|“||You dumped his body into the crags?! Giles Corey built half this town, and you threw him into a goddamn ditch?!||”|
— John Alden
A large valley at the foot of a ravine located in the woods of Salem, used as a burial place for the unwanted, namely criminals, slaves, and Indians. Actually, the bodies are not buried but simply thrown off the cliff and left at the mercy of wild animals or, as inferred by Cotton Mather, the witches who harvest from corpses the necessary ingredients to their spells and potions.
Throughout the Salem Series
In the first season, the crags have a relatively marginal role in the narration. It was the place where the unwanted dead were thrown into, usually slaves, Indians, but even more criminals. After being killed under the order of Cotton Mather, even the late Giles Corey was thrown into the ditch, even if in life he helped to build the whole town. The crags were also the burial place of Mr. Hopkins, Emily's father, one of the acolytes of Mercy, after these reckless wannabe witches dismembered the man's body as punishment for having behaved badly with his daughter. After Mercy was forced into hiding, the young witch made the crevasse their home, using corpses as pallet and supply staff of ingredients for her misdeeds. Sometimes she also showed to practice cannibalism.
Once the Malum was opened, and the plague began to spread from the forests to the city, claiming victims at considerable speed, the crags became the burial place of the plague victims. In fact, it was Mary Sibley recommending this solution to the selectmen of Salem, now led by Magistrate Hathorne, because the witch plans to use the corpses as fuel to create an entire pool of Hell-blood. However the crags are still the headquarters of Mercy Lewis, but when she dares to challenge the authority of Mary Sibley as Queen of the Night, Mary realizes that Tituba's advice to get rid of Mercy should be put in place. Mary, as selectmen in place of her husband George Sibley, leads a handful of volunteers to hunt the witches who hide in the crags, burning the acolytes of Mercy and Mercy herself. Up to half of the season, the crags continues to be filled with plague victims, until the arrival of the Starry Messenger Comet corpses begin to melt, creating a lake of hell-pitch in the crags, seething and festering evil vapors. Having reached the end of Ritum Magni, little John was drowned in the lake of hell-pitch by the Countess Von Marburg, turning the child's body into the vessel ready to receive the essence of Satan.
Notable unwanted deceased
- Giles Corey
- Mab (allegedly)
- Barker's family remains (allegedly)
- Mr. Hopkins
- Emily Hopkins (allegedly)
- Charity, Suzanne and Charlotte (allegedly)
- Mercy Lewis's second coven
- Samuel Wainwright
- Unnamed criminal corpses
- Unnamed Witch Pox Plague victims
- Cotton Mather: The town would be aware if their own Salem burial ground was being disturbed by corpse grinding.
- John Alden: So where do they get them?
- Cotton Mather: Isaac, if you'd be so kind as to explain to the captain your duties?
- Isaac: I got all kind of duties. Packages to deliver. I also deliver the unwanteds to the crags.
- John Alden: The unwanteds?!
- Isaac: You know, Indians, slaves, criminals. Pretty much anybody ain't fit to be laid in Salem ground.
- Cotton Mather: This is where the witches harvest. And at the risk of another thrashing, it is also your best hope of reclaiming your friend's remains.
- John Alden: You dumped his body into the crags?! Giles Corey built half this town, and you threw him into a goddamn ditch?! Let's go.
- Cotton Mather: Where?
- John Alden: To get Giles out of that shithole.
- --in The Stone Child
- Mary Sibley (to George Sibley): Our plague turns your dead bodies into Wells of hell-blood. The crags will be filled when the comet passes over. Well, then you puritans will be right for once. The comet really will be a portent of doom Your doom. All of your dooms.
- --in The Wine Dark Sea
- Common burial, also known as mass internment or mass grave, is the burial of several bodies in one collective grave. Human infants, particularly premature ones, are sometimes given a common burial when they die due to loss of pregnancy, stillbirth, or early infant death. In such cases, one or two caskets are sometimes used to hold all the infants.
- Mass graves are an infamous form of common burial, usually used only in cases with larger numbers of bodies, such as genocide or natural disaster. Mass graves are usually created after a large number of people die or are killed, and there is a desire to bury the corpses quickly for sanitation concerns. In disasters, mass graves are used for infection and disease control.