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20 Best Salem Witch Trials Books For Adults & Teens

Uncover books set in Salem, MA, and the best Salem Witch Trials books for adults and teens. Plus, find a Salem book or two with magical cupcakes, boarding school drama, and mean girls.

New England in the fall is the best.  Think magnificent fall foliage and plentiful pumpkins and cinnamon cider donuts.  Even in our 30’s and 40’s, we still adore corn mazes and apple picking.

Because we grew up in Connecticut, we would head to Salem, Massachusetts around Halloween for the haunted bed and breakfasts.

Salem is also full of stories about pirates, ghouls, and witches. Of course, we had to satiate our fascination with women in history, too.

We crave educational and fantastical books about the Salem Witch Trials as well as books set in Salem, MA that will take us there — especially since we live in NC now.

Although we are New England donut-eating and cider-drinking gods and goddesses, we also consulted a Salem 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. 

We know that you’ll appreciate Crystal’s diverse Salem book recommendations paired with her recent travel experiences. Find Crystal’s suggestions marked at the end of each summary with an asterisk. 

We also added in a few of our own favorite Salem Witch Trials books, including many Salem books for young adults and middle-grade students.

Plus, you cannot have a Salem book list without mentioning novels that are a tad fantastical and fun like Evanovich’s Wicked Appetite.

So, what are the best books on the Salem Witch Trials? Let’s get started!

If you love witches, be sure to head over to our Wickedly Witchy Reading List.

Salem Witch Trials books and books set in Salem, MA with purple and brown Salem Witch Trial Memorial
Find some of the best books set in Salem, MA with an emphasis on books about the Salem Witch Trials. Uncover Salem books for adults and teens, both fiction and nonfiction.

20 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 Shape Of Mercy by Susan Meissner

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Best Books About The Salem Witch Trials

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

Salem book, The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent book cover with white woman wearing a bonnet's face

The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent

Step back in time and experience life as it was during the Salem Witch Trials with The Heretic’s Daughter, a story that 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. See how a 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.*

Historical fiction Books about the Salem Witch Trials The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

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?*

Translated books on the Salem Witch Trials, I, Tituba Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Conde

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Condé

If you are looking for translated books about the Salem Witch Trials try 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.

Biographical book on Salem Witch Trials, Crane Pond by Richard Francis

Crane Pond by Richard Francis

A biographical literary fiction book on the Salem Witch Trials, Crane Pond explores a fresh, unique narrative.

Samuel Sewall considers himself a fair judge and a 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. See how each of these forces creates an extremely regrettable and evil time in history.

The Shape Of Mercy by Susan Meissner book cvoer

The Shape Of Mercy by Susan Meissner

Lauren Durough chooses a state college over Stanford, defying her family’s expectations. She wants to make her mark in the world, including earning her own salary.

Lauren takes up work for 83-year-old librarian, Abigail Boyles. Tasked with transcribing the journal entries of her ancestor, Mercy Hayworth, Lauren learns more about the Salem witch trials and herself.

Can she succeed on her own?

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Nonfiction Books About The Salem Witch Trials

Nonfiction Books Set In Salem The Salem Witch Trials: A Day by Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege by Marilynne Roach

The Salem Witch Trials: A Day by Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege by Marilynne Roach

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.

We 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.*

Nonfiction Books About Salem Witch Trials The Witches by Stacy Schiff

The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem by Stacy Schiff

For nonfiction books set in Salem, read The Witches. Published in 2016, Schiff examines mass hysteria and public anxiety. 

The Witches has been described as a fresh perspective and take on the Salem Witch Trials, lessons that carry through to today’s times.

Schiff is also an infamous historian and Pulitzer Prize winner. Read even more books set in Massachusetts.

A Storm of Witchcraft by Emerson W Baker

A Storm of Witchcraft by Emerson W. Baker

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 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 book examines American history and the trials in a much larger context.

Salem Possessed The Social Origins of Witchcraft by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum

Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum

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.

Classic Books On The Salem Witch Trials

Classic Books Set In Salem The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

One of the best books set in Salem is The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Hawthorne 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, find 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.*

Books About The Salem Witch Trials The Crucible by Arthur Miller book cover with young girl wearing white gown shown from the mid drift down

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Crucible is one of the first novels about the Salem Witch Trials that we read in high school. 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.*

Best YA Salem Witch Trials Books

Books About The Salem Witch Trials Read In High School including Conversion by Katherine Howe

Conversion by Katherine Howe

If you are looking for contemporary YA books about the Salem Witch Trials — outside of the normal curriculum — grab 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? 

P.S. Technically Conversion is not a 100% Salem book — but the school is down the road in Danvers, MA — where the Salem witch hysteria also started.

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials By Stephanie Hemphill

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials By Stephanie Hemphill

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 reside in Salem, MA in 1692.

Each girl plays a critical role in the witch hysteria. Like many YA Salem Witch Trial books, sometimes it might be too late to share the truth.

Plus, those consequences are just as condemning. Find romance, jealousy, bullying, and a Salem novel that questions our values.

Witch Child by Celia Rees

Witch Child by Celia Rees

Another book set in Salem, MA during the Witch Trials perfect for teens includes 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.

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather

Seventeen Magazine sums up this YA book on the Salem Witch Trials book the best: “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.

The Witches by Rosalyn Schanzer

The Witches: The Absolutely True Tale Of Disaster In Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer

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.

Looking for more YA books? Don’t miss our Vampire Reading List For Teens & Tweens.

Best Salem Witch Trials Books For Younger Readers

Books About The Salem Witch Trials Read In High School A Break With Charity by Ann Rinaldi

A Break With Charity: A Story About The Salem Witch Trials by Ann Rinaldi

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 mischievous, 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.

The Witch Of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

The Witch Of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Growing up, one of the best Salem Witch Trials books that we 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 children 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 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.

Witch Child by Celia Rees

What Were The Salem Witch Trials by Tomie DePaola

What Were The Salem Witch Trials? by Tomie DePaola

One of our 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, MA

Fiction books set in Salem Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

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!*

Travel across the U.S. with the best books set in every state.

Grab the best books on the Salem Witch Trials here:

1. We get the month’s hottest new and upcoming titles from Book of the Month.
2. Try Audible Plus.
3. Find books via Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans.
4. As a member of Amazon Prime, don’t miss Amazon First Reads — early access to Kindle books.

Save These Books On The Salem Witch Trials For Later

Books About Salem Witch Trials and Salem Books Pinterest Pin with book covers for books on Salem Witch Trials like A Storm of Witchcraft, How  To Hang A Witch, I Tituba, Wicked Girls, The Witches, The Heretic's Daughter, The Crucible, and The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
Did you find a new Salem Witch Trials book to read? Save these Salem books for later, and read around the world with The Uncorked Librarian.

A Note Of Thanks To Our Uncorked, Dark Tourist 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 Salem Witch Trials book list. 

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, MA? What Salem Witch Trial books did you read in high school? 

Can you recommend any more books about the Salem Witch Trials, fiction or nonfiction, that we missed?  Please let us know in the comments.

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Vampire Books For Young Bloodsuckers
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Best Books Set In MA
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Books Across North America

Dagney

Monday 26th of August 2019

You know, it's funny, but I both read and performed in The Crucible in HS and just kind of decided that was it for me in terms of Salem reading. I don't know why, I certainly didn't think it was the end all be all of facts. I think while I find witchcraft and the witch trails fascinating, if not heartbreaking, I got a bit annoyed with the childish, whiny antics of the girls in The Crucible. Yeah, let's definitely get someone killed because we just don't like them today. Ugh!

My point is, I love this list! There's still some of that cattiness in here, for people who don't mind it as much (no one LIKES it, though, right?!). But there are some totally different selections, as well. Like Wicked Appetite! Cupcakes and witches, but of course! I also think The Heretics Daughter might be up my alley!

It's embarrassing, but I never realised Nathaniel Hawthorne was from Salem until I read Crystal's posts. And I definitely didn't know The House of the Seven Gables was set in Salem!

Christine

Wednesday 28th of August 2019

I am so glad that Crystal wrote about Wicked Appetite. I love Evanovich for a light read, and her Stephanie Plum series (albeit predictable and chick lit-y) is one of my favs. I haven't read the rest in the Wicked Appetite series, but I remember it being fun; I think I read two of them. Don't think those would be your thing.

I toured The House of Seven Gables years and years ago. It's location and Hawthrone are some of those facts that are easy to overlook or forget unless you are from New England, for sure.

I love Conversion because it is so much like Mean Girls drama related to the Witch Trials but more relevant for modern day. I'm due for a The Crucible reread.

Avhlee

Saturday 17th of August 2019

I am definitely not one to read spooky books, but some of these sound interesting. I'll be passing the suggestions on to another friend of mine who loves creepy stories. I'm sure she'll love it. Great post, Christine!

Christine

Sunday 18th of August 2019

Hey Avhlee, thanks so much! Thanks for sharing with your friend too. Hope you are having a nice weekend. Xxx

Pints, Pounds, and Pate

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Aww such a wonderful post from my two favorite bloggers!! I'm going to MA this September for a wedding and I'm hoping I can sneak away to Salem - so fingers crossed I'll *finally* get to check it out! I've been to Boston at least 3 times and never made it. Great book suggestions (obvi) :) xx

Christine

Sunday 18th of August 2019

Aw, thanks so much!

I hope you make it to Salem! Where in MA is the wedding? I am dying to get back to Boston as well as Northampton (where I went for undergrad). I bet you'll have a blast and get to see the leaves change!

Kathy | Tasty Itinerary

Saturday 17th of August 2019

This list is great and perfect with fall on the way! You know, I'm not much for the fall season, but the history of Salem does intrigue me. I think I'd read any book with magical cupcakes.

Christine

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Girl, you are ON it!! I haven't gotten to Spain yet...lol!!!

Janet Evanovich is actually one of my all-time favorite junk food authors. I love the Stephanie Plum series, and I started the Lizzy and Diesel ones years ago (but I don't think I read them all). I knew you'd love cupcakes ; )

Keri

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Girl, I am so ready for some spooky reading paired with apple cider, falling leaves, and a cool breeze. I will definitely add some of these books to my TBR list for this Fall! I fully trust any recommendation by you or Crystal!

Christine

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Yasssss, now that we live in Asheville: BRING IT ON!!!!!!! I have seen pictures of what the leaves look like here, and I am SOOOO ready. Plus, unlike Florida, I can apple pick once again. Be still, my heart. [Yuppie] Pumpkin everything, here I come!!!!!

I was stoked that Crystal offered to write up a guest post for me. Which...if you ever have a destination...you are more than welcome to do so too! Hint, hint...

Thank you! Have a great weekend!