For fans of “The Crucible,” supernatural history, or mass hysteria, this is the house of your dreams—or nightmares.
Now available for sale, fittingly in the month of October, is the John Proctor house in Peabody, MA. Reportedly built in 1638, the house was once owned by one of the victims of the Salem witch trials. This tangible artifact of New England history has six bedrooms and two bathrooms, and is listed for $600,000.
Proctor, who owned 700 acres and ran a tavern on the main road of what was then part of Salem, was an early opponent of the witch trials. One of his serving girls had been accused, and he believed she had been cured by a good whipping, according to the Salem Witch Museum.
His wife, Elizabeth, was later accused of being a witch by their maid and jailed. When John defended Elizabeth, he was accused of witchcraft as well.
More accusations were lodged against the Proctor family, including three children, and Elizabeth’s sister and sister-in-law. John was found guilty and hanged. Elizabeth, who was pregnant, was granted a stay of execution. She managed to escape the sentence, as the hysteria had passed by the time her son was born. He was named John, after his father.
There’s been debate over whether Proctor actually lived in the house, or if it was constructed later by his son. The home has been under private ownership for decades, so extensive research and testing on the property has not been done. However, the current owner meticulously maintained the home’s historic Colonial architecture and aesthetics.
Some of the original details include the wood-beamed ceilings, exposed brick walls, wood finishes, and multiple fireplaces. But modern amenities are also offered, including an in-ground pool with a diving board and neighboring brick patio.
Among the potential buyers who have expressed interest in the home is the Peabody Historical Society. Whoever ends up with the home should be prepared to preserve its historic significance and welcome curious passers-by, along with the occasional supernatural visitor.
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