Salem is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 40,407 at the 2000 census. It and Lawrence are the county seats of Essex County. Home to Salem State University, the Salem Willows Park and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem is a residential and tourist area which includes the neighborhoods of Salem Neck, The Point, South Salem and North Salem, Witchcraft Heights, Pickering Wharf, and the McIntire Historic District (named after Salem's famous architect and carver, Samuel McIntire).
Salem was one of the most significant seaports in early America. It has the first National Historic Site designated by Congress, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, which protects Salem's historic waterfront.
Featured notably in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, much of the city's cultural identity is reflective of its role as the location of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692: Police cars are adorned with witch logos, a local public school is known as the Witchcraft Heights Elementary School, the Salem High School athletic teams are named The Witches, and Gallows Hill, a site of numerous public hangings, is currently used as a playing field for various sports.
Tourists know Salem as a mix of important historical sites, New Age and Wiccan boutiques, and kitschy Halloween or witch-themed attractions.