Massachusetts Attractions June 26, 2019
The 300-Year-Old Curse That Still Plagues This Seaside Town In Massachusetts
Massachusetts is known for its colonial architecture, historic events, and sleepy coastal towns. Being one of the oldest states in the nation makes us proud, but it also means we have our fair share of ghost stories. This spooky tale comes from Salem and involves a centuries-old curse that may still be around today.
Salem, Massachusetts is perhaps best known for being the location of some of history’s most infamous witch trials.
Though the town has since repented for the 17-century hysteria that claimed at least 19 lives, this little coastal community may still be plagued by a spooky curse.
Giles Corey was a Salem farmer. In 1692, he and his wife Martha Corey were accused of witchcraft.
Because he refused to enter a plea of guilty or innocent, Giles Corey was made to lie under a board as heavy stones were placed atop him.
Sheriff George Corwin administered the torture, which was designed to make Corey enter a plea. At the time, people who did not plea could not technically be tried for a crime.
Over the course of two days, Corey was pressed by the sheriff (who occasionally stood on the board himself) and always answered "more weight" when asked to enter a plea.
When he finally died without entering a plea on September 19, Corey’s estate passed to his sons. If he had plead, the estate would have gone to the government.
According to some tellings, Corey used his last words to curse the sheriff and the town of Salem.
Since then, the role of sheriff in Salem has come with a scary price.
In 1978, Salem Sheriff Robert E. Cahill was forced to retire due to developing a rare blood condition and heart problems.
After looking into the history of the department at the sheriff’s office, he discovered a chilling pattern.
The sheriff before him had also developed a rare blood condition. And the sheriff before that had died of a heart attack.
And the sheriff before that. And the sheriff before that.
Apparently, Cahill found that as far back as the records went, every Salem sheriff since Corwin had suffered some sort of heart of blood problems.
Some say the curse was broken when the sheriff’s office was moved from Salem to the town of Middleton in 1991, but others aren’t so sure.
Local legends also hold that the ghost of Giles Corey appears at his graveside just before a catastrophe is about to strike Salem. Accounts from the Great Salem Fire of 1914 relate that a strange man was seen standing at the Corey grave the night before the disaster.
Though we can’t say whether the curse is fact or fiction, the legend of Giles Corey still lingers in Salem to this day.
You can read more about the curse of Giles Corey
here. To learn more about the creepiest spots in the state, check out our terrifying road trip through Massachusetts here.