The Salem Witches
I love to think of old Ipswich town;
Where they shut up the witches until the day
When they should be roasted so thoroughly brown,
In Salem village twelve miles away;
They've moved it off for a stable now;
But there are the holes where the stout jail stood,
And, at night, they say that over the holes
You can see the ghost of old Goody Coles
The hysteria that gripped Salem in 1692 was felt in all of the surrounding towns. As the Salem jail filled with accused and confessed witches, the court could not empty the jails quick enough and more space had to be secured. Ipswich, a short distance away had a nice jail down by the Ipswich River. The good Puritan settlers of Ipswich would certainly support the good work being done in Salem and it was decided to send the witches to Ipswich. There many of the accused witches spent their last nights before trial and hanging.
The witch hunt ended quickly in 1692 and the Ipswich jail was soon empty of the witches. But the witches were not done with the Ipswich jail. Unhappy with the ostracism and bad treatment they received at the hands of the Ipswich jailers and the townspeople, the witches cast their spell. For many years prisoners were found screaming in the jail because of apparitions that they saw while in their cells. Even after the jail was torn down and used for a farm and later for schools, many said there were often strange noises and ghostly presences.
Even years later when the Ipswich High School occupied that spot and many of us spent our days next to the river on the sight of the former jail, strange events occurred and unexplained appearances were seen.
Have the witches left yet? Or have they occupied the Town Hall?