study questions

The Crucible: Activity 2: Letter of Persuasion/Tribute to the Accused by Don Mayfield [Link #152]
From the site: "You are going to take a virtual tour of 17th century Salem and learn about the events leading up to the witch trials of 1692. You will begin by touring Salem Village, where you will visit the homes of the accused witches and the graves in which they were eventually buried. Toward the end of your tour you will read about the events leading up to the trials. "

The Associated Daughters of Early American Witches [Link #174]
A National Society incorporated in the State of California, with membership by invitation only. From the site: "A woman must be at least sixteen years of age and able to prove descent from an ancestor or ancestress who was accused or tried or executed for the practice of witchcraft prior to 31 December 1699."

Rev. Samuel Parris: Undated Miniature Portrait [Link #180]
A color scan of the only portrait known to exist of Rev. Samuel Parris of Salem Village, at the center of the witchcraft hysteria.

Best! Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706 by George Lincoln Burr [Link #322]
This compilation by Burr includes classic texts on witchcraft: "A Brief and True Narrative," by Deodat Lawson, 1692, "Letter of Thomas Brattle, F. R. S.," 1692, "Letters of Governor Phips to the Home Government," 1692-1693, with excerpts from "The Wonders of the Invisible World," by Cotton Mather, 1693, "More Wonders of the Invisible World," by Robert Calef, 1700, and "A Modest Inquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft,& by John Hale, 1702. Searchable!

Primary Source Microfilm: Witchcraft in Europe and America [Link #225]
Listing for microfilm of primary sources. From the site: "Selected from our comprehensive witchcraft collection, Witchcraft in Europe and America, this material focuses on witchcraft in New England. Featuring the Salem witch trials in particular, it reveals the full scope of these phenomena from the most learned to the most popular levels. Among the collection's 96 titles are Colonial Witch: Being a Study of the Black Art in the Colony of Connecticut, A Philosophical Essay on Credulity and Superstition, and Cotton Mather's Strange Phenomena of New England. Includes a printed guide."

Dance with the Devil by Roxy Surf [Link #231]
An interesting story based on the Salem trials. Not to be taken as fact, however.

The Salem Witch Trials Page by Tim Sutter [Link #232]
A nice site dedicated to the Salem witch trials. Includes a FAQ, timeline, biographies, trial documents for 20 of the accused, and a chat board for discussion.

Chronology of Events Relating to the Salem Witchcraft Trials [Link #234]
A detailed timeline, down to the actual date, of what occurred when during the hysteria.

Salem Witch Trials: The World Behind the Hysteria [Link #237]
The Discovery Channel's contribution info about the trials, with some teaching materials.

A Salem Story on Hog Island [Link #238]
This page shows several nice photographs of the buildings constructed on Hog Island, off the coast of Massachusetts, of the Salem Village set for the film of The Crucible

Revenge in the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria: The Putnam Family and George Burroughs by Anastasia Karson [Link #241]
This essay is from The Student Historical Journal 1998-1999 of Loyola University, documenting the Putnam family's grudge against George Burroughs, their former minister, who was ultimately accused, tried, and executed for withccraft in 1692.

The History of Witchcraft by Dr. Whitney Leeson, Roanoke College [Link #243]
A course syllabus and lecture notes on the topic of The History of Witchcraft.

Salem Witch Trials [Link #253]
Nice timeline of the 1692 trials. Check the left sidebar for a few other links to trials of specific people. Not a whole lot of unique information here -- a good map of what they think was the hanging site -- but a nice website nonetheless.

Confessions of a Harvard-Trained Witch Hunter: An Analysis of Judge Samuel Sewall's Confession of his Role in the Salem Witch Trials by G. Joseph Gatis [Link #254]
Adobe Acrobat ReaderAn interesting, lengthy, discussion of Samuel Sewall's brief apology for his role in the Salem witchcraft trials, with many references cited. [PDF]

The Crucible and the Classroom: An Examination of Arthur Miller's Technique of Dealing with the Devil by George M. Ella [Link #255]
This essay carries the alternative title: "The Devil and Arthur Miller." The author looks at Miller's play from a theological perspective, and along the way does look at the historical inaccuracies of the play and what Miller's artistic license is up to. An interesting point made here: that Rev. Hale in the play represents the real-life Rev. Cotton Mather in the historical events (just as Miller's Danforth examining Martha Corey was John Hathorne in real life.)

A Sketch of Bridget Bishop by Mai-Linh Gonzales Westwood [Link #257]
This winning essay about Bridget Bishop, one of the people hanged in Salem in 1692, appeared in The Student Historical Journal, 1990-1991, of Loyola University.

Salem Death Warrant [Link #258]
Don't fall for this one! It is a gimicky thing where you can get your name (or heaven forbid, the name of a loved one) inserted in the text of a purported "death warrant" for the Salem witchcraft trials. Only two actual death warrants survive, copies of which can be viewed the UVa website:

Teacher Serve from the National Humanities Center: Divining America: 17th and 18th Centuries [Link #266]
A variety of essays designed to help teach early American history, many emphasizing the importance of religion in the daily lives of the people:

Petition of 10 Persons of Ipswich [Link #267]
Digital image from the Library of Congress of a petition by ten people accused of witchcraft in the Salem trials of 1692, to be released from prison because of the harsh conditions.

Map of Andover, MA, in 1692 by Research on North Andover Center by Forbes Rockwell & Carl R. Smith. Research on other areas by Gratia Mahony. Map drawn by James S. Batchelder. [Link #275]
An excellent map in three different resolutions of the town of Andover, MA, in 1692

Andover Historical Society [Link #276]
The official website of the Andover Historical Society. Most people think that all the witchcraft accusations took place in Salem Village, but adjacent Andover was also aflame with accusations.

Eunice "Goody" Cole: Hampton's "Witch" [Link #304]
A comprehensive site about one of Hampton, NH's own. From the site: "Eunice 'Goody' Cole was convicted of witchcraft in Hampton in 1656 and spent much of the remainder of her life in prison in Boston. Much has been written about her. Most of it is available here on our website."

Spirits, witches, & Science: Why the Rise of Science Encouraged Belief in the Supernatural in 17th-Century England by Richard Olson [Link #315]
An examination of the revival of belief in witches and other spirit phenomenon among British intellectuals post-1660 and the relationship of such beliefs to the rise of modern scientific attitudes. From Skeptic vol. 1, no. 4, Winter 1992, pp. 34-43.

Folk Magic In Britain Project by Brian Hoggard [Link #316]
Although this site is specific to Britain, not New England, it brings some fascinating details about the folk practices of the countrymen of the white settlers in New England: "The purpose of this site is to present and gather information on a rather unusual range of objects that can be discovered hidden within the walls and under the floors of old buildings.† Objects such as dried cats, horse skulls, old shoes, written curses and charms, witch-bottles and ritual marks were often placed in buildings.† These objects, and many other kinds of object, were usually concealed in buildings and sometimes outdoors for use as spells or counter-spells and currently not enough is known about them." The "witch bottles" are my favorites!

17th Century Witch in Hadley by Libby Klekowski [Link #320]
The story of Mary Webster of Hadley, MA, who was accused and tried for the crime of witchcraft in 1683, and was acquitted, but two years later, when another man from the town was ill, several men from the town "dragged her out of the house, they hung her up until she was near dead, let her down, rolled her sometime in the snow, and at last buried her in it, and there left her," although she survived that too.

Atrocities Timeline: 1651 AD - Today [Link #332]
from the site: "a condensed and nowhere near complete timeline of the atrocities wrought upon suspected witches." This site is primarily interested in Wicca.

Inquisitions of England [Link #340]
Timeline of witchcraft legislation and cases in England, from 668-1903

Issues in Forensic Psychology: Coerced Confessions by Dr. Terence W. Campbell, Ph.D. [Link #349]
A page about the psychology of people who confess to crimes they did not commit, and the tactics used by their interrogators. Critical reading if you want to understand how so many people in Salem confessed to witchcraft, but the page is just about the general subject of coerced confessions, and does not talk about Salem.

Salem Witchcraft Trials Jeopardy [Link #355]
Test your knowledge about the trials!

Best! The Goody Parsons Witchcraft Case: A Journey to 17th Century Northampton by Historic Northampton and the Center for Computer Based Instructional Technology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. [Link #365]
An excellent site about one of the lesser-known case of witchcraft accusation in the 17th century. The site includes images of original documents (with transcriptions), photographs of period homes, maps, and some portraits. From the site: "Mary Parsons is perhaps the most infamous resident of Northampton's early settlement period. She was involved in witchcraft-related trials in 1656 and 1674, and possibly again in 1679. Her story is a fascinating one that sheds light on the workings of the Puritan mind and the complicated social and cultural situation of the period."

Chronology of the Salem Witch Panic and Trials [Link #367]
This timeline is more detailed and more accurate than most, although after being so specific about the names of the accused early on, it's strange that by the entry for the eight people who were executed on September 22, no names are mentioned.

Ergotism: The Satan Loosed in Salem? by Linnda R. Caporael [Link #384]
The original article that posited that convulsive ergotism may have been a physiological basis for the Salem witchcraft crisis in 1692. From Science Vol. 192 (2 April 1976)

Best! The Carey Document: On The Trail of a Salem Death Warrant by Bryan F. Le Beau [Link #287]
Many forged death warrants from Salem have appeared over the years, purporting to be authentic. This is a fascinating essay about how one such document was proven to be a fake, and includes a large scanned copy of the forgery and citations. From the site: "In 1989 the children of a recently deceased prominent Nebraska attorney and political figure, who had graduated from the Creighton University School of Law, gave the university what purports to be [a death warrant for one Martha Carey, dated Salem, Massachusetts, June10, 1692]. What follows is what I discovered in the process of authenticating that document." Le Beau is the author of The Story of the Salem Witch Trials: "We walked in clouds and could not see our way" (Prentice-Hall, 1998), and is a professor of history at Creighton University.

Salem Witch Trials by CBS [Link #318]
Real PlayerFrom the site: "This new four-hour mini-series explores how in 1692 the small Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts succumbs to mass hysteria - enabling a small influential force to haphazardly accuse, jail, convict and even kill members of their own churchgoing community whom they suddenly deem to be witches." This miniseries was actually pretty laughable, since they had Henry Czerny as Rev. Parris lusting after a naked African-American Gloria Rueben as Tituba Indian (in yet another example of Hollywood's failure to portray non-Caucasian races with any regard to accuracy!) in her bath -- then whipping himself to assuage his guilt! Then there's Shirley McLane as Rebecca Nurse enduring a strip-search in front of Rev. Parris, William Stoughton and a jury of men. Best line in the show, when Peter Ustinov as Stoughton, reminds the women searching her to check her "pupenda" The only plus was the chance to see that hoofer McLane's aging butt is still in pretty good shape! Add to this that the story sets up Kirsty Alley as Ann Putnam, Sr., as the one community member with a conscience, who devises a way to put the insanity to an end -- by making an over-the-top accusation of the governor's wife, trusting that he would step in. Interesting story, but t'ain't what happened, McGee! This is just one more instance of Hollywood sacrificing accuracy for the sake of titilation. And the special effects were something to behold! It made me laugh out loud, it was that bad.

American History Forums: The Salem Witch Trials [Link #337]
Got a paper to write and want some help?

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This page was last updated Feb. 15, 2009 by Margo Burns, margoburns@gmail.com