The Horror It Hides:
But unless you live in Salem, Massachusetts, your Walgreens back lot probably wasn't the site of the Salem witch trials.
The trials were responsible for the executions of 20 goody citizens who weren't goody enough in the eyes of some Puritan dickheads. As a punishment for knowing the difference between tarragon and rosemary, most of them were executed by hanging at a spot called Gallows Hill. Ironically, given its distinctive name, for centuries, no one knew where the place actually was. The pilgrims hadn't bothered recording or even marking the location of Gallows Hill. At the time, it was probably hard to miss, what with their neighbors hanging from a tree over there.
That and the constant cries of mourning cats.
Luckily, some historians from Salem State did some digging and came to a weird discovery. Working off the notes of an old-timey lawyer, Sidney Perley, the team traced Gallows Hill to an overgrown area behind their local Walgreens where a bunch of homeless people were living. There is a ledge called "Proctor's Ledge" that could be seen for miles, and according to Professor Emerson Baker of Salem State, it made perfect sense for public executions and ghost-sightings of the wrongly executed.
Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post
That pine tree is one witch's great-grandchild.
That it took three centuries to rediscover the notorious site does not exactly speak well for Salem's dedication to history, but this wasn't exactly an oversight. Professor Baker also uncovered that the city had purchased Gallows Hill in 1936 and left it unused. "They purchased this specifically to be a memorial place for the witches." In reality, the city was more keen on keeping its sordid past as murky as possible and let the site go derelict. Own up to your past, Salem. No matter how hard you try, you'll never be most famous for your Walgreens.
Isaac is pretty unassuming until you look at what's underneath. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram.
Also check out 5 Famous Cities With Creepy Secrets Hiding in Plain Sight and The Creepiest Serial Killers (Who Still Remain At Large).
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