Is Salem Witch House Haunted?

Salem Witch House

A final remnant of the Salem witch trials, something supernatural may linger in this historic home

Ghost Stories of the
Salem Witch House

  • Disembodied voices are often heard by visitors
  • Cold spots are encountered throughout the house
  • People report being touched or grabbed by unseen entities
  • Equipment and electronic malfunctions have been reported in the house

Salem Witch House History

While you’re likely to find witch décor and imagery all over Salem, Massachusetts, only one home in the historically mysterious town has the distinction of being called ‘The Witch House.’ On a busy corner near the modern downtown sprawl, The Witch House’s dark, brooding presence stands in stark contrast to the bright, bustling intersection around it. At over 350 years old, The Witch House is one of the oldest buildings in town.

Salem Witch House has direct connection to the infamous Salem witch trials

Salem Witch House has direct connection to the infamous Salem witch trials

It is also the only building still standing with direct connection to the infamous Salem witch trials. With this troubled historic connection has come tales that the history at The Witch House isn’t allowed to rest. Some say the era of the witch trials can still be heard and felt in the home through the ghosts that may be trying to escape persecution in the afterlife.

Timeline of Salem Witch House's History

Swipe or use timeline points to see Salem Witch House through the years


Though no one can say exactly when ‘The Witch House’ was built, it is believed to have been constructed between 1620 and 1642. Initial records indicate the home was purchased by wealthy merchant and respected Salem community member Jonathan Corwin in 1675.

Throughout the 1680s, he was twice elected to the colonial assembly and served as a local magistrate who often heard cases related to petty crimes. But, by the 1690s, his judicial career would take a sudden and historically significant turn.


In early 1692, reports circulated that there were witches around Salem. Corwin and another magistrate, John Hathorne, were the first to hold hearings in spring of that year. However, the government charter of Massachusetts had recently been vacated, and another was still in transit, leaving their ability to enforce laws in limbo.

It wasn’t until May when governor Sir William Phips arrived with the charter that any court proceedings could go forward. Phips established the Court of Oyer and Terminer to investigate the claims of witchcraft.


By October, Governor Phips returned to the area after a trip to Maine to find judicial havoc around Salem, with executions piling up and numerous citizens languishing in jail. It is said that Phips’ own wife was also accused of witchcraft and threatened with prison or death around this time.

Phips soon issued a decree disbanding the Court of Oyer and Terminer, at which point the executions ceased. Trials under a new court continued into 1693, but resulted in many dismissed cases, not guilty rulings, and pardons from Governor Phips.


In the years after the Salem witch trials, Corwin remained in the local courts and he was later appointed to the province’s Superior Court. After Corwin’s death in 1718, the Salem home remained in the family until the mid-1800s. By the 1940s, it had been converted into a storefront property.

At this time, the city wanted to demolish it to expand nearby North Street. Instead, locals raised $42,000 to save the home. This proved to be the beginning of the home’s new life. It was converted into a museum and opened as The Witch House in 1948.


Ever since opening as a museum, The Witch House has been a popular tourist destination in Salem. It gained popularity as the Salem witch trials, and witchcraft in general, became media hits after the debut of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible and the popular TV program, Bewitched.

In recent years, Salem’s lore has interested paranormal researchers, who pay close attention to The Witch House’s position as the last building with a direct connection to the trials. That has some believing that ghosts from Salem’s witch trials remain in the home.

Ghostly Voices from
The Salem Witch House

Disembodied voices are some of the most common ghostly reports around the Salem Witch House. While none of the voices heard have been positively identified yet, many who have heard them claim that they come from multiple spirits or entities.

Some visitors to the home have said they hear adult voices, both male and female, while others swear they hear the voice of a little girl speaking from nearby rooms. But, each time, the rooms where the voices come from are found to be empty.

Salem Witch House’s Mysterious Cold Spots

Another well-known report of paranormal activity around the house is that visitors will frequently encounter cold spots in odd areas of the house.

Some have attributed these cold spots to the house’s very old structure and the potential for drafts, but those who have run into these mysterious spots claim they arise in places you would not expect a draft to be, including spaces far from windows or chimneys that could produce natural drafts.

Touched by Ghosts at the Salem Witch House

While not as common as some of the other reports of spiritual encounters at the Salem Witch House, occasionally visitors will say they have been touched or grabbed by unseen forces in the house. Sometimes, this report is coupled with sense of cold spots or chills, like they’re being grabbed at by dead, icy hands.

Paranormal investigators who have tried to study the reports with equipment on tours have reported that their equipment will malfunction or run out of battery in the house, only to be in perfect working order once they leave.

Salem Witch House’s
Haunting Reputation

Though the Salem Witch House doesn’t specifically cater to paranormal enthusiasts or investigators, the haunting nature of the home’s history is hard to escape. Whether it’s the house’s long life, its well-known history, or the witchcraft-related artifacts it’s decorated with, the Salem Witch House is regarded as one of the most haunted places in an especially haunted town.

In recent years, appearances in paranormal media like on Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures have only heightened the home’s paranormal stature. And though they don’t offer formal paranormal tours or investigations, the Salem Witch House provides tours regularly throughout the year to interested history buffs, witchcraft lovers, and paranormal enthusiasts. So, whether you’re into to spirits or spellcasting, chances are you’ll find a tour of the Salem Witch House truly…enchanting.