To the southwest of Downtown Salem, less than a mile distant from the former colonial-era jail and courthouse, lies Gallows Hill. It is an unremarkable hill, made famous only by the notorious witchcraft trials of 1692.
For it was this hill, a prominent overlook on the main road between Salem and Boston, which was chosen as the site to hang 19 innocents, 14 women and 5 men, convicted of witchcraft. Today Gallows Hill is a longstanding neighborhood in the city of Salem, the actual hanging site neglected but never actually lost to memory, its identity resurrected in 2016 by 21st century researchers.
The vibrant neighborhood of Gallows Hill has a history stretching back centuries, independent of the witchcraft hysteria. The history, culture, businesses, development, crime, events, people and characters of that neighborhood will be the subject of this venture into blogging.
Beyond Gallows Hill lies the late 20th century neighborhood of Witchcraft Heights. Although Gallows Hill and Witchcraft Heights could not be more different, in this blog they are taken together as a single neighborhood.
The area at the seams of Gallows Hill with the McIntire and Mack Park neighborhoods comprises Blubber Hollow. For the purposes of this blog Blubber Hollow will be taken together with Gallows Hill as a single neighborhood.
Together Gallows Hill, Blubber Hollow and Witchcraft Heights taken together constitute Ward 4 of Salem. The political machinations within Ward 4 will be another recurring topic in this blog.