Skip to Main Content

Witch Trial.

Witch Dungeon Museum

Field review by the editors.

Salem, Massachusetts

The Witch Dungeon Museum features a live witch trial, a most entertaining presentation of justice. It's located right where it all happened back in 1692.

The show begins with several minutes of preparatory narration, piped into a "courtroom" filled with tourists. Stage curtains slowly pull back to reveal a shadowy court bench and jury box, containing roughly a dozen trail participants.

The proceedings get underway quickly, but it soon becomes apparent to the more attentive audience members that only two of the performers are actually alive. The rest are thinly-disguised dummies that fail to move an inch or utter a syllable during the entire show. However, the prosecutor and the accused, Sarah Goode, are animated -- animated enough to make up for a whole dungeon of dummies.

Every summer a new duo of aspiring actresses work their thespian magic here. The witch gets to be spooky by cackling and prancing about in a moldy, hooded cape, but it's the prosecutor who has the lion's share of great moments. Our favorite is her twitching struggle with some invisible demon as she shrieks, "She has the devil's mark! She's biting me!!!" The audience accepts all this in dead earnest, even at the climax when the witch, ranting incoherently, plunges into the crowd, whacks the pressure bar on the nearest exit door, and disappears!

Audience members, still awestruck, are then led on a tour of the dark, lower dungeons, where the dummies that are too deteriorated to stay upstairs in the courtroom are flogged and tortured. It is here that the economy of the Witch Dungeon becomes apparent, as it is the prosecutor who leads the tour while the witch pops out of murky cubbyholes screaming at the top of her lungs.

Also see: Creatures Guide: Witches

Witch Dungeon Museum

16 Lynde St., Salem, MA
Hwy 128 exit 25A. Drive east of Hwy 114. At the Salem line follow the tri-color signs to downtown. At the Witch House turn left onto Essex St. and follow the sign to the parking lot.
Daily, Apr-Nov 10 am - 5 pm. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Witch Gaol Plaque #1Witch Gaol Plaque #1, Salem, MA - < 1 mi.
Where the Witches Were TriedWhere the Witches Were Tried, Salem, MA - < 1 mi.
Bewitched StatueBewitched Statue, Salem, MA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
North America's Oldest Wood Frame House, Dedham, MA - 24 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Massachusetts

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Massachusetts.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Massachusetts Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum, Gibsland, Louisiana (May 20-26, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Favorite Quirky City Sights