WGN Salem is heavily inspired by history and in particular by the folklore, superstitions and literature of both Europe and North America. The Bible was also another source of inspiration. The themes featured throughout the series are highlighted by carefully chosen episode titles.
- 1 Season One
- 1.1 1.01 The Vow
- 1.2 1.02 The Stone Child
- 1.3 1.03 In Vain
- 1.4 1.04 Survivors
- 1.5 1.05 Lies
- 1.6 1.06 The Red Rose and the Briar
- 1.7 1.07 Our Own Private America
- 1.8 1.08 Departures
- 1.9 1.09 Children, Be Afraid
- 1.10 1.10 The House of Pain
- 1.11 1.11 Cat and Mouse
- 1.12 1.12 Ashes Ashes
- 1.13 1.13 All Fall Down
- 2 Season Two
- 2.1 2.01 Cry Havoc
- 2.2 2.02 Blood Kiss
- 2.3 2.03 From Within
- 2.4 2.04 Book of Shadows
- 2.5 2.05 The Wine Dark Sea
- 2.6 2.06 Ill Met by Moonlight
- 2.7 2.07 The Beckoning Fair One
- 2.8 2.08 Dead Birds
- 2.9 2.09 Wages of Sin
- 2.10 2.10 Til Death Do Us Part
- 2.11 2.11 On Earth as in Hell
- 2.12 2.12 Midnight Never Come
- 2.13 2.13 The Witching Hour
- 3 Season Three
- 4 References
- 5 See Also
1.01 The Vow
- The pilot episode is entirely based on vows. John Alden's vow to come back to Mary Walcott after the war and the very same vow that Mary made during her Initiation, namely to bring down the Puritans. 
1.02 The Stone Child
- The Stone Child refers to the deformed fetus aborted by a prostitute at The Divining Rod, leading to the hanging of Bridget Bishop.
1.03 In Vain
- Mary Sibley is afraid that all her toil is in vain.
- From the Bible 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing That your toil in the Lord is not in vain.”
- In vain are also the actions against the witches. 
- New England is made up of survivors. The Essex Hive as well as the soldiers coming back from the front such as John Alden and William Hooke. In town, Mercy Lewis is surviving the witches' torment.
- Most of the characters of Salem are entangled in a cobweb of lies driving the plot.
1.06 The Red Rose and the Briar
- From the song "The Red Rose and the Briar" by John Wesley Harding. It's a reference to the roles of Rose Browning and Mary Sibley within the coven. 
1.07 Our Own Private America
- A pun to "Your Own Private Idaho", meaning someone who is not paying attention because they are daydreaming.
- The witches of Salem ignore the upcoming arrival of infamous Witch Hunter Increase Mather, whilst the Puritans are unaware of the sinister Grand Rite enacted by the witches.
- The Departures of Gloriana Embry, banished from Salem due to immoral behaviour and the departures of Cotton Mather's dreams and faith in a better world.
1.09 Children, Be Afraid
- A pun with Bible's verse Isaiah 41:10, which invites not to fear anything because the Lord is with us. Increase Mather, instead, invites the poor souls of Salem to fear for their own safety.
1.10 The House of Pain
- The Divining Rod brothel confiscated by Increase Mather, has been colloquially dubbed "The House of Pain" by Salem townsfolk.
1.11 Cat and Mouse
- Cat and Mouse refers to the terror imposed by Increase Mather, giving head-witch Mary Sibley a hard time.
1.12 Ashes Ashes
- From Ecclesiastes 12: 7. A memento mori often recited at funeral services or in time of great struggle such as the Trial of John Alden.
- Coupled with the title of the following episode, it's a reference to Ring a Ring o' Roses.
1.13 All Fall Down
- This title is meant to draw attention to the effect of the self-motivated, destructive passions unleashed within the characters in the course of the story. Like a house of cards, all fall down.
- Coupled with the title of the previous episode, it's a reference to Ring a Ring o' Roses.
2.01 Cry Havoc
- The factions of witches within the Essex Hive are at war with each other. * “Cry Havoc!” is from a line of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene I. 
2.02 Blood Kiss
- As stated by Adam Simon, it's a direct reference to Countess Von Marburg and her peculiar ways to obtain information via sharing a blood kiss. 
2.03 From Within
2.04 Book of Shadows
- Anne Hale started her training into Witchcraft by signing her name in a Book of Shadows, a magical journal. 
2.05 The Wine Dark Sea
- The descriptive phrase "Wine Dark Sea" first appeared in Homer's Iliad, and later reprised in the Odyssey.
- An ill omen referencing the first meeting between Mary Sibley and the Countess Von Marburg. 
2.06 Ill Met by Moonlight
- The wealthy and dangerous Von Marburg witches arrived in Salem to shake the chessboard. 
- “Ill met by moonlight” is the Fairy King Oberon's first line in A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare.
2.07 The Beckoning Fair One
- The Beckoning Fair One is a reference to the regained beauty of Mercy Lewis as well as a literary reference to the novella The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions, widely regarded as one of the best in the genre of horror fiction, especially psychological horror. 
- This novella is included in Widdershins (1911), whose name inspired some characters on Salem.
2.08 Dead Birds
- The death of birds is an omen of misfortune. For millennia witches and priests have used birds for divination purposes. 
- John Sibley hid a litter of dead crows in his beds and flocks of crows died in front of his window.
2.09 Wages of Sin
- From the Bible verse Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” as mentioned by Brannon Braga in the Writer's Wrap. 
- Whilst waiting the Raising of Satan, the characters are being accounted for their sins.
2.10 Til Death Do Us Part
- A phrase from the marriage liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer. It refers to Anne and Cotton's wedding, but also the preparation of the dreadful Grand Rite. And only Mary's death can prevent the Devil to become flesh and blood.
2.11 On Earth as in Hell
- We are at the final chapters and the flames of Hell began to claim more victims. Nothing is as it was, especially for Mary Sibley who has lost everything.
2.12 Midnight Never Come
- A reference to the famous play Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. Like Dr. Faustus, Mary fears the tolling of the most unholy hour and the arrival of the Dark Lord. 
2.13 The Witching Hour
- Colloquially, it refers to midnight but in this particular case, it refers to the fateful hour when the Devil came to Earth to bring the defeat of humankind, including even his most faithful witches. 
3.01 After the Fall
- After the Fall is a free reference to Arthur Miller, author of The Crucible. This idiom often refers to the fall of humanity tempted by the Devil to sin against God. Even Lucifer once fell — literally or figuratively — when he was cast out of Heaven. 
3.02 The Heart Is A Devil
- Love is a strong feeling that leads to pleasure, but also to evil and temptation. In Salem, this is quite literal. 
3.03 The Reckoning
- The Reckoning refers to the ritual of the same name used to deprive witches of their powers as punishment. The ritual is a showdown in all respects.
3.04 Night's Black Agents
- The title designates witches hired by the Devil to do his bidding.
- It is a reference to one of Adam Simon's favourite quotes, taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act III, Scene II: “"Good things of day begin to droop and drowse; Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse."” 
3.05 The Commonwealth of Hell / The Witch Is Back
- Commonwealth refers to the greater good. For the evil ones.
- Witch is Back in reference to the return of the Countess Von Marburg.
- The last words uttered by Mary at the end of the episode are a clear statement that marks the return of Mary Sibley as she once was.
3.06 Wednesday's Child
- Wednesday refers to the day of the week the events are taking place. Moreover, it is a clear reference to the eerie nursery rhyme, the "Poetry of the Devil."
- The child mentioned in the title is a reference to Cotton and Gloriana's Unborn Child, stolen by Anne Hale.
3.07 The Man Who Was Thursday
- Thursday refers to the day of the week the events are taking place.
- The Dark Lord is defeated by Mary and the Essex Witches, and he's no more.
3.08 Friday's Knights
- Friday refers to the day of the week the events are taking place.
- Knights can refer to John Alden, Mary Sibley, Cotton Mather, Isaac Walton, and Sebastian Von Marburg who formed a group opposite the The Sentinel. Or the Sentinel himself, an angelic warrior who has fallen.
3.09 Saturday Mourning
- Saturday refers to the day of the week the events are taking place.
- The end of the days is getting closer, and the characters can only mourn their fate.
3.10 Black Sunday
- Sunday refers to the day of the week the events are taking place.
- Black Sunday is the satanic Easter, the unholiest day in the Devil's calendar.