12. Bridget Bishop House

Bridget Bishop House

Plate 19; 238 Conant Street.

In 1692, the condemned witch Bridget Bishop lived with her husband, Edward, in the old wing of this house. Arrested on April 18, she was examined the following day at Ingersoll's ordinary in Salem Village. "I am innocent to a Witch," she told the magistrates. "I know not what a Witch is." On June 2, she was tried and found guilty of witchcraft and was executed eight days later, the first of the nineteen persons hanged. Years earlier, her neighbors had complained to Reverend John Hale that she "did entertaine people in her house at unseasonable houres in the night to keep drinking and playing at shovel-board whereby... young people were in danger to bee corrupted." Bridget also owned a second house which stood in Salem. In the cellar walls of the Salem house, John Bly and his son William "found Severall popitts [dolls] made up of Raggs And hoggs Brusells w'th headles pins in Them." The Bishop house is privately owned.