Salem is a city on the north coast of Massachusetts above Boston. It’s famous for its 1692 witch trials, during which several locals were executed for allegedly practicing witchcraft. Landmarks from this episode include the Witch House, the former home of a trial judge. The Peabody Essex Museum has a massive collection of global art and artifacts, including a rebuilt Qing-era Chinese house.
Today Salem is a residential and tourist area that is home to the House of Seven Gables, Salem State University, Pioneer Village, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem Willows Park, and the Peabody Essex Museum. It features historic residential neighborhoods in the Federal Street District and the Charter Street Historic District. The city’s population was 44,480 at the 2020 census.
Much of the city’s cultural identity revolves around the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692, depicted in Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible (1953). Police cars are adorned with witch logos, a public elementary school is known as Witchcraft Heights, and the Salem High School athletic teams are named the Witches. Gallows Hill is believed to have once been the site of many public hangings, including of persons convicted as witches. It is now a park and used as a playing field for various sports.