The legacy of the Salem witch trials is complicated.
During October, tourists flock to the North Shore city from around the world to celebrate the contemporary idea of witchcraft tied to Halloween. Others like author, historian, and Salem State University interim dean and professor Emerson “Tad” Baker, focus on the rush to judgment and the innocent lives and families that were destroyed by the 1692 trials.
“Salem has had historical amnesia. It has a tendency to look away from its tragic past,” said Baker, who was part of a team of scholars that in 2016 actually confirmed the site where the accused witches were executed.