True malice, like that which powers the Grand Rite, ferments best in a loveless heart. I have looked into your heart, and it is anything but loveless.
— Rose to Mary Sibley

Rose Browning was a powerful witch and the ruling Samhain of the Essex Hive before rising witch Mary Sibley laid claim to the Grand Rite. She was killed by Mercy Lewis after Mary discovered she had betrayed her by plotting the death of John Alden, and conspiring with Magistrate Hale to complete the Grand Rite without her.

She was portrayed by American actress Diane Louise Salinger.

Early Life

Little is actually known about her life, but through a flashback, it's revealed that she worked as a maid at The House of the Seven Gables when George Sibley's first wife was alive and that she helped Mary Walcott to become the richest woman in Salem.


She appears to be kind to Mary but is willing to betray her in an event she may be swayed from their ultimate goal- enacting the Grand Rite. Since she was the Samhain of the Essex Hive, and then the one who took the decisions, it is assumed that she was very devoted to Witchcraft and that her powers were considerable.

Physical Appearance

Rose appears to be poorer than the other witches of the town. She has reddish hair with gray streaks, and wears less well-made clothing, and appears to have a physical ailment, as she walks with a staff and is crooked over.

Throughout the Salem Series

Season One

Rose was reached by Mary in the woods after Magistrate Hale disobeyed a direct order of Mary, and went on to incriminate Isaac Walton. They meet in the woods where Mary seeks her counsel. Rose warns her not to underestimate the Magistrate comforts her about the arrival of John Alden but warns her she herself will only follow her leadership up to a point. [1]

Rose meets with Mary, Tituba & Hale.

With the revelation that Mercy Lewis is no longer under Mary's control, Rose meets with Mary along with Tituba and Magistrate Hale. Mary reassures them that the girl simply needs rest while Magistrate Hale warns Mary if she cannot control John Alden who suspects his involvement with witchcraft, he will have to remove him permanently but Rose implores him to gain the Captain's trust.

It is later revealed that she hired William Hooke to retrieve a package for her that was aboard a ship that has been quarantined in Salem's docks due to an influenza outbreak but Hooke reassures her she will have the package by midnight tomorrow and that know one will discover who hired him especially Mary. [2]

Mary & Rose at the market.

Rose meets with the rest of the elders who fear the presence of John Alden will distracted Mary and wish to know his secrete to drive him out of Salem tasking them with convincing Tituba to use her gift for necromancy to communicate with William Hooke so they can blackmail him.

The next day, Rose speaks with Mary in the market and reprimands her for staring at John. Mary denies, stating she may have outgrown her need for her sage advice. The same night she meets with Magistrate Hale at church who tells her that Tituba has informed him that John Alden's secrete is a gambling debt but Rose assures him that she lied to him and will use his real secret to control Mary into completing the Grand Rite. She also informs him she was the one who had hired Hooke to deliver the Malum but the relic is now in the hands of John Alden. [3]

Rose captured by Cotton Mather

Following Rose's attempt to recover the Malum by breaking into the Alden house, she is captured by John Alden and Cotton Mather after John planted traps in his home. John and Cotton inject her with a powerful paralytic and take her to the woods – under the guise of taking one of the unwanted to the crags, where they can question her under Saturn's influence.

Elsewhere, it is revealed that it was Rose who had been the one that had approached Mary and promised her everything she wanted if she sacrificed her unborn baby thus becoming a witch, while Tituba visits both Magistrate Hale and The Seer when she discovers she is missing.

Later that night, as Saturn reaches its apex Cotton and John suspend Rose between the tree's but she breaks free from her binding's and climbsthe tree. Rose raises the corpses in the near-by ground – beings known as revenants – and flees while the dead proceed to attack them. Soon afterward, she is stumbled upon by Mary who questions her motives in bringing the Malum to Salem and is shocked to learn it was her that had sent John Alden away to die in the war when she had planted the very thought into George Sibley's head- that he needed to send him away. As both John and Cotton battle the undead, Mary discovers their plight and watches as Mercy runs from behind the tree's killing Rose by decapitating her. [4]

Powers and Abilities

Rose was one of the elder witches of the Essex Hive, the former Samhain and the one who taught Mary much about witchcraft. Rose was possibly also one of the last old witches of the hive who wielded any sort of magical strength which the Hags no longer possessed, as seen when they were killed by Mercy.

Rose, despite her age, proved to be a skilled practitioner of the Dark Arts and had a great physical durability as seen when John Alden stabbed her with a great amount of a powerful paralytic that would have killed a normal human being. While being questioned, she demonstrated several disturbing feats, such as shortly dismembering her head from her body almost completely. Rose was also capable of crafting powerful glamours on sheer will, as seen when she made herself appear as John's mother, tricking him. She was able to propel herself into the air and climb a tree, though her most significant act was her mastery over raising the dead. By spilling blood from her wrists on the ground, Rose was able to reanimate a dozen corpses who then under her control proceeded to attack John Alden and Cotton Mather. However, upon her death that followed, the spell ended.


Mary Sibley

It never even occurs to you, does it? I might have outgrown your sage advice.
— Mary to Rose in Lies

Rose and Mary

The relationship between Mary and Rose began during the events of 1685 when several months after John had left Salem and Mary discovered she was pregnant with his child, She promised her she would have everything she wanted if she sacrificed her unborn child thus becoming a witch and joining their cause. They soon developed a mentor-like relationship and Mary often sought her counsel but when John returns seven years later Rose feared his presence would hinder their plans for Mary and the Grand Rite. She quickly conspired with Magistrate Hale to complete the Grand Rite without her by using the Malum and plotted to remove John for good by allowing herself to be captured and interrogated by him and Cotton Mather. The truth of her betrayal was soon revealed to Mary and that she was the reason her love was sent away after she planted the seed in George Sibley's head that he needed to send John away causing Mary to have Mercy Lewis kill her.

Memorable Quotes

Rose: (to Mary) "True malice like that which powers the Grand Rite ferments best in a loveless heart. I have looked into your heart and it is anything but loveless. You still love John Alden."
The Red Rose and the Briar




  • Rose Browning was the Samhain in charge before the role was claimed by Mary Sibley. This means that the role of Samhain and that of Queen of the Night are not synonymous, although they can be held by the witch same as happened with Mary Sibley.
  • As Samhain of the hive, it was her task to make sure that everything proceeded according to plan.


  1. Elizabeth Sarnoff, Tricia Small (writer) & Alex Zakrzewski (director). May 4, 2014, 2014. "In Vain". Salem. Season 1. Episode 3. WGN.
  2. Jon Harmon Feldman (writer) & David Von Ancken (director). May 11, 2014. "Survivors". Salem. Season 1. Episode 4. WGN.
  3. Tricia Small & Elizabeth Sarnoff (writer) & Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (director). May 18, 2014. "Lies". Salem. Season 1. Episode 5. WGN.
  4. Joe Menosky & Adam Simon (writer) & P.J. Pesce (director). May 25, 2014. "The Red Rose and the Briar". Salem. Season 1. Episode 6. WGN.

See Also

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