Salem Witch Museum
During the Salem witchcraft trials in 1692, this site was home to Reverend John Higginson, the minister of Salem’s First Church, and his adult daughter, Ann Dolliver. Though Higginson largely stayed out of the turmoil, Dolliver was accused of witchcraft and arrested. Although she confessed, she never came to trial.
In 1717, the residents of the eastern end of Salem split from Salem’s First Church, creating The East Church. William Bentley, a popular diarist who chronicled life in Salem, served as its minister from 1783 to 1819, leading the church to Unitarianism. Between 1844 and 1846, the Congregation built a new Gothic Revival church on the side of Salem Common and met there for about 60 years before merging with the Barton Square Church, another congregation which had separated from the First Church.
The Salem Witch Museum was one of the first in the city to teach the tragic story of the 1692 witch trials. In two exhibits, visitors learn about the Salem and European witch hunts, the evolving image of the witch, and larger issues of scapegoating through history.