Historical Events  Religion
Salem Witches

How were the Salem Witches executed?

MMDE: The Salem Witches were drowned or burnt at the stake

Current: The Salem Witches were hanged

The year is 1692.

Superstition in Europe regarding devilry sweeps across America, and reaches a fever pitch in Salem, Massachusetts. A group of local young women claimed others were practicing witchcraft, and so began the infamous Salem Witch trials.

By the time they were over, more than 150 men women and children were accused and 19 were executed. Eventually, they were all pardoned, but that brought little solace to the families and community as a whole.

How were they executed? The popular notion is they were all burnt at the stake, but it turns out that wasn't the case, and in fact never happened in the USA, only Europe, and even then rarely. The Salem Witches were all hanged apart from one male, who died whilst being pressed under stones refusing to confess.

Gallows Hill

The location of the Salem Witches execution was Gallows Hill. Executed witches were not allowed a Christian burial, so many of their graves are in completely unknown locations. 

Some people belived they were executed on a ducking stool, the no-win method of dunking someone on the end of a wooden rod into water to see if they were a witch or not, but this was actually classed as an interrogation technique.