In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692

Mary Beth Norton

A comprehensive narrative of events by an enormously accomplished historian, this account of the Salem witchcraft crisis is a landmark work in interpreting the events of 1692. By discussing the accusers, judges, and victims of the witch hunt in light of the violence of colonization and the wartime instability of the Massachusetts government, Norton offers a scholar’s rejoinder to the various theorists and interpreters of the crisis. Helpful sidebars on essential issues, and authoritative summaries in the introduction and conclusion, make Norton’s book a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the current historical approach to the Salem trials.

Records of Salem Witch Hunt

Edited by Bernard Rosenthal et al.

The definitive collection of the legal documents surrounding the witch trials, compiled by a team of scholars whose mastery of the material is unparalleled. For readers who want to explore the warrants, indictments, testimonies, and trial transcripts that still exist, and to read those documents in the language of the 1690s, this is the best first stop. Essays on trial procedures, the language of the colonies, and other helpful context make this an extraordinarily useful resource.

The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege

Marilynne Roach

An invaluable reference for readers who want a deep understanding of the Salem crisis timeline. Roach, the scholar responsible for compiling the biographical information presented in Rosenthal’s Records, here collects and catalogs the significant events from around Massachusetts that preceded, propelled, and followed from the witch hunt in 1692. In well organized sequence, the entry for each day includes relevant happenings in Boston, Maine, Gloucester, western Massachusetts, London, and more—situating the events in Salem within the colonial world of their time.

Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials

Marilynne Roach

Carefully selecting women from up and down the social ladder of early Massachusetts to bring the reader into the action, Six Women of Salem builds on the foundation of Roach’s previous work to tell the story of the witchcraft crisis through intimate portraits, showing that the wave of accusations swept up slave, merchant, farmer, servant, young and old alike. Unafraid of a little speculation that puts the reader in the fields, streets, pews, and courtrooms where events unfolded, this excellent storytelling approach is deeply informed by Roach’s comprehensive knowledge of the historical documents, giving readers the before and after in the lives of women at the heart of the crisis.

A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience

Emerson Baker

Published in Oxford University Press’s series Pivotal Moments in American History, A Storm of Witchcraft brings together the insights and discoveries from Tad Baker’s lifetime of teaching American History at Salem State University. Beginning with a perfectly compressed overview of events, Storm of Witchcraft moves through explorations of the various facets of colonial life that contributed to the crisis, all with an eye toward interpretations of what happened and a pointed assessment of the significance of the Salem crisis for American life.

The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem

Stacy Schiff

In stylish and dramatic fashion, Stacy Schiff turns her Pulitzer Prize-winning pen to the story of Salem. The Witches weaves together the lives and events of the colony’s citizens and scoundrels with explorations of the colonial imagination, family life, spiritual beliefs, literary culture, and more. Published in 2015, Schiff’s work holds the past alongside the present, often asking us to consider how our way of seeing the world compares to the Puritan imagination.

Maps & Diagrams


General Links

A Guide to the On-Line Primary Sources of The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project

The Danvers Archival Center