I will swallow the blackened pill before I betray the cause.
— Mab to John Hale

Mab was the madam of The Divining Rod, a brothel in Salem, Massachusetts and also one of the witches plotting against the Puritans. She was arrested by Increase Mather and tortured by drowning, but she poisoned herself before being put to trial.

She was portrayed by American actress Morgana Shaw.


Little is known of the character of this woman, if not her sharp tongue, the inclination to the beats and an almost maternal instinct towards the girls who work in her house. During the meetings held in the woods, Mab showed solidarity with John Hale, reluctant to implement such a risky plan.

Physical Appearance

A woman in her fifties, with red shoulder-length curls, a gaunt face, watery blue eyes, and severe mouth. She wore clothes fitting her profession as the madame of a house of ill repute, namely low-cut dresses of gaudy colors like red or orange, as opposed to black austere Puritan clothing.

Throughout the Salem Series

She conducted the affairs of the brothel and plotted with John Hale behind Mary Sibley to keep away Increase Mather and continue the Great Rite. Since she attended the secret meetings of Mary Sibley with the Elders and John Hale is presumed that she had an important role within the Coven. She was accused of witchcraft and tortured by Increase Mather who forces her to falsely accuse Gloriana Embry as a fellow witch to end her torture. Later she took her own life by swallowing a mysterious black pill given to her by John Hale during his visit to her in jail.


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Memorable Quotes

Mab: "What'll it be today, Reverend? Thin and pliant, or thick and playful?"
Increase Mather: "Mind your betters, madam."
Mab: "I run an honest house. You'll find nothing here."
Increase Mather: "I have made my name finding things where there is nothing to be found. Orris root?"
Mab: "Strangers tramp in and out of here every day. I do not know what substances they carry."
Increase Mather: "Hmm. Casting stones. Selectmen of Salem, we've uncovered a witch."
Mab: "You've come here to kill me."
John Hale: "It would be within my right to do so. The code of the hive is clear. But, no, we have agreed to spare you. I would allow nothing else. Still... to the issue at hand. He will interrogate you."
Mab: "And I will give him nothing. I will swallow the blackened pill before I betray the cause."
John Hale: "That will be your intent, yes, until he tortures you and then, hearing your cries of pain, tortures you some more, at which point you will beg for him to allow you to offer a name, even if only to release yourself from the agony. When that happens, and it will happen, I have just the distraction for you to provide."





SCENES FROM SALEM Episode 8 -- Mab in the Dunking Chair


  • Mab: Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Medb (also spelled Méabh or Meadhbh) meaning "intoxicating". In Irish legend, this was the name of a warrior queen of Connacht. Her fight against Ulster and the hero Cúchulainn is told in the Irish epic 'The Cattle Raid of Cooley'. The name Mab is used by the English poets of the 15th century. Shakespeare describes Mab, queen of the fairies in his play 'Romeo and Juliet' (1596), and Percy Bysshe Shelley in his poem 'Queen Mab' (1813). A more recent and widespread variant of this name is Maeve. [1] Another potential origin of the name is from the late Latin Amabilis, anglicized as Mabel. Both mean "lovable."[2]
  • Mab is one of the few characters of Salem whose surname has never been said on screen.


  • Mab is the only witch who never shown any supernatural ability on screen.
  • Faithful to the cause, she killed herself in order to keep safe her fellow witches' names.
  • Mab killed herself by ingesting a poisonous pill. "Intoxicating" is the meaning of her name in Gaelic.
  • Morgana Shaw returned in Season Three, portraying another character, only credited as Essex Elder. To date, there's no connection between the two characters other than both being witches of the Essex Hive.


See Also

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