The Witch House- Home of Judge Jonathan Corwin of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials

The Witch House Salem
The Witch House c. mid-1600s

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The Witch House in Salem, Massachusetts is a foreboding, nearly black home that was the residence of the wealthy Judge Jonathan Corwin, one of the infamous Salem Witch Trial judges.  A Must See Gem, it is the only building still standing in Salem (town) with direct ties to the 1692 Trials.  A mansion in the early colonial times of Salem, the house is furnished well & according to period.  Corwin sometimes heard criminal cases in his home & possibly recorded testimony from the Witch Trials there.  His ties to the trials were deep.  His nephew, George Corwin, was the Sheriff responsible for carting the victims to execution & for overseeing the torture of Giles Corey.  Corwin was also related to another Salem Witch Trial judge by marriage and his own child was counted among those “afflicted” by the witchcraft of others.  His mother in law was accused of witchcraft that year. 


‘The Witch House’ has really interesting exhibits & some unique early colonial artifacts.  If you’ve been to other historic homes, you’ve likely seen a spinning wheel, hand loom, rope bed & butter churn.  But this house has the period pieces, in addition to some fascinating looks at early colonial & Puritan life, medicine, beliefs & practices that I’ve not seen elsewhere.  They give a unique look into the superstitions about witchcraft & the practices some used to ward it off that gives context to better understand the Salem atmosphere.  They have info on the 1692 Witch Crisis, as well as reproduction copies of the handwritten, surviving papers of the Witch Trial transcripts.  I was hungry for more, but appreciated the info they provide.  The exhibit plaques & signs aren’t in the best shape, but the info on them is fascinating & unusual & worth the read! 

The Witch House Salem Judge Jonathan Corwin

Main highlights aside from the actual home include:

  • A meat fork owned by accused & executed Witch Trial victim John Proctor– one of the only surviving possessions of a victim.  His wife, Elizabeth, was also convicted, jailed, and sentenced to death for witchcraft.  She was released at the end of the hysteria, before execution.  Several of their children were also accused.
  • An actual 1st period New England poppet (primitive ‘puppet’ doll) played with by children but believed to be used by witches in attacking people through witchcraft
  • A 1672 Physick book with a Snail Water recipe for Rheumatism & pages from a mid 1650s book with common Cow & Horse Dung recipes prepared as other ‘cures’.   

Hours are seasonal, so check the site according to your visit, but busy season is typically 10-5 daily.  Current cost is $8.25 adults, $6.25 seniors, $4.25 kids- under 6 are free, as of this writing.  Guided tours are $2 more, each, and are 30-45 minutes. 

We visited the Witch House as Part of our Salem Witch Trial Sites- Itinerary Part B.  It is one of the Top 5 Salem Witch Trial Sites;  Do not miss!  

‘You are a liar. I am no more a witch than you, and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink!’-  Sarah Good, Hanged July 19th, 1692

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The Witch House- Salem, Massachusetts