the witch house


in 1692, Sarah Clayes was convicted of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials
both her sisters had been accused as well and were hung for their crime
but she somehow managed to escape from prison and along with her husband, Peter,
traveled by foot all the way down the Old Connecticut Path from Ipswich to Framingham
where they eventually built this home in 1693.

Before the Civil War, this house was thought to have been a stop along the underground railroad.
It contained secret compartments and passageways linking the house to the various barns on the property.

house peak

broken windows


green door



behind the door


barn doors



barn windows


Last week, my son and I went exploring this property
and were sad to find it in such bad shape
I really wanted to climb inside to see the interior
but the floor boards were rotted and I could see right down
to the dirt basement in many areas
Apparently, a group in the town is trying to raise funds to restore Sarah’s house
and turn it into a private museum
I would love to see this happen

there is a Facebook Page that contains more info and some intriguing photos of earlier times

Have a look

Fascinating stuff!


37 thoughts on “the witch house

    1. Lisa, you should go take a’s so interesting yet so eerie! Be careful though, looks like it’s in danger of collapsing at this point.

  1. What an amazing place with a heavy history to it. So terrible to be hung for being judged a witch. My favourite photos are the third one with the wonderful reflections in the broken windows and the two with the door knobs. I love the stories that old places like these tell.

  2. incredible!!!! i really do want to go there but i think your photos are just magnificent and i would be so proud if i could call them mine!!!! xxxooo

  3. Such a story you’ve told through your images Susan. Oh would I like to see inside too! My favorite is the image of the door knob! Fabulous!

  4. So beautiful! I can’t believe it has been allowed to fall into such disrepair. I hope they restore it. Your pictures are a wonderful ‘documentary’ for the group, particularly if they manage to bring it back to life so they can show the ‘befores’.

  5. What a fantastic post! I love ghost stories. The picture of the green door should be framed! Is it OK if I steal it for my collection?

  6. Such a sad story and commentary on our humanity (or lack thereof). Great shots though! Hope it does get restored. It looks like quite a house.

  7. You are right, this is an ideal piece for Suffragette Kitty. Great story and, as always, your photos are outstanding. thank you for letting us know about this brave woman, xo LMA

  8. Having been raised in Europe where so many things a thousand years old are still up (of course, stone lasts a lot longer than wood), I’ve never understood why Americans are so bad at preserving history and letting the past rot. I hope they get to raise the funds to fix the place up and make it interesting for all to visit and learn.

  9. Fascinating pictures Susan! 🙂 Must have been a horrible thing to live through in those days! 😦

    I have an Ipswich and a Framlingham in Suffolk (slightly different spelling, but pronounced Framingham) not far from where I live in Norfolk in England. I thought I was imagining things for a moment when I read those names – haha! Very interesting to know that! 🙂

  10. Obviously, Sarah was an independent thinker and a woman of courage. She deserves to have her story told & honored, and we all need to be reminded of her example. Great, excellent photos! I don’t do Facebook, but would love an email or web address where I could contribute to the cause.

  11. These are great photos – I wonder if you might sell some towards raising money for the restoration? Who knows? It certainly has a lot of magic to it in this state though (a photographer’s field day – love the window reflections).There is so much rich history here, in the story and the photos. I do think this post should continue into another life somehow.

    1. You know, I think you have a great idea here. I’m sure there would be many other photographers interested in doing something like this…thanks! Thinking that I may head up to Salem MA, home of the Witch Trials next and do some exploring.

  12. You’ve done it (and her) great justice with these lovely and mysterious photos. I can almost imagine her wandering about the rooms. What must she have felt having been so persecuted during these horrid years in our history? Thank you for resurrecting her for us.

  13. I live around the corner of this splendorous house and walk by it frequently. There’s a sense of longing and peace about this property. Pray it will be restored and the history preserved in honor of the courage it took them to survive such horror. I also had made real estate calls regarding the property and learned so much. It was humbling

    1. I so agree with you and hope they are able to restore it. So sad that it is in such a sorry state. I haven’t been back there in a while, I may have to visit again soon…do you know if any progress has been made regarding any fundraising or restoration?

  14. At this point, the land has been cleaned up a bit, the windows and doors are boarded. There doesn’t appear to be any continuous activity. If any occurs, I’ll let you know.

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