As you approach the Old Burying Point from Derby St., you may notice a small enclosure to your left, containing what looks like a series of stone benches jutting out from a stone wall. Please enter the space and take a closer look, for this is actually the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. This memorial was completed in 1992, the tercentennial of the Salem Witch Trials. Elie Wiesel -- holocaust survivor, Nobel prize laureate, and author of the book Night -- presided over its dedication.
Each bench lists the name and date of execution of each of the 16 women and 4 men who were executed. The names may also stick out in your mind as the names of the principle characters in Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible. Written during a time of similar fear and paranoia, The Crucible, and its place in the midst of the Red Scare of the 1950's, is just as relevant today as it was then. Plays like Miller's, books like Wiesel's, and memorials like this one, all serve as important reminders of the injustice and danger that develop from unchecked fear and ignorance.
Once you finish your tour of the memorial, you may enter the cemetery through an entrance to the left of the memorial's threshold. Walking through, you may see some familiar names from Salem's history, including Judge John Hathorne, and Governor Simon Bradstreet, husband of the English, early American poet, Anne Bradstreet.
Our next stop is just to the right of the Burying Point -- The Grimshawe House.