For as long as most people can remember, Witchtrot Road in both York and South Berwick has existed as a way to get somewhere. It starts off Route 91 in York and extends through South Berwick. But as far as history goes, ALLEGED history that is, Witchtrot Road is one of the more frightening streets that exists in the state of Maine.

Many people believe the road received its name in the time of the Salem Witch Trials. Whispers have been spun for centuries that Witchtrot Road was used to march suspected witches to their eventual death. But historians maintain there were never any witch burnings in Maine, so where is the connection?

According to New England Folklore, the connection lies in a Puritan minister named George Burroughs. He was recruited to be a minister in Salem, Massachusetts in 1680 but after a falling out with the community, Burroughs moved to what is now modern day Wells, Maine. Years later, the Salem Witch Trials began to send shockwaves throughout New England. Many people, including those in law enforcement at the time, believed the cause of widespread witchcraft in Salem was an afflicted minister. That minister was George Burroughs.

A United States Marshal was sent to Maine to arrest George Burroughs. Burroughs submitted police without incident, but suggested they use a shortcut to return to Massachusetts more quickly. That shortcut was a heavily wooded path that increasing got darker, the further they traveled into it. They led Burroughs on this path via horseback, and eventually it received the name Witchtrot Road.

As for George Burroughs? He was found guilty of witchcraft and executed in 1692. The road in York and South Berwick is a lasting memory in Maine of the witch hunts that permeated New England. The road today is still tree lined, and if you catch it just right with fog passing over the street level, it remains as one of the most frightening roadways within state lines.

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