News Researchers pinpoint site of Salem witch hangings

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by dawg, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Reputations:
    542,026
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    119,658
    Likes Received:
    91,126
    Salem's-witch-hunts-1440769-9809.jpg
    Salem’s witch trials were a memory by the time artist Thomas Satterwhite Noble painted “The Salem Martyr” in 1869. He portrays a young girl found guilty of witchcraft walking to the gallows with the hangman and her stern judges.


    SALEM — The wooded spot overlooking Walgreens on Boston Street is unremarkable. The rocky ledge of knotted trees is surrounded by houses, and the path to the top is unpaved.

    But the days of anonymity for the site known as Proctor’s Ledge are over. Researchers announced this week they have confirmed the plot is where 19 people accused of witchcraft were hanged in a wave of hysteria that swept this seaside city in 1692.

    Salem plans to mark the ignominious spot, Mayor Kimberley Driscoll said. The memorial is expected to be modest, the mayor said, given the lack of easy access or parking at the site.

    Still, Driscoll said: “This is part of our history, and this is an opportunity for us to be honest about what took place.”

    The quest to confirm the precise spot of the hangings started in 2010, though it was not the first time historians examined the question, said Emerson “Tad” Baker, a Salem State University professor who helped pinpoint the location.

    While there are about 1,000 records detailing the Salem witch trials, Baker said information about the executions is scant. Historians have found no evidence that gallows were constructed and surmise the accused witches were hung from tree branches, he said.

    All 19 people who were executed by hanging during the witch trials are believed to have died at Proctor’s Ledge; five others accused of witchcraft died in jail, and one was crushed to death.

    They focused their inquiry initially on Gallows Hill, where many believed the accused witches met their death at the peak. But the researchers concluded that the hangings happened closer to the base of the hill, on the spot known as Proctor’s Ledge.

    They reached this conclusion by using eyewitness accounts from the time of the hangings, aerial photography of Gallows Hill, and images of the area generated with advanced mapping technology, the researchers said.

    011316_witch_graphic.jpg
    First, they determined where the eyewitnesses were when they saw the executions.

    The researchers relied on the work of Sidney Perley, a lawyer and historian who wrote about Salem history, said author Marilynne Roach, a member of the research team.

    “He must have read every deed and will in the courthouse,” she said. “He’s a very good source.”

    In an article published in 1921, Perley cited a letter written in 1791 by “Dr. Holyoke.” The letter described a story told by John Symonds, who was born the year the hangings occurred.

    “He has told me that his nurse had often told him, that, while she was attending his mother at the time she lay in with him, she saw, from the chamber windows, those unhappy people hanging on Gallows’ Hill, who were executed for witches by the delusion of the times,” the letter read.

    Another description came from Rebecca Eames, a Boxford resident hauled into Salem for questioning Aug. 19, 1692, the same day five executions took place.

    Eames’s guards escorted her along Boston Road, below Proctor’s Ledge, the researchers said. As they approached the courthouse, the guards came upon the hangings and left Eames at a nearby house while they watched the executions.

    Eames later told the magistrate she was at “the house below the hill” and saw some “folks” at the execution. Roach determined the house Eames cited was probably the McCarter residence or one of its neighbors on Boston Street.

    Once researchers established the vantage points for the eyewitness accounts, they turned to the mapping technology and aerial photography.

    They learned the eyewitnesses could not have seen the top of Gallows Hill from where they observed the executions, but they could see Proctor’s Ledge, located in between what is now Proctor and Pope streets.

    Their inquiry also concluded no victims are buried at Proctor’s Ledge, the researchers said.

    “I just get this tremendous sense of history here and also kind of the burden of that history in Salem,” Baker said.

    At the time of the hangings, Proctor’s Ledge was public land where residents could let sheep graze, Baker said. It is named for Thorndike Proctor, who purchased land there during the 18th century. He is a descendant of a witch trial victim, John Proctor.

    Given that executions then were meant “to serve as an example of what happens to people who break the law,” the highly visible site was logical, Baker said.

    blanding011216witches3met.jpg
    “When people come [to Salem] . . . they all want to know where it happened,” said Kenneth Glover, who gives tours.

    The inquiry also found Salem had considered erecting a tribute to witch trial victims on Gallows Hill going back more than a century.

    Plans for a memorial there were devised in 1892 and Salem purchased a strip of land at Proctor’s Ledge in 1936 to construct a park, Baker said. Neither proposal went anywhere.

    Baker said the desire by some to forget the witch trials was probably to blame.

    “What a wonderful thing it is for us to finally have the city recognize this spot,” he said.

    There is a memorial in downtown Salem to 20 victims.

    Tom Brophy, 72, lives in front of Proctor’s Ledge. He said he gave directions decades ago to Gallows Hill to a driver chauffeuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

    “The old timers that used to be here when I was a little kid used to talk about the witchcraft and [that] this was the probable site,” he said.

    Kenneth Glover, who runs a tour in Salem, visited the site Tuesday. Now, he said, he can definitively tell visitors where the hangings occurred.

    “When people come here from other places . . . they all want to know where it happened,” he said.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2...em-hangings/ReOusTREuXUo8RdxARGLNI/story.html
     
    Ynnek4, LaserT, Pooh bear and 3 others like this.
  2. Rabid Dogman

    Rabid Dogman Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    7,015
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2014
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    1,853
    Hang them whores!
     
    babybear likes this.
  3. HypocriteHowie

    HypocriteHowie Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    111,638
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    12,625
    Shit I thought they burned them.
     
  4. DDragon

    DDragon VIP Extreme Gold

    Reputations:
    51,829
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    7,418
    Likes Received:
    12,577
    Rob Zombie already did a song about it.

     
  5. JameGumb

    JameGumb We're all out of toner!

    Reputations:
    229,035
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    35,903
    Likes Received:
    27,105
  6. Father O'Blivion

    Father O'Blivion Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    68,628
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    Messages:
    4,002
    Likes Received:
    8,762
    I wonder what % of the population still believes in witches?
     
  7. Bobbowl

    Bobbowl VIP Extreme Gold

    Reputations:
    50,224
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,769
    Likes Received:
    4,435
    Get TAPS up there pronto!
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Night Ape

    Night Ape Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    52,505
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,759
    Likes Received:
    8,064
    I'd heard the real Salem, where the witch trials took place, is now known as Danvers and all the witch stuff in Salem today is tourist bait.
     
  9. DinnerSocks

    DinnerSocks Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    39,766
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    12,713
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Quality Control

    Quality Control dove Gold

    Reputations:
    793,991
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Messages:
    6,922
    Likes Received:
    22,663

    The look on her face is the most "Ain't this some bullshit" look ever.
     
    LaserT and TheMercenary like this.
  11. Honkey Donkey

    Honkey Donkey Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    134,115
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    Messages:
    9,668
    Likes Received:
    19,648
    I thought all that shit happened over in Danverse
     
  12. Honkey Donkey

    Honkey Donkey Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    134,115
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    Messages:
    9,668
    Likes Received:
    19,648
  13. TheMercenary

    TheMercenary Collecting Light Gold

    Reputations:
    359,604
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    Messages:
    10,463
    Likes Received:
    35,301
    Vulgarian Historians pinpoint that phrase to that woman. Little known fact :grad:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
    Quality Control likes this.
  14. Quality Control

    Quality Control dove Gold

    Reputations:
    793,991
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Messages:
    6,922
    Likes Received:
    22,663

    So it didn't originate with Schoolboy Grinch? Interdasting.

    [​IMG]
     
    TheMercenary likes this.
  15. balloon knot

    balloon knot Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    39,663
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Messages:
    4,001
    Likes Received:
    6,754
    [​IMG]
     
    TheMercenary likes this.