I’ve been obsessed with the idea of witches and Halloween since I was a young child. The ghoulish scares and the frightening ghost tales and a good haunted house always got me going. So when the opportunity arose to visit Salem, Massachusetts, the infamous town where the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 occurred, I was thrilled! I was going to the “witch house,” and part of me was hoping to feel the witches energy around me… Instead we were taken into a beautiful little town on a harbor and told about its grand history, one that didn’t actually involve any real witches. So begins, the real Salem, MA story.
We started our amazing day at The House of Seven Gables, where the author of “The Scarlet Letter,” Nathanial Hawthorne got his idea for the book, “The House of Seven Gables.”
I am quite the book buff AND history buff, so seeing this house blew my mind. It was built in the 1620’s by a rich merchant, who then left the house to his sons. Each room is like stepping back in history, the beginning of the house is the original starting point and over the years the sons built on to make it a grander mansion. The different centuries and their styles are clearly depicted in each of these different rooms. This was my favorite part of Salem! Check out House of Seven Gables info here.
Next on our walk we went into the Witch Museum and thus began our eye opening tour into the witch trials. The Witch Museum itself, was a rather captivating story of why the witch trials began and what became of them. Done in the fashion of play, only with no real people and older looking dummies set into different scenes. Basically, an old woman (house servant), named Tituba would tell these little girls tales of witchery and power. The girls began acting strangely as if they were possessed by the devil and all the doctors in town claimed it was witchcraft. This began the mad hysteria, and overall 19 people were hanged, one man was stoned to death and 5 died in jail before their release. The girls came clean and said they made up the whole story, but no one believed them. The townspeople claimed, only the devil would say that and the hysteria continued on until someone claimed the mayor’s wife was a witch. That was the end of the witch trials.
And one more key thing, the witch trials didn’t even happen in Salem town, but in Salem Village which is now called the town of Danvers, just a few miles away.
It was an incredibly sad example of what rumors and stories can do to a town or even a society of people, but the story and the history was fascinating in itself.
You can visit the beautiful witch trials monument that has been erected near the town center and pay your respects. I learned so much and fell deeply in love with little town and its quirks. Thoughts of moving there floated through my mind… I’d say anyone interested in history take a visit!
We managed to hit every museum, including the pirate museum, which I found amusing. For more information on Salem or its museums check out:
We stayed at the Hawthorne Hotel, which was magnificent and I highly recommend. I also suggest grabbing late night ice cream at Maria’s Sweet Somethings. Blackberry Ice Cream that was to die for!
We also did a Salem Haunted Walking Tour, there are many to choose from. I suggest grabbing their map books from the Visitors Center and checking the coupons they have for the tours.
Before we arrived in Salem, MA. I already binge watched “Salem” on Netflix. It’s a great show, if you’re into witches and history, that is. Check out that trailer here.