So, it’s sort of weird to be reviewing a cemetery and memorial as an “attraction”. Only in Salem, eh? 😛 Anyways, that aside, today I figured we could chat about the Old Burying Point Cemetery and Salem Witch Trials Memorial.
To get to the burying point and memorial, you need to go into the Salem Witch Village off of Derby Street. The Witch Village is a cluster of attractions on a little side street going toward the historic Charter street district. In the same area is The Salem Wax Museum, Frankenstein’s Castle, the Candlelit Walking Tour, etc. You can view more info on the Witch Village here if you’re interested.
The cemetery itself, I feel, is a neat thing to see if you’re interested in the history of the town. Buried there you will find the graves of a Mayflower pilgrim and witchcraft trial judge John Hathorne. There is no fee to get into the cemetery and it’s open from dawn to dusk. The markers date way back and some are in better shape than others so step carefully. Please note that making grave rubbings is strictly prohibited and carries a fine for doing so.
Right next to the cemetery is the Witch Trials Memorial. This is a large opening with stone markers all the way around it (pictured above) which are engraved with the names of those accused and executed during the trials. Their death dates are included, plus a word or two describing how they were executed. Many times you will find flowers or tea light candles left on these markers as a tribute to the past and to honor the memories of those who lost their lives. I definitely suggest a walk around of at least the memorial if you don’t have time for both…it will only take a few minutes because it’s not that large and the vibe of the memorial is very calm, in my opinion. At the entrance to the memorial, engraved on the ground is the following “For my life now lies in your hands; On my dying day, I am no witch; God knows I am innocent; Oh Lord help me; I am wholly innocent of such wickedness; If I would confess I should save my life; I do plead not guilty”.
I hope this info was helpful!! If you have suggestions of other places you’d like my thoughts on, please feel free to reach out. 🙂