In all, 200 people had been accused of being witches, nearly one third of the town's population. Nineteen of them plead innocent and were hung. One man, Giles Corey, refused to acknowledge the court's authority and was legally crushed to death. Of the ones who plead guilty and were sent to jail, many contracted illnesses and later died. Elizabeth Proctor and her unborn child were luckily spared.

Tituba was eventually released from prison and slavery. She and her husband moved from the area and disappeared in to obscurity.

Colonel Lieutenant John Hathorne, one of the primary judges during the trial, was the only person never to regret his participation during the trials. His great grandson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, changed the spelling of his last name out of shame of the relation.

Salem Village, where most of the accused and accusers lived, changed its name to Danvers and for nearly 300 years never acknowledged its part of the trials.

In 1699 Robert Calef, one of the few people that opposed the trials, wrote a book called "More Wonders of the Invisible World" that detailed the happenings that took place.  He criticized the hysteria of the State clergy and several New England magnates, including the Sheriff and the Governor. He had to have the book printed in England because no printer in America would print it.  In the book he ridiculed Cotton Mather's assertion that witches "turned men to cats and dogs" and "ride on a pole through the air." He labeled the witch hunts as "bigoted zeal stirring up blind and bloody rage against virtuous and religious people."  His book was promptly denounced by the clergy of the day.  The new president of Harvard College, Increase Mather, ordered "The Wicked Book By Calef" publicly burned in the collage yard.  Calef's book has the unique distinction of being the first and last book to be publicly burned at Harvard.

previous page


my trip to Salem
Modern Witchcraft

Interested In Ghost Stories?