Witch Hill, aka Whipple Hill, Danvers, MA

Witch Hill, Danvers, MAWitch Hill in Danvers is an important part of the Salem Witch Trials. It’s where “spectral evidence” was observed in 1692, and used as evidence against people accused of witchcraft in Salem.

The correct name for the site is Whipple Hill, and it’s a hauntingly wild and lovely location for hiking. Marked trails lead you to the crest of the hill and a beautiful view.

Park your car at Endicott Park. It’s across a busy street from Witch (Whipple) Hill, and the small parking fee is worthwhile for convenience.

Cross the street and you’ll see the entrance to the trails that cross Witch Hill. The photo, above, was taken near that entrance.

The main trail includes rocks and uneven ground beneath a covering of leaves. You’ll want good hiking shoes and perhaps a walking stick, as well. However, active families (even those with small children) will enjoy this site for a weekend outing. (As usual, watch for poison ivy.)

This is one of two “witch hills” in the Salem area. Gallows Hill in Salem is sometimes called Witch Hill, too.

However, the location of the Danvers site is noted on several historical maps, and I think it’s an overlooked site.

My recent investigations suggest intense activity at Witch Hill, even during the day.  If you have any stories related to that hill, or if you’ve investigated it, please leave a comment or contact me.

Ghosts of Gallows Hill, Salem

Gallows Hill is among Salem’s most famous site related to the witch trials of 1692. However, no one is certain of its historic location.

Today, a site called Gallows Hill rises above a children’s playground and sports field. It’s surrounded by single-family homes in a quiet residential neighborhood.

But, is it that the hill where “witches” were actually hung? Evidence is scant and unreliable.

Most researchers use Sydney Perley’s 1933 map of Salem, showing Gallows Hill near Pope and Proctor Streets, near an inlet from North River.

Upham’s 1866 map of Salem Village offers similar information, and was probably among Perley’s resources.

We can learn a lot from the land formations of 1692, and compare them with areas that have — and haven’t — been filled since then.

In addition, Welsh researcher Gavin Cromwell* and I conducted paranormal research at Halloween 2008. Our discoveries suggest at least one additional spiritually-charged location near the current Gallows Hill site.

We may never be able to document the exact location of the hangings, or where most of the so-called witches’ bodies were buried, including Giles Corey** who is remembered for one of the Salem curses.

However, additional research may reveal locations where unmarked graves and landmarks connect us with Salem in 1692.

 …

*I’m confident that our experiences at Gallows Hill were genuine.

**Giles Corey’s first wife, Mary (1621 – 1684), is buried beneath a small stone at the Burying Point Cemetery, near the Witch Memorial. Her name appears as “Mary Corry” with a note that she was the wife of “Giles Corry.”

(Remember, spellings weren’t standardized until the 19th century. Many family names appear with various spellings on historic records and monuments.

Salem’s Ghostly Judges’ Line

The Judges’ Line of Salem, Massachusetts, by Fiona Broome

House of Seven Gables, courtesy of StockXpertPatterns emerge when we study profoundly haunted areas. Sometimes, we can apply logic to those patterns. Sometimes, they simply indicate a pattern of energy that we can use to find and confirm haunted places.

In my 2007 book, The Ghosts of Austin, Texas, I talked about two major patterns connecting almost all hauntings in downtown Austin.

In Salem, Massachusetts, I’m finding different kinds of patterns.

I’ve discovered one pattern that follow intriguing lines. I’m not sure how other researchers overlooked these eerie connections that leave ghostly tracks across Salem and Boston’s North Shore. However, paranormal patterns are among my specialties, and Salem’s landscape confirms these connections between scenes of violence (and ghostly energy).

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

Ley lines are lines or paths that connect sites with unusual energy. They could be major churches or temples, sites of violence and tragedy, or have some other unusual connection.Some speculate that energy flows along those paths, and the energy was there even before the church was built or the violence occurred. In fact, that energy may magnify the emotions or affect the thinking of people when they are on or near a ley line.

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, the most likely site of the 1692 hangings during the Salem Witch Trials.

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

Judges Line - ghosts across Salem, MA

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

Here is a peek at my preliminary, hand drawn map of the main locations, as of 2009:

Haunted Judges Line in Salem, MA

Here are my notes related to the numbers.

1. Chestnut Street (represented by a black line) – Many modern-day judges and elected officials choose this street for their homes.

2. Judge Corwin’s home, also known as “Witch House” since he condemned so many witches during the Salem Witch Trials.

3. Judge Hathorne’s home, also associated with the Salem Witch Trials. (Nathaniel Hawthorne changed the spelling of his own 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.

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 Judges Line.

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

For more information about ghost hunting in or near Salem, Massachusetts, visit Ghosts101.com/HauntedPlaces.