Although widely associated with Halloween, the topic of the Salem witch trials is not limited to October, the month when, in 1692, court proceedings temporarily suspended. The events and lessons of the tragedy are not limited to any season or century.

Besides readings from her books Roach has presented:

“Commemorating the Salem Witch Trials: The Good, the Bad, and the Kitschy”—how the tragedy has been remembered

“The Corpse in the Cellar: or, the Posthumous Adventures of Sheriff George Corwin”—urban legend, or not?

“Genealogical Lessons from the Salem Witch Trials”—methods that can help any family historian

“How Governor Sir William Phips Ended the Salem Witch Trials (Sort Of)”—it could have been worse

“Salem’s Gallows Hill Project: Rediscovering the Actual Hanging Site”—untangling conflicting traditions of the location  

“The Salem Witch Trials in a Nutshell: Not for Halloween Anymore”—the basic facts of what really happened

And for something completely different:

“Marilynne’s Excellent Adventure: A Stay-At-Home’s Literary and Historical Pilgrimage to London Fifty Years in the Making”

at the following venues:

Belmont Senior Center, Belmont, Mass.

Boston Public Library, Boston, Mass.

Friends of the Broad Street Cemetery, Salem, Mass.

Greater Boston Humanist Society, Cambridge, Mass.

High Mowing School, Wilton, New Hampshire

Historical Society of Watertown, Watertown, Mass.

History Camp Boston, Mass.

History Festival, Watertown, Mass.

KGB Bar’s Non-Fiction Series, New York City, New York

Massachusetts Society of Genealogists (MASOG), Middlesex Chapter, Framingham, Mass.

Mensa Annual Gathering, Boston, Mass.

New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Mass.

Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers, Mass.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem, Mass.

Saugus Public Library, Saugus, Mass.

Towne Family Association Reunion, Middleton, Mass.

Tufts Library, Weymouth, Mass.

Waltham Historical Society, Waltham, Mass.

Watertown Free Public Library, Watertown, Mass.

Watertown Senior Center, Watertown, Mass.

Weston Public Library, Weston, Mass.

Witch House / Corwin House, Salem, Mass. at First Parish Church


A sampling of what audiences say:

“Marilynne K. Roach is a one-of-a-kind speaker about ‘Salem 1692’: she is a leading scholar in this field of study, and she delivers stories with compelling details and stirring clarity, I have been bringing my college students to Salem for eight years and we routinely meet with Marilynne for a two hour private lecture and conversation. This is a highlight of our week-long study on-site. When Marilynne speaks, my students hold onto her every word. I recommend her most highly and enthusiastically.”

— Michele Lise Tarter, Professor of English, The College of New Jersey

“If Marilynne said it happened, then it must be so. Marilynne is the definition of  a history detective. Her quick wit, her depth of knowledge, and her years sleuthing out the truth behind one of the most studied events in American history have revealed some of the most interesting stories long thought lost about this important period, which is why we at The Salem Witch Museum enjoy having her as a guest speaker.”

Tina Jordan, Director, The Salem Witch Museum, Salem, Mass.

“It is rare to find a scholar who is both an undisputable expert as well as an entertaining and engaging public speaker, but that is just the combination that Marilynne Roach brings to the table. An exceptional combination of wit, intelligence, and meticulousness, Marilynne Roach is the first name that comes to mind when naming a Salem witch trial expert.”

Rachel Christ, Education Director, The Salem Witch Museum, Salem, Mass.

Marilynne Roach gave an excellent presentation on the history and memory of the Salem witch trials in my graduate seminar on violence and public memory at Northeastern University. Roach was informative, engaging, and comprehensive and also employed humor in her talk. Student feedback was uniformly and strongly positive.”

Marty Blatt, Public History Program, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.

© Marilynne K. Roach