University Press

The chapter titled “Salem as Witch City” is by Frances Hill.

How is a sense of place created, imagined, and reinterpreted over time? That is the intriguing question addressed in this comprehensive look at the 400-year, multi-layered history of Salem, Massachusetts, and the experiences of fourteen generations of people who lived in a place forever enshrined, indeed mythologized, in the public imagination by the horrific witch trials and executions of 1692 and 1693.

This passage through Salem's long history—its people, legacies, and myths—challenges readers to reconsider the multiple meanings of any place. For courses in American studies, this unique work will deepen one's understanding of how a place's present resonates with its past; and, for the general reader, it will enrich the experience of visitors touring Salem's historic sites and vibrant cultural institutions.