sites of public execution


Gallows Hill Park is the site of the hangings of nineteen men and women sentenced to death for witchcraft in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The first accused witch to be brought to trial was Bridget Bishop. Almost sixty years old, owner of a tavern, critical of her neighbors, and reluctant to pay her bills, Bishop was a likely candidate for an accusation of witchcraft. Another defendant, Rebecca Nurse, was a pious, respected woman. The Nurse jury returned a verdict of not guilty, much to the displeasure of Chief Justice Stoughton, who told the jury to go back and consider again a statement of Nurse's that might be considered an admission of guilt (but more likely an indication of confusion about the question, as Nurse was old and nearly deaf). The jury reconvened, this time coming back with a verdict of guilty. On July 19, 1692, Nurse rode with four other convicted witches to Gallows Hill.


Site of Public Executions by Hanging
June 10, July 19, August 19 & September 22, 1692

(Gallows Hill Park, Salem, MA)

20 x 21", 2007