Salem Witches’ Institute is an institution for the magical education of eleven to eighteen year olds. It is based in Salem, Massachusetts. Founded in 1680 by the half-blood witch Tituba, the initial intentions of Salem Witches’ Institute were to protect witches and wizards born to non-wizarding parents from growing anti-supernatural sentiment in Muggle America at the time. Its secondary goal involved providing a safe, open space for the exchange of spells and knowledge that went above and beyond the typical ‘master and apprentice’ style of teaching that was popular in the colonial world.
At the beginning of the 18th century, Salem Witches’ Institute was restructured by Tituba’s three apprentices: Mary Ann Warren, William Good and Sarah Bishop. Their changes brought the institute in line with the more prestigious format of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This can be seen in the House system, which directly parallels the British boarding school system. Students are Sorted into one of four Houses (Bishop, Good, Tituba or Warren) for the purposes of “competition and camaraderie”.
In the late 17th century, an increase in conservative Puritanism in the Muggle government of Massachusetts led to the perpetuation of these values in society at large. The population was too small to have complete separation between the magical and non-magical citizens of the New World, and so witches and wizards often lived side by side with the pious farmers and clergymen who sought to persecute them. This cultural closeness often led to the alienation or even abuse of children who showed magical talent in mundane families.
Tituba, a slave owned by Daniel Parris (though recent accounts dispute this) worked to spot young witches and warlocks born to Muggles in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. When one was identified, she would abduct them from their families and have them sent to other magical scholars and teachers who were willing to take on Muggleborns.
These practices proved unsustainable. After she had become somewhat infamous for her work in providing Muggleborns the same opportunities Purebloods could have, she was marked as disreputable by the main powers of the New World. It was at this point where she began to take on her own apprentices. The first group of students she taught is considered to be the first class of Salem Witches’ Institute, though the name itself did not exist until much later.
The school building was a heavily-warded and dilapidated mansion known as the Tucker House, which still exists today, and Tituba allowed no more than eight students at a time. To expand on this, she took on a second professor, William Good, whom she taught several years before. He would have a hand in teaching Mary Ann Warren and Sarah Bishop, who would later become important colleagues in the early days of the institute.
Salem Witch Trials Edit
In Muggle accounts of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, Tituba was one of the first accused. The non-magical authorities did not find her without outside help. Those against her early efforts to improve the lives of Muggleborns used magical means to implant evidence against Tituba, and also ensured that she was killed by hanging. This was a method of execution she could have escaped by Apparition or various other means, were she not otherwise impaired. The aim behind her unknown enemies was to discredit her as a weak, unskilled witch in an attempt to stop her glowing reputation dead in its tracks.
All of Tituba's apprentices or their loved ones were wrapped up in similar accusations. After the Salem Witch Trials and its founder's death, Salem Witches' Institute was still standing. Good, Bishop and Warren began to take over their mistress's duties and took preventative measures to ensure that such a betrayal could never occur again. Their accusers and political rivals were taken out and any further ones that arose were quickly silenced.
The Witches Three Edit
The reputation of the school had grown such that it was attracting attention across the nation. Class sizes doubled then tripled within the span of a decade. Although initially the institution held onto Tituba's structure, it proved unwieldy to teach everyone at once. Thus, a new structure was devised for the separation of the students into groups.
The student body was first split by age as Good began to design the curriculum to cater to students on a year-by-year basis, starting at the very beginning for eleven year olds. It was decided that seven years was as long as it took to produce a decently competent witch or wizard. They also split up teaching the classes based on specialities: Warren took the theoretical and academic studies such as Arithmancy, Bishop took practical subjects like Herbalism and Magical Zoology, and Good took on Duelling and The Dark Arts.
Finally, they wanted to ensure their legacy lived on and did so by forming the four Houses once the numbers were large enough to justify it. They named them after themselves and called the final one Tituba House in honor of their late mistress. While initially students were hand-picked by the founders to place into the individual houses, eventually it became impossible, and Warren worked tirelessly on a method of sorting through them similar to stories of The Sorting Hat from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They ended up with The Sorting Candle.
Salem Witches' Institute has a rather large campus with classes and living spaces spread out around a variety of buildings. The location of the school is a well-kept secret; however, it is known that it is situated in Massachusetts and is close to where the Salem Witch Trials took place. Wards and charms placed on the location in the late 1600s makes it incredibly difficult to break into, even several centuries after they were constructed.
The geography of the institute is rather typical of the state in that it is surrounded by mostly flat land, though the school itself is built on a slight incline. The school's natural holdings includes the sizable Drowned Lake with a population of inland mermaids, and the internationally recognised Kingswood Forest, home to a wide variety of exotic magical creatures.
Salem Building Edit
The Salem Building is a grand construction of late-18th century design: white in colour and with the distinct traits of Federal architecture; however, it also has an extension that goes against this theme. It has a number of classrooms available to teach most of the classes offered by Salem Witches' Institute, many of which are suited to large class sizes. This building boasts three large lecture theatres on the ground floor that can fit 250 students at once: Rose Hall, Thornton Hall and The Williams Room. The latter of the three has a stage particularly set up for dueling and demonstrations.
Features of this building include the reception rooms, where guests can stay; the dining hall where meals are held for all staff and students, the Headmistress's Office and the staff quarters (on a secret floor accessible only to those with the password).
In total there are seven floors to the building and one tower that is rather incongruous to the rest of the design. This part is called Bishop Tower and was constructed in honor of Sarah Bishop's death. This is where some Astronomy and all Divination classes are held. The Bishop dormitories are not situated in this tower (despite the name) and are instead in a large section at the back of the Salem Building, overlooking the lake.
Mary Warren Library Edit
This strangely anachronistic building with a semi-circular centre and several branches shooting off is the library of Salem Witches' Institute, and it boasts the fifth largest collection of historical texts in the Republic of Magic. Often requests are sent by magical academics for access to these books. There is only ever one librarian working in the Mary Warren Library; however, given the scale of it, the ghosts of previous librarians 'hang around' to make finding books easier and thus they are considered official staff. The dormitories for Warren House (and its common room) can be accessed through a secret door in the library.
Tucker House Edit
Tucker House is the oldest building on campus and has been renovated since the first classes Tituba taught in it. It boasts a fresh coat of white paint and has an extended garden where higher level students of Herbalism can find and care for rarer herbs as well as mundane vegetables. It has a never-ending number of rooms as tricky spellwork has resulted in the creation of new ones if there are more students in Tituba House than there is space to hold them in. This whole building––all four floors––is officially the Tituba dormitories and common rooms and it is the largest of the four houses. The charms attached to this building is so thick that it is impossible to discern which is which, though students have tried unpicking it in the past and one noted that, 'Sometimes, students find themselves with an extra blanket mysteriously on their bed on cold nights.'
Good Manor Edit
Despite the name, Good Manor is about the same size as Tucker House, although it has a more prestigious air about it and there are no rickety staircases. Much of Good Manor is marble and mahogany––several times it has been called gaudy and ostentatious. It is situated somewhat out of sight at the very outskirts of the Kingswood Forest. The Good dormitories are the furthest away from the Salem Building.
The ground floor of this building is not a part of the Good living quarters and is open to all students. Here, Magical Zoology theory lessons are held. There is also a Silent Room for final year students that casts a room-wide silencio to encourage both quiet study and non-verbal incantations.
Rankings and Reputation Edit
Salem Witches' Institute typically ranks reasonably highly out of __ establishments following assessments released by the International Wizarding Education Committee every five years. In 2011, it ranked the highest it has ever been at 19th; however, in subsequent years (2012-2014) it fell ten places to 29th. 2015 brought with it the lowest score for Salem Witches' Institute at 30th.
Another metric of ranking the institute involves the annual American Sorcery Society's reports. These limit the scope to schools in the Republic of Magic and provide a much fairer assessment of the non-European schools, as the International Wizarding Education Committee is historically Eurocentric. Salem Witches' Institute is noted to be the 3rd highest for academics, athletics and opportunities post-graduation in America.
It should be noted that it is not only the largest and most accommodating school for adolescent witches and wizards, the two institutions that rank above it in these reports are not only private but limited to non-Muggleborn students. Salem Witches' Institute has a long-standing rivalry with the Academy of Occultism, located in Washington, stemming not only from their inter-school Quidditch and Quodpot competitions but also their "eternal struggle" for 2nd place.
As schools in the Republic of Magic are graded on their subjects individually, Salem Witches' Institute has a reputation for "exceptional" results in Defense Against the Dark Arts, resulting in pureblood witches and wizards often opting to send their children to this school if they have an interest in becoming an auror. Similarly, they are also known for their unique curricula for Magical Languages: Mermish, Gobbledegook, and a variety of other ancient and obscure tongues in which spells can be cast.
Notable Alumni and Staff Edit
Salem Witches' Institute has a widely-acknowledged academic reputation for the quality of its staff as well as the students it produces, both nefarious and benevolent. Often the position of headmaster (or headmistress) has been a political one, and since its formation, the Republic of Magic has had a great deal of influence over the appointment of such a role. Other than that, it is known that most of the staff are hired either directly through apprenticeships with mentors or head-hunted from across the globe to fill the widest curricula and variety of classes seen in the Western Magical World.
Former Headmasters and Headmistresses Edit
- Tituba (1680–1692)
- Sarah Bishop (1692–1717)
- William Good (1717–1737)
- Karen Wallace (1737–1785)
- Nathaniel Stevenson (1785–1850*)
- Stevenson held the position posthumously as a ghost for three years before passing on.
- Temperance Jones (1850–1851)
- Lawrence Jones (1851–1883)
- Merlin IX (1883–1915)
- Oswald Oppenheimer (1915–1937)
- David Bernthal (1945–1953)
- Isabella Garcia (1953–1960)
- Norman Yaxley (1960–1990)
- Gaia Endicott (1990–present)
Famous Alumni Edit
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