Ghosts of Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is haunted. Not just by the ghosts of the Salem Witch Trials, but by other troubled spirits as well.

Rebecca Nurse houseI grew up not far from Salem, and I’m familiar with its ghosts… the ones people talk about, as well as they ones they don’t.

From 2008 through 2010, I researched on-site.

Over those two years, I discovered a wealth of hidden ghost stories related to Salem and the city’s famous Witch Trials.

(Of course, it helps that I’m descended from two 17th-century Salem families. Perhaps that gives me additional resonance with the spirits of Salem.)

Three very narrow and straight ley lines connect 90% of the hauntings around Salem. They predict where strange things will happen, usually within a few yards.

In the future, I hope to write a book about this fascinating topic.

In the meantime, I’m happy to share some of my research with you.

More information:

The following links will take you to EncounterGhosts.com, where you can read many more of my ghost hunting articles from the past 15+ years.

Salem’s “Judges’ Line” locations – Energy lines (ley lines) that connect many of Salem’s most haunted sites.

Gallows Hill – So far, no one knows where the real “gallows hill” was, where the witches were hung and their bodies discarded. However, the namesake location is worth visiting (if only to say you’ve been there) and may offer some research opportunities.

Witch Hill (aka Whipple Hill) – One of the most infamous locations connected with apparent “witch” activity in Salem Village. It’s also one of the loveliest and eeriest sites for ghost hunting.

GhoStock 7 Report: Salem Inn – A brief summary of my 2009 investigation at one of Salem’s most charmingly haunted inns.

Book ETA: Unknown. Discussions have stalled with my publisher, and my contract prohibits me from writing this book for any other publishing house.

Salem’s Haunted Judges Line – Map

The Salem Judges Line shows that patterns can predict paranormal activity.

In general, patterns emerge when I study profoundly haunted areas. I believe those patterns identify good locations for paranormal research.

In my 2007 book, The Ghosts of Austin, Texas, I talked about two major patterns connecting almost all hauntings in downtown Austin. (One of them relates to Shoal Creek. The other is connected to the Austin Ripper, America’s first serial killer.)

In Salem, Massachusetts, I’ve found different kinds of patterns.

Ley Lines in Salem

One pattern follows intriguing lines. I was the first to discover these ghostly tracks across Salem and Boston’s North Shore. There are several.

In Salem, each line suggests connections between scenes of violence… and possibly ghostly energy.

I’ve called one of these lines “The Judges’ Line.” It seems to be a ley line.

Ghost batLey lines are lines or paths that connect sites with unusual energy. They could be major churches or temples, sites of violence and tragedy, or another anomalous connection.

Some speculate that energy flows along those paths. In other words, the energy was there before the church was built or the violence occurred.

That energy may magnify the emotions — or affect the thinking — of people when they are on or near a ley line.

The Judge Connection

Oddly, when I map the significant homes and businesses related to the judicial side of the Salem Witch Trials, they follow a line.

Even stranger, that line also indicates where modern-day Salem judges have purchased homes.

The line extends directly to Gallows Hill Park, one of the most likely sites of the 1692 hangings during the Salem Witch Trials.

Here’s what this line looks like, related to the entire Salem, Massachusetts area:

Salem Judges Line

In many cases, this line is ruler-straight, and it’s feet wide, not miles.

Here’s my preliminary, hand drawn map of the main locations on the Salem Judges Line:

Salem Judges Line - details

The Salem Judges Line

All of the following points are related to the Salem Witch Trials.

  • Numbers represent sites related to accusers or the judicial system.
  • Letters are related to victims of the trials.

1. Chestnut Street (represented by a heavy black line) – Many judges and elected officials chose this street for their homes. Through the 21st century, they still do.

2. Judge Corwin’s home, also known as “Witch House” since he condemned so many witches during the Salem Witch Trials. The house’s original location was closer to the line. Later residents moved it.

3. Judge Hathorne’s home, also associated with the Salem Witch Trials. (Nathaniel Hawthorne changed the spelling of his name to avoid any association with this ancestor.)

4. Sheriff George Corwin’s home – George Corwin was the son of the judge (#2) and benefited by seizing the property of convicted and admitted witches.

5. The home of Samuel Shattuck, whose testimony helped convict Bridget Bishop, one of the first Witch Trial victims.

6. The home of Massachusetts Bay Colony’s Governor Simon Bradstreet (1603 – 1697).

7. John Higginson Jr. lived here. He was the local magistrate. The Hawthorne Hotel was later built on this property.

8. Jacob Manning, a blacksmith, forged the shackles worn by many Witch Trial victims.

9. Thomas Beadle’s tavern, where Witch Trial inquests were held.

A. The home of Bridget Bishop, a Witch Trial victim who may be among the ghosts at the Lyceum Restaurant, now on that site.

B. Ann Pudeator, a Witch Trial victim whose specter was seen walking along Salem Common, even before her execution.

C. The home of John and Mary English, one of the wealthiest families in Colonial Salem. They were accused but escaped to New York.

D. Alice Parker’s home, owned by John and Mary English. Ms. Parker was accused of witchcraft and put to death.

Other Salem Sites on the Line

The slightly triangular area near 7 and B represents Salem Common.

Gallows Hill Park is indicated on the far left side of the map. The “Judges Line” — generally indicated in yellow — points directly to it.

The small green areas near points 6, 7 and 8 represent sites with paranormal activity or they are scenes of violence in the 19th and 20th century… or both.

As I continue my research, I’m finding even more sites that will be represented with red dots. Most of them are along the Salem Judges Line.

It’s a little chilling. I wonder why these people felt so drawn to this particular energy path.

More articles about haunted Salem, Massachusetts

For more articles about Salem’s haunted places, visit EncounterGhosts.com for my Ghosts of Salem, Massachusetts article.