Salem Witch Trial Authentic Re-Creation At Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

Oct 6th, 2011Press Release from Lehigh County Historical Society

October 5, 2011

Photograph Attached (caption at bottom of release)

True History of Salem Witch Trials

Spookier than Ghosts & Haunted Stories

Re-creation of Witch Trial Will Have Two Performances

At Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

Saturday, October 22nd at 1:00 p.m.


Allentown, PAOne of the darkest episodes of American history lies in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.  During a 13-month period, more than 200 people were charged, more than 150 were imprisoned, fourteen women and five men were hanged, and one man was crushed to death.  It was justice gone awry.  The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum in Allentown will re-create the witch trial of George Burroughs, a member of the clergy who was charged with witchcraft.  The event will take place on Saturday, October 22nd at 1:00 pm, with a second performance at 2:15 pm.  The announcement was made today by Joseph Garrera, Executive Director of the Museum.

“This is true history, mass hysteria, and the crucible of darkness,” said Garrera.  Museum officials want the public to experience facts that are more frightening than fiction.

Based on official transcripts and historical facts from the actual trial that convened in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, Assistant Director Jill Youngken has re-created an authentic courtroom scene similar to those of the 1690s.  “This event is based on true testimony and real facts as they occurred in Salem, Massachusetts more than three hundred years ago,” said Youngken.  “We want to give the public a sense of reality—to experience first-hand what these men and women endured as their lives were destroyed when they were unlucky enough to be subjected to the charge of “witchcraft,” said Youngken.

The trial will convene Saturday, October 22nd, when the first 20 visitors to each performance will be allowed to serve on the official jury, which will hear the case of the Reverend George Burroughs, the only clergyman accused of witchcraft in Salem in 1692.

Aside from studying historical records in preparation for the trial, Assistant Director Youngken also consulted with witchcraft scholars in Salem, Massachusetts, including the director of education at the Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

Museum officials state that the event is suitable for all ages.  Event admission is FREE to Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum/Lehigh County Historical Society members; non-members pay only $6 for adults, $3 for non-member children, and children under 5 FREE.  Performance times will be 1:00 and 2:15 on Saturday, October 22nd.

The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum is a teaching institution that attracts a diverse audience.  Its collections of historical Americana, located at 432 W. Walnut Street in Allentown, include over 35,000 three-dimensional objects, 3 million documents and more than 75,000 vintage photographs.  For more information, contact Joseph Garrera, Executive Director, at 484-553-2592 (cell) any time of day or at 610-435-1074. Visit or visit us on Facebook.

 # # # END # # #


Photo Caption:  The Salem Witch Trial of the Rev. George Burroughs will be re-created at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum on Saturday, October 22nd with performances at 1:00 and 2:15 p.m.

In This Post