MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) – More than 300 years after the Salem Witch Trials, the infamous episode is taking center stage at an exhibit at the New-York Historical Society Museum. 

“The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming” looks back at the 1962 and 1963 legal proceedings in Massachusetts that ended with 25 people dead.

With the hope of taking visitors on a journey through time, the exhibit showcases fragments from the past to recreate what life was like in Salem Village back in the late 1600s. It features landowner John Proctor’s brass sundial, a loom that once belonged to Rebecca Putnam, a nurse who was accused – and later condemned and sentenced to death by hanging – of witchcraft, and a 17th-century account of the trials.

Alexander McQueen’s gown, which made its first appearance in his 2007 collection, is also part of the installation. The piece is part of a collection in memory of his ancestor Elizabeth Howe, one of the women killed after she was convicted of witchcraft.

Alexander McQueen’s 2007 gown, designed in memory of his ancestor Elizabeth Howe, one of the alleged witches killed in the trials. (Courtesy: New-York Historical Society)

Other relatives of the Salem “witches” and of other historical figures involved in the trials also play a role in the exhibit. A series of portraits named “Major Arcana: Portraits of Witches in America,” produced by Frances F. Denny, who is a descendant from one of the presiding trial magistrates, invites viewers to re-think the word “witch” as a tool historically used to silence women in the past.

The “Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming” exhibit was organized by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and remains on display until January 2023. Admission tickets for adults are $22; students pay $13, children $6, and seniors $17. For more information, click here.