The Salem Witch Trials were some of the most horrific events in the early history of America. The mass hysteria resulted in the deaths of over 20 innocent women between February of 1692 and March of 1693.
The location of these executions was, until recently, believed to be at the top of Gallow Hill in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. However, new historical evidence has forced experts to reconsider that claim.
Researchers knew that the hangings were seen by all the people of Salem. However, Gallows Hill has an obstructed view that would have made it impossible for the whole town to see.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) January 13, 2016
That’s when they dug back into the historical records. They matched up mentioned landmarks and found that the real place of the executions was a site called Proctor’s Ledge.
— Arianna MacNeill (@SN_AMacNeill) January 12, 2016
Today, Proctor’s Ledge is located behind a Walgreen’s. According to local news outlets, the area is considered “an abandoned jungle of barren woods and trash.” It’s apparently also a common place for the homeless to camp out.
— WBZ Boston News (@cbsboston) January 14, 2016
“Ground-penetrating radar and high-tech aerial photography shed new light on the topography of the site as it is today, and as it was in 1692,” said professor Benjamin Ray of the University of Virginia in a press release. “As a result, we can now say with confidence that Proctor’s Ledge was the site of the hangings.”
Obviously one of the most historic sites in America is located in the trash-strewn woods behind a Walgreen’s. I’m not sure what that says about the state of this nation, but it can’t be good.