Are you looking for books set in Salem, MA and the best Salem Witch Trials books? Discover books about the Salem Witch Trials for adults and teens plus a Salem book or two with magical cupcakes, boarding school drama, and mean girls.
Living in New England in the fall is pretty much the best. The foliage is magnificent and the pumpkins and cinnamon cider donuts are endless. Even in my 30’s, I still love corn mazes and apple picking.
Because I grew up in Connecticut, I would head to Salem, Massachusetts around Halloween for the haunted bed and breakfasts, stories of pirates, and of course, to satiate my fascination with women in history (and witches). I love Salem Witch Trials books and books set in the very haunted Salem, MA.
Witches, y’all. I love witches and witch books.
What could be better to get in the wickedly witchy spirit than reading books about the Salem Witch Trials? And, you cannot have a Salem book list without mentioning novels that are tad fantastical and fun like Evanovich’s Wicked Appetite.
Although I am a New England donut-eating and cider-drinking goddess, I decided to consult a creepy witch expert. Dark and spooky tourism specialist, Crystal of Wandering Crystal, certainly knows the best books about the Salem Witch Trials, including all of the classics that we read in high school.
Having just returned from Salem, I know you’ll love Crystal’s diverse Salem book recommendations paired with her recent travel experiences.
Find Crystal’s suggestions marked at the end of each summary with *. I added in a few of my own favorite Salem Witch books, too, including many for young adults and middle grade students.
19 Books About The Salem Witch Trials & Books Set In Salem:
- The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
- The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
- I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Condé
- Crane Pond by Richard Francis
- The Salem Witch Trials: A Day by Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege by Marilynne Roach
- The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem by Stacy Schiff
- A Storm of Witchcraft by Emerson W. Baker
- Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum
- The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- The Crucible by Arthur Miller
- Conversion by Katherine Howe
- Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials By Stephanie Hemphill
- Witch Child by Celia Rees
- How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather
- The Witches: The Absolutely True Tale Of Disaster In Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer
- A Break With Charity: A Story About The Salem Witch Trials by Ann Rinaldi
- The Witch Of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
- What Were The Salem Witch Trials? by Tomie DePaola
- Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
The witch city of Salem has a rich history, from the infamous Salem Witch Trials to hordes of pirates taking over ports across decades. The harsh New England winters combined with the tragic real-life tales of the Salem Witch Trials created the perfect foundation for the best novels about Salem and the Salem Witch Trials. ~Crystal, Wandering Crystal
Best Books About The Salem Witch Trials
Step back in time and experience life as it was during the Salem Witch Trials with The Heretic’s Daughter, a story which transports you inside the hysteria which consumed the city.
One of the most intense witch trial novels, The Heretic’s Daughter follows the story of the Carrier family and how mother and daughter have to stand together while being accused of witchcraft. What is it like being the daughter of an accused witch?
Sarah Carrier takes you with her through the merciless world of Salem during the witch trials to show you.*
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane takes you on an adventure exploring an abandoned house. This book set in Salem details a family’s history to reveal its many mysterious secrets.
Follow Connie Goodwin on her journey as she discovers a book of spells in her Grandmother’s old, abandoned house in Salem. What secrets will she uncover about Deliverance Dane? How deep is her family’s involvement in the sordid witch trials in Salem?*
One of the books about the Salem Witch Trials on my TBR list is I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem. Translated from French by Richard Philcox, this Salem book tells the story of Tituba, a West African slave.
Accused of witchcraft and thrown into jail in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, Condé attempts to bring Tituba’s story to life in a new light. Everyone has heard about Tituba in the nonfiction realm, but in fictional books about the Witch Trials, Tituba is largely missing.
Discover a little more behind the Salem Witch Trials too, including issues of sexism and racism.
One of the more biographical literary fiction books out there about the Salem Witch Trials, Crane Pond explores a fresh, unique narrative.
Samuel Sewall considers himself to be a fair judge and good Puritan. Having played a large role in the Salem Witch Trials, he is one of the only judges to later come forward and publically apologize for his role in the death of so many innocent people.
Crane Pond is a Salem book that places an emphasis on religion, the law, and faith coming together and how they created am extremely regrettable and evil time in history.
Books About The Salem Witch Trials: Nonfiction
If you’re looking for nonfiction books about the Salem Witch Trials, Roach’s book sheds light on the events that took place during that terrible time.
The book offers a day by day recollection of the Salem townsfolk as they jumped into madness and panic. I found The Salem Witch Trials: A Day by Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege to be the most comprehensive retrospection of what really occurred during the infamous witch trials.*
On The Uncorked Librarian’s TBR books set in Salem list, I am eyeing The Witches.
A newer publication in 2016, Schiff examines mass hysteria and public anxiety. The Witches book has been described as a fresh perspective and take on the Salem Witch Trials. I am sure these lessons carry through to today’s times.
Schiff is also an infamous historian and Pulitzer Prize winner.
In 1692, Salem witnessed the largest and most deadly witchcraft hysteria in America. The alleged enchanted ailments led to the deaths of over 19 innocent people.
In A Storm of Witchcraft, Baker attempts to show how politics, war, and religion supplemented the scapegoating and terror. Popular imagination and the perfect combination of events fueled the stake fire.
If you are looking for nonfiction books about the Salem Witch Trials that best explain how this tragedy occurred, Baker’s Salem novel examines American history and the trials in a much larger context.
Salem Possessed is a Salem Witch Trials book perfect for nonfiction lovers looking for commentary on the nature of society and cause and effect. Historians Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum discuss the social dynamics and pressures that lead to the hangings at Gallows Hill.
Learn more about the people involved in the Salem Witch Trials and how they became deeply invested and entangled in the drama they created.
Uniquely, these historians pull from lesser told information. Nissenbaum and Boyer tie in capitalism, the dissolution of Puritan beliefs, and the growing problems that farmers faced with population changes.
Books About The Salem Witch Trials Read In High School
One of the best books set in Salem is The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It tells the haunting story of a feud between two families cursed as the result of the Pyncheon family building the house on stolen land.
Throughout the story, there’s a gloomy atmosphere and many peculiar people. There are all kinds of spooky goings-on within the walls of the seemingly haunted house. The mysterious Clifford Pyncheon is usually heard before he’s seen and moves through the house as though there are secret passageways only he knows about.
You can visit The House of the Seven Gables in Salem. Walk through the mysterious hidden stairway behind the fireplace and pretend you are a part of the story. ** Read More About The House Of The Seven Gables book here→
The Crucible is one of the first novels about the Salem Witch Trials that I read. The play follows the life of Abigail Williams, a Puritan girl who lives in Salem in 1692.
Perfect for getting a feel for how utterly hysterical Salem was during the witch trials, this screenplay pulls you in and makes you feel like you could be Judge Corwin who once lived in The Witch House, sitting in the courtroom as accusations fly. * Read More About The Crucible→
If you are looking for books about the Salem Witch Trials typically read in high school–outside of the normal curriculum–try Conversion by Katherine Howe. The girls at St. Joan’s Academy are plowing through Miller’s plot when unexplained and strange things start happening.
Tics, seizures, and hair loss start plaguing the school, causing rumors, accusations, and of course, mass panic.
Sound familiar? Grab a copy of Conversion to find out what is really happening.
P.S. Technically Conversion is not a 100% Salem book–but the school is down the road in Danvers, MA. It’s 15 minutes away…cut me some slack…it’s also home to the start of the Salem witch hysteria. Read More About Conversion→
You’ll also find Conversion on this seriously witchy books reading list for adults and teens.
YA Salem Witch Trials Books
Hemphill is a coveted Printz Honor winner. Wicked Girls is a book about the Salem Witch Trials that follows Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, and Margaret Walcott–all of whom live in Salem, MA in 1692.
Each of the girls plays a critical role in the witch hysteria. Like many YA Salem Witch Trial books, sometimes it might be too late to tell the truth. Plus, those consequences are just as condemning. Find romance, jealousy, bullying, and a Salem novel that questions our values.
Another book set in Salem during the Witch Trials perfect for teens is Witch Child.
In 1659, the villagers hang Mary Newbury’s grandmother, who is accused of witchcraft. Now hiding her newly discovered identity and facing her own religious persecution, Mary struggles to fit in with the Puritans in the New World.
Religious intolerance meets witchcraft with a flair for the supernatural is what Kirkus and Horn Magazine deem an outstanding Salem Witch Trials novel.
Seventeen Magazine sums up this YA Salem Witch Trials novel as such: “It’s [How To Hang A Witch] like Mean Girls meets history class in the best possible way.”
Having moved from NYC, Sam Mather is new to Salem, Massachusetts. A descendant of Cotton Mather–ekk–she is met with a club of Descendants on the other side. However, there is also a curse haunting their town. If they cannot work together, history might repeat itself.
How To Hang A Witch is also valuable for its take on a modern-day bulling.
Named one of the best Salem Witch Trials books by SLJ, The Witches uses black, white, and red scratchboard illustrations paired with a nonfiction narrative to bring readers back to the Salem Witch Trials.
Discover corrupt officials, witch hysteria, Puritan values, and the recipe for disaster that caused the trials suitable for young adult readers.
Best Salem Witch Trials Books For Younger Readers
If you are looking for books set in Salem for middle-grade students, A Break With Charity will appeal to younger readers.
Of course, whenever a gaggle of girls meets, they are accused of mischevious, witchy deeds.
Susanna so badly wants to be a part of this group of girls at the parsonage. However, in order to stop the witch hysteria, she must decide if she wants to ‘break charity’ as a witness in the Salem Witch Trials. What matters more and who should she save? Her friends and family are in danger.
Growing up, one of the best Salem Witch Trials books that I adored that was also more about fitting in included The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Although the trials didn’t occur until 1692, the book alludes to the Salem Witch Trials.
Technically not a book set in Salem either, The Witch of Blackbird Pond takes place in nearby Connecticut in 1687. However, the Newbery Medal winner is perfect for younger guys wanting to learn more.
Acclimating to a new home is always hard when you’ve just arrived in town, and Kit Tyler’s experience proves no different. Having left her home in the Barbados and in need of a friend, Kit meets Hannah Tupper. Unfortunately, the colonists think Hannah is a witch, putting their friendship and lives in jeopardy.
One of my favorite history book series for kids is the What Was? Who Was? books that make learning about the past informative, fun, and much more accessible.
If you need an elementary-school-aged book about the Salem Witch Trials, try What Were The Salem Witch Trials? by Tomie DePaola.
DePaola takes readers back to 1692 with Betty Parris and Abigail Williams. Watch as a series of girls claim magical things are happening to them–ailments that science and literally no one can prove–leading up to the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials.
Witchy Fictional Books Set In Salem
Wicked Appetite is filled with humor, mystery, and cupcakes — it’s one of the best fiction books set in Salem. The story follows pastry chef Elizabeth Tucker and her co-worker Gloria Binkly, a wannabe witch on a quest to find stones that hold the seven deadly sins.
As you follow Elizabeth, it’s clear to see that gluttony and cupcakes go hand in hand. A great Salem book that made me crave nothing but cupcakes! *
A Note Of Thanks To Our Uncorked, Dark Contributor
*Crystal loves to frighten and enlighten people about dark history. She writes about dark tourism and spooky travels over at wanderingcrystal.com. Thank you so much for contributing to TUL and this books set in Salem book list. Please give her a follow on all social media channels and drop her a comment below.
What Are Your Favorite Salem Witch Trials Books? What Other Salem Books Have You Read?
Have you read any of these books set in Salem? What Salem Witch Trial books did you read in high school? Do you recommend any more books about the Salem Witch Trials, fiction or nonfiction, that we missed? Please let us know in the comments.