For Sale: Replica of Salem's 'Witch House' Jun 17, 2019 23:15:15 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Jun 17, 2019 23:15:15 GMT -5
For Sale: Replica of Salem’s ‘Witch House’
The Witch House (above) at 310 Essex Street in Salem is one of the most recognizable and visited buildings in the Witch City. Constructed some time between 1842 and 1875, when Jonathan Corwin purchased the home, it is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the infamous Witch Trials of 1692. The house bears a striking resemblance to Whitehall in Cheam, Surrey, England, which dates to at least 100 years earlier.
Corwin was a civic leader and local magistrate and as such, was called upon to investigate claims certain of the area’s Puritans were in league with the devil and practicing diabolical arts to the detriment of their God-fearing neighbors. He served on the Court of Oyer and Terminer (hear and determine), which ultimately sent 19 women and men to the gallows and one man, Giles Corey, was pressed to death. All refused to admit their presumed guilt and maintained their innocence to their final breaths. A number of the accused witches were examined in the east parlor of the Corwin House.
Today, no one can imagine Salem without its witchy history, but in 1944, there was talk of demolishing the Corwin dwelling, despite its being one of the best examples of opulent First Period architecture in New England. The Witch House was saved and became the catalyst that launched a new wave of historic preservation and restoration in Salem, turning it into the “Witch City” we know today.
Needless to say, the Witch House itself isn’t for sale, but there’s a replica (above) at 33 Tarragon Drive in Sandwich – the oldest town on Cape Cod – that can be yours at the reduced price of $674,000 – it was initially listed at $725,000. The home stands on a 1.34-acre wooded lot and from the outside, it’s difficult to tell which house is the Witch House. Constructed in 1984 in the First Period Style, its steeply-pitched salt-box roof, overhanging second story, large central chimney, step-gables, triple casement windows, exposed beams and wide pine board floors are like those of the original structure, but instead of the rustic interior of the distant past, the 2,606 square-foot Sandwich house boasts all the modern amenities. There are three bedrooms, three baths – in the 17th century, people trekked to the outhouse during the day and used chamber pots at night – a chef’s kitchen, gas fireplace, jacuzzi tub, walk-in closet and laundry room. Though the home offers all the comforts of the late 20th century, there’s still a “feel” of history about the place. In the rear, we find the historically accurate salt box slope, repeated in the detached garage. One important difference between the two houses is the replica’s orange, diamond-patterned door, which adds warmth to the austere façade.
Actually, the Sandwich house isn’t the only Witch House replica in New England. Though not for sale at this time, there’s another at 197 Wheeler Road in Hollis, New Hampshire. Built in 1978, the exposed beams on the first floor and in the master bedroom of this edifice were reclaimed from an old Baptist church in Milford, N.H. The home stands on 4.36 acres and features four bedrooms, three baths and two huge, back-to-back, wood-burning fireplaces with old-fashioned pot hooks. The home recently sold for $645,000.
Sources: Linda Merrill, "The Salem Witch House – Replicas and Modern Living," May 31, 2019; Sienna Livermore, "You Can Now Live in a Replica of the Salem Witch House," House Beautiful, October 31, 2018; John Squires, "Pitch Black Replica of Iconic Salem Witch House Just Went Up for Sale," Bloody-Disgusting, December 15, 2017; The Witch House, Salem, Massachusetts; and Trulia.
See also “Ghosts of the Salem Witch Trials,” “Hard and Forceful Punishment at Salem” and “The Violent Wizards of Salem.”