Do you not sense it? The co-mingling of sin and sorcery?
Increase Mather about the brothel

The Divining Rod is the former brothel of Salem, later used as a residence and inquisitorial room by Increase Mather, and subsequently abandoned.


A wooden building built near the main road suitable for refreshment and abandonment to the pleasures of the flesh. Although it is a place of temptation and lust, the citizens of Salem let it stay open to meet the needs of men, both bachelors and married. The building stands on several floors. While the ground floor houses a large hall and a tavern, as well as the office of the madame of the brothel, the upper floor is dedicated to the rooms where prostitutes entertain customers.

Known Residents

In History

Contrary to what is shown in Hollywood fare, prostitution in the Colonial period was slightly different. First of all it was not organized in a precise way, as could have happened in major cities of the Old World such as London, Paris or Rome, but more often was practiced individually to make ends meet, or women were taken by innkeeper and hotels, who typically took advantage of unfortunate women and girls. An organized prostitution as shown in movies would have definitely attracted the attention of religious fanatics such as the Puritans. It is no coincidence that Increase Mather has indulged in rhetorical speeches on the sin of the flesh. However it was highly possible to find a greater agglomeration of prostitutes in harbor towns like Boston or Salem, tracing in some way the European situations.

Throughout the Salem series

The Divining Rod was the local brothel that used to be ran by the undercover witch Mab until her death. It was once the home of Gloriana Embry until her banishment and was eventually taken over by Increase Mather who evicted the prostitutes of Salem and used the property where he could questioned and tortured those accused of witchcraft. The residents of Salem nicknamed it The House Of Pain.


See Also

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.