In the 17 Century Salem, Massachusetts, those who practiced witchcraft were slain for their beliefs, promoting the surviving practitioners to leave humanity behind and found the town of New Salem deep in the Rocky Mountains, swearing never to involve themselves in mortal affairs again. In recent years, however, the witch Agatha Harkness
, once leader of New Salem, defied her town's laws by venturing into the outside world where she was hired as Franklin Richards
' nanny. Her son, Nicholas Scratch, became New Salem's leader and set out to punish Harkness, he abducted Franklin in hopes that the powers he once demonstrated could protect her. Scratch and the New Salemites captured Harkness and Franklin, which prompted the Fantastic Four
to track Franklin to New Salem. Just as Scratch was about to execute Harkness for treason, he was exposed as the one responsible for leading the Fantastic Four to New Salem and his townspeople turned on him, banishing him the Dark Realm.