Support the news

Witch Trial Hanging Site At The Center Of Salem Author's Novel12:44
Download

Play
Novelist Brunonia Barry at the Salem Athenaeum on Monday, February 20, 2017. (Alison Bruzek/WBUR)
Novelist Brunonia Barry at the Salem Athenaeum on Monday, February 20, 2017. (Alison Bruzek/WBUR)
This article is more than 2 years old.

The unique history of Salem Massachusetts hits a milestone of sorts this summer — it will be 325 years since 19 women were hanged for practicing witchcraft.

Although this history is well documented, historians and Salem officials recently announced that the site of the hangings was not where it was believed to be, a place called "Gallows Hill," but actually another spot known as Procter's Ledge. They're planning a new memorial in the historically accurate spot to mark this summer's anniversary.

This story is a big part of the latest novel by Salem author Brunonia Barry.

Barry herself is a descendant of Rebecca Nurse, one of the women hanged as a witch. Barry's new novel, "The Fifth Petal," weaves the story of the accused women with present day research, and a dash of mysticism, to create a modern-day murder mystery.

Brunonia Barry will be reading at the Concord Bookshop in Concord, Massachusetts on Thursday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Guest

Brunonia Barry, author of "The Lace Reader," "The Map of True Places" and "The Fifth Petal." She tweets @brunoniabarry.

Brunonia Barry in the Salem Athenaeum at her writing spot. (Deborah Becker/ WBUR)
Brunonia Barry in the Salem Athenaeum at her writing spot. (Deborah Becker/ WBUR)

This segment aired on February 21, 2017.

Related:

Alison Bruzek Twitter Associate Producer, Radio Boston
Alison Bruzek was a producer for Radio Boston.

More…

Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

More…

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news