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For Sale: $975K Home of Accused Salem 'Witch'

After release from jail in 1693, Sarah Clayes settled in this Framingham house
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 17, 2018 9:05 AM CST
For Sale: $975K Home of Accused Salem 'Witch'
In this photo from Thursday, a boot scraper stands at a doorstep to the home where Sarah Clayes lived in Framingham, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

A once-run-down historic home that stands where a woman accused of witchcraft during the 1692 Salem witch trials settled after she was spared the noose is on the market after an extensive renovation. The home in Framingham, Mass., known as the Sarah and Peter Clayes House, hit the market Thursday with an asking price of $975,000. Annie Murphy, executive director of the Framingham History Center and a member of the trust formed to save the structure that had fallen into disrepair, is confident someone who appreciates history will snap up the property. "I had people coming up to me practically in tears, they were so thrilled we had saved this house," she says. Sarah Clayes was jailed during the 1692 witch trials, which claimed the lives of 20 people, including her sisters, Rebecca Nurse and Mary Easty. She was freed in 1693 when the hysteria died down, notes the AP.

The Clayeses, along with members of their extended family, resettled on land about 35 miles southwest of Salem that in 1700 became Framingham. Historians acknowledge that little, if any, of the original home built in 1693 remains. After a foreclosure around 2000, the home was abandoned and became derelict. It was vandalized and defaced with graffiti. The trust was created to make renovations that turned out to be way more complicated than anticipated, says Murphy, who spent hours scraping paint and pulling weeds to help her contractor husband, Ned. The 4,253-square-foot, five-bedroom home on an acre has been updated with modern conveniences yet retains old features, including much of the woodwork and floors, plaster stenciling that dates to the 1820s, and claw-foot bathtubs. "It's been a labor of love," Murphy says. (One guy is paying the price for razing a landmark property.)

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