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The Harry Potter Canon
1920s SPOILER WARNING! This page contains information from the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Famous for its seventeenth-century hysteria over witchcraft and witch trials, Salem is today a typical suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. There is still a witches’ institute in Salem, which Harry Potter saw when he walked by their tent at the Quidditch World Cup (GF7).

  • The Salem Witch Trials were the reason for the founding of the Magical Congress of the United States (MACUSA). The persecution by Scourers caused North American wizardry to keep themselves separate from the No-Maj, even passing Rappaport's Law which forbade intermarriage or friendship (Pm).
  • A memorial to the Witches of Salem stands in the atrium of MACUSA headquarters (the Woolworth Building) in New York City (FB1).
  • An anti-magic group known as the New Salem Philanthropic Organization or "Second Salem" was active in the 1920s (FB1).

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Notes

Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter and many short stories was born in Salem. One of his ancestors was Judge Hathorne who oversaw some of the Salem Witch Trials and never repented his role, causing the writer to add a "w" to his name to hide the family connection. In effect, Hawthorne was related to a Scourer. (Source: Wikipedia: Nathaniel Hawthorne).

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