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The Curse of Salem

Updated on September 9, 2013

by Christine B.

In 1692 Salem, Massachusetts was involved in a “witch” craze. Thirteen women and one man were murdered on the pretense that they were witches (and a warlock). After the first few women were put in prison, the others were incarcerated more because the city fathers wanted their land and property.

The man who was arrested was actually the husband of one of the women who was thrown in jail. The man’s name was Giles Corey and his third wife’s name was Martha. He married her after he turned 80 years old. When his wife was arrested he insisted on being put in prison with her. The crazed accusers were happy to oblige and testified that they saw an apparition of Giles Corey that harassed them and then reported that he was a wizard of great power.

Giles was tried and found guilty of being a warlock. Of course, he wasn’t and while they were piling rocks upon his frail frame Giles’ tongue stuck out of his mouth in a grotesque way. The sheriff who was standing nearby pushed his tongue back into his mouth with his walking stick. With Giles Corey’s last breath he cursed the sheriff and every sheriff of Salem. His curse was that he and his followers will all die before they reach the age of 40.

Martha Corey was hung as a witch a few days after her husband’s death. The jail where all the people who were accused as witches were held before their execution was torn down in 1812 and a new building was erected. The Howard Street Burying Ground is located nearby and is the area where Giles Corey was crushed to death. His spirit has often been seen in the area. In 1914, after the specter’s sighting, the great fire of Salem took place on Gallows Hill where many witches were hung. The fire destroyed a third of the city.

As far as Gile’s curse is concerned, the sheriff that pushed Gile’s tongue back into his mouth died of a heat attach before he reached the age of 40. Coincidence? Not when you take into account that many of the preceding sheriffs of Salem also passed over before they reached the age of 40. Several of them reported being awakened in the middle of the night by a ghost and then felt as though there was a huge weight on their chest. The city no longer uses a sheriff, probably since after seeing so many sheriffs die young, no one else wanted the job.

The entire town of Salem is very active, as one might suspect. Areas where there has been so much negative energy keep it and actually invite more negative energy in. The trauma that was perpetrated in this small New England Town lives on and may never be dispersed.

(Special thanks to Carolyn Adamson for inspiration on this story.)


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    • Christine B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine B. 

      5 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      Thanks, JPB... and thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

    • JPB0756 profile image

      Robert A. Joseph 

      5 years ago

      Winston Churchill said "The winners write history." Interesting double-edged sword. Nice work, really succinct. Thumbs up.


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