Gallows Hill Water Tower

The Salem Water Tower sits atop a high ledge in Gallows Hill Park. It is an otherwise unremarkable water tower made distinctive by the image of a witch astride a broomstick painted on its side. The tower received a new coat of paint in spring 2016, so the witch disappeared for several months, but not to worry, she reappeared by the summer. Only, the insignia was different (compare pre- and post-painting photos below).Gallows Hill Water Tower

The pre-2016 insignia silhouettes a witch on a broom, the witch’s hat forming the “A” in Salem, the letters in eerie Gothic font. The less elaborate post-painting insignia does away with the illusion of the witch’s hat and depicts ‘Salem’ in plain block font, despite the Salem News article on the matter promising a return of the logo. No Matter. The new depiction is larger and so readily visible to airliner passengers coming into Logan airport on runways 22L or 22R. (The prevailing winds on calm days are from the southwest, the heading of runways 22L and 22R). So next time you fly into Salem on a calm clear day look out the plane window to see the Salem witch a-flying right with you.

The water tower witch logo also earned the Gallows Hill water tower the No. 3 spot on a listing of the 12 coolest water storage tanks in New England.

The water storage tank in Salem, MA is rather ordinary save for one very important detail: there is a silhouette of a witch riding on a broomstick painted onto the side of the tank. Salem is well known for its brutal Salem witch trials of 1692, during which 20 innocent people were executed, and to this day Salem gets much of its cultural identity from the trials. During Halloween, Salem attracts thousands of tourists dressed in witchy garb as well as people interested in the paranormal and witchcraft.