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I have no need to pluck a single leaf from the tree of life when the leaf is already dead on the branch.

"The Stone Child" is the second episode of Season One of Salem, and the second episode of the series over all. It premiered on April 27th, 2014 on WGN America.


A MONSTROUS BIRTH — Following the first death of the Grand Rite, Mary intends to sacrifice another innocent before the next full hunters moon in the form of a sign. Meanwhile, John works with Cotton Mather and Issac Walton in order to locate and stop the witches.

Episode Overview


A drunk Cotton

The episode begins with the voice over of an inebriated— Cotton Mather in his room following Giles Corey's death.

"Most of those who have ever lived are now dead. All but very few must surely burn in hell. We may someday over-people this vast, empty new land, but I fear that we have already over-peopled hell. So that, as it is written in Isaiah, hell hath enlarged herself and is now called America. I have been in Salem a fortnight, and I have already hung three witches. Is this the price of building heaven on earth? I have laid my hands upon his most deadly servants The witches. Or have I? I obeyed every one of your instructions. I even pressed a possibly innocent man to death. I still taste his spattered blood on my lips. Please, lord, I beg thee. Give me a sign."

John attacks Cotton

Outside of Salem a remorseful Isaac Walton is seen taking Giles body to the crag and asks for his forgiveness before he returns home. While at The Divining Rod a troubled Cotton is in bed with Gloriana Embry. They speak of his father before John Alden angrily barges into the room and attacks him, pulling out a knife and holding it to his throat. Gloriana pleads with John to leave Cotton alone but he orders her out of the room. John asks Cotton to give him a reason why he shouldn't kill him but he says he has none referring to John as the angel of death but John refrains from killing him when he says hell is a burning pit of black tar, the same thing he and Isaac had saw the night they had spied on the witches. John demands that he get dressed and follow him outside. He enlightens him on what he and Isaac had witnessed before he is approached by Magistrate Hale who tells him he is under arrest for threatening the selectmen. John tells Cotton to find Isaac who will take him too where the witches meet and attempts to evade his captors but is dragged away to the jailhouse.

Mary warns Magistrate Hale

Afterward Magistrate Hale is summoned to Mary's home who questions him on John Alden's arrest. The magistrate expresses his fear that John might become a problem for the witches but she reminds him that her husband is in control of Salem and she is in control of him making John her problem. She continues to tell him he is to do nothing without her say so and to concern himself with finding out who broke their circle by seeking the help of The Seer.

The mysterious hand

Following John's advice Cotton finds Isaac who takes Cotton deep into the woods where they had witnessed the witches and tells him how horrified he was to watch them bleed a single white dove to death. Cotton notices a tree and finds within it a human hand with strange symbols carved into the skin. He is shocked when it begins to decay before him.

Back in Salem Mary Sibley pays John a visit in the jailhouse and informs him he is free to go but urges him to leave Salem. John questions her lack of compassion for his friend Giles when he was being crushed to death and again tries to convince her to leave Salem with him but Mary tells him he came back too late and does not want him here. John leaves his cell but not before giving his half of the silver coin to a beggar girl leaving Mary heartbroken.

Hannah giving birth

The next day a young girl named Hannah is in labour and with the assistance of Salem's midwife Bridget Bishop is about to give birth but is interrupted by Mary who refuses her the aid of the midwife unless she reveals the name of the baby's father. At first the girl is afraid of divulging his name as he is not in a position to marry but Mary convinces her to confess much to Anne Hales dislike who is observing the baby's birth. When the girl begins to have contractions Mary has a flashback of the night she sacrificed her unborn baby and flees but stumbles into another pregnant girl named Kitty, a prostitute from The Divining Rod.

The seer

Meanwhile Magistrate Hale is in the woods trying to locate the seer but appears to be lost. Fortunately he is found by the seer himself and the blind man takes him to his cabin and on Mary Sibley's behalf he tasks him with the job to identify the person who broke their circle.

Mercy Lewis

Later that day the women including Bridget Bishop and Anne Hale are at Church where they observe the poor Mercy Lewis Bridget is horrified by what has been done to the girl and tries to rally the women to do something but Mary warns her to keep quite.

Mary weeps

That evening Mary is crying in her bedroom while feeding her familiar. Tituba walks in and warns her that her tears may sour the milk but Mary responds by saying that at one time she may have suckled more than a toad. She reveals she has found not only a new innocent to sacrifice but that they need more than that they need a sign and she knows where to get one as she has sensed the dead fetus in the womb of the prostitute that she plans to use as a sign of a monstrous birth.

Kitty goes into labor

That night kitty goes into labor with both Mab and Gloriana at her side. Bridget arrives after hearing her cries and attempts to turn the baby who is positioned the wrong way Bridget begins pressing on her belly but Kitty starts to panic when she hallucinates that Bridget is an old hag an illusion created by Mary, fearing for her baby she attempts to flee and collapses onto the floor and is horrified when she gives birth to a dead malformed baby.

Following John's release from the jailhouse he is infuriated to learn from Isaac and Cotton of what has become of Giles Corey's body and enlists Isaac's help to retrieve him from the crag and honour his friend by burying him in Salem's graveyard. At the same time Cotton is visiting Mary at her home and is horrified with the discovery of the monstrous birth believing it to be a sign of the doom that has befallen on Salem.

Kitty & Mary

The next morning a grieving Kitty is being comforted by Mary Sibley who reveals she too has lost a child once and coerces her into divulging what she had seen the night of the monstrous birth leading to the arrest of Bridget Bishop for witchcraft. As Bridget's trial begins a distraught Anne tries to plead with her father to save her friend but he is powerless to stop it and the residents of Salem attend the persecution of Bridget— John alone tries to defend her by telling everyone that the monstrous birth is simply stroke of bad luck and if he insists all those present at the baby's birth should also be proven not to be witches hoping to clear the woman's name but causing Mary to use Mercy to falsely prove that Bridget is a witch resulting in her being hanged despite her pleas of innocence.

Bridget is hung

Following Bridget's death John is appalled by Cotton willingness to take yet another life no matter the consequences as long as he stops the witches while a distraught Anne attacks Cotton in her grief but she is comforted by the captain while being watched by Mary and Anne's father who is unhappy with Mary's choice of victims due to his own daughters affection for her.

Mary's keepsake

Later that evening John is joined by Anne in the tavern who questions why John has done nothing to stop the persecutions that have took the lives of both their friends her fiery disposition reminds him of Mary and convinces him to stay he goes to inform Mary who is shocked to learn that he is staying and further horrified to learn he plans to take his fathers place on the selectmen board as it may hinder her plans. John is furthermore shocked when he see's she is wearing the half a silver coin he had given her seven years ago in the shape of a necklace hinting to him she may still harbour feelings for him. Mary later makes a strange doll stuffing it with an assortments of herbs, mouse blood (after she squeezes it to death) and the lock of hair belonging to Anne.

The doll

That night Anne is sitting in bed sketching a portrait of John Alden when her bedroom door opens ominously believing it to be her cat she tells the cat to go away but the mysterious doll appears on her dresser.



Guest Starring





Mary Sibley: My husband controls Salem, and I control him.
Cotton Mather: Everything a witch does is powered by two things: lust and death.
Bridget Bishop: This so-called witch-panic is yet another attempt by the Puritans to control us.
Cotton Mather: I've been expecting the angel of death since I was 10. I didn't see him myself, but I knew from the look in grandfather's eyes just before he went, the angel bore a most terrible face. Quite like yours, I expect. So come, angel. You find me fully prepared to burn like a human candle for eternity in a pit of burning black tar with all the other damned.



Behind the Scenes


  • The title of the episode is of reference to the long-lost child of Mary Sibley and John Alden, and the monstrous birth at the expense of one of the Divining Rod's prostitutes.
  • This is the first episode that features The Seer.
  • Mary Sibley induces Mercy Lewis to vomit nails during Bridget Bishop's trial. The disgorgement of foul or strange objects was associated with demonic possession during the witch trials.

International Titles

  • French: L'Enfant pétrifié (The Petrified Child)
  • German: Die Monstrengeburt (The Monster's Birth)
  • Italian: Il Bambino di Pietra (The Stone Child)

See Also

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