Salem and its Witch history

Salem and its Witch history

It was the perfect atmospheric day, gray skies with a slight drizzle, to hang out in Salem, Mass. I took a bus tour there, but it can easily be done on your own and even though I had four hours to wander, it just wasn’t enough time.

The town of Salem, founded in 1626 by Roger Conant, is identified by its role as the location of the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692. Rampant fear among the Puritans in the New England village sparked attacks against anyone suspected of witchcraft. A doctor’s diagnosis of bewitchment put into motion the forces that would ultimately result in the death by hanging of 19 men and women. In addition, one man was crushed to death; seven others died in prison, and the lives of many were irrevocably changed.

Today’s Salem has commercially capitalized on its witch trials history while also paying homage to those who lost their lives and to diversifying what being a witch means. Defined as a woman thought to have magic powers, especially evil ones, witches are popularly depicted as wearing a black cloak, pointed hat and flying on a broomstick.

In Salem, you’ll find shops like Salemdipity, Salem Spice, Witch Teas and specialized witch shops like Crow Haven Corner, HausWitch and Hex: Old World Witchery. My four hours in Salem could have turned into eight and I still would not have had enough time to explore the museums, shops and historical attractions this city, with its witch twist, has to offer.

This painting, of a sinister looking witch, hangs outside of the Salem Witch Village shop on Derby Street in Salem, Mass. A witch is oftentimes defined as a woman thought to have magic powers, especially evil ones, wearing a black cloak, pointed hat and flying on a broomstick. Plus, she’s an ugly and unpleasant hag or in this case, a crone. Aug. 18, 2017
The interior of the Salem Witch Village shop in Salem, Mass. , which sells a variety of stereotypical witch-related items. Aug. 18, 2017
The exterior of the Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Mass. Unfortunately, time just did not permit me to go into the museum. Aug. 18, 2017
The dramatically cloaked bronze statue of Roger Conant (1592-1679), considered the founding father of Salem, faces the Salem Commons. Aug. 18, 2017
Crow Haven Corner, one of several shops that provide witch-esque paraphernalia in Salem, Mass. Aug. 18, 2017
Crow Haven Corner, one of several shops that provide witch-esque paraphernalia in Salem, Mass. Aug. 18, 2017
The Old Burying Point Cemetery on Charter Street in Salem, Mass., is next to the Witch Trials Memorial. This is considered Salem’s oldest graveyard. Founded in 1637, the graces consist of notable Salem residents. Aug. 18, 2017
So, where do you have lunch when you’re in Salem, Mass.? The Witch’s Brew Cafe, of course. Aug. 18, 2017
A look at the interior of the Witch’s Brew Cafe on Derby Street in Salem, Mass. Aug. 18, 2017
Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie on Derby Street in Salem, Mass., is considered to be America’s oldest commercially made candy company. I definitely enjoyed their milk chocolates with toasted coconut, marsh mellows and pistachio. Yum! Aug. 18, 2017
The interior of the Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie on Derby Street in Salem, Mass., is considered to be America’s oldest commercially made candy company. Aug. 18, 2017
The interior of the Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie on Derby Street in Salem, Mass., is considered to be America’s oldest commercially made candy company. Aug. 18, 2017
The House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Mass., was made famous by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel by the same name. The novel follows a New England family and their ancestral home. In the book, Hawthorne explores themes of guilt, retribution, and atonement and colors the tale with suggestions of the supernatural and witchcraft.¬†This house is a 1668 colonial mansion named for its gables. The setting for the book was inspired by a gabled house in Salem belonging to Hawthorne’s cousin Susanna Ingersoll and by ancestors of Hawthorne who had played a part in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Aug. 18, 2017
The House of the Seven Gables on Derby Street in Salem, Mass., has gorgeous waterfront views. Aug. 18, 2017
The view of the landscape and waterfront from inside the House of the Seven Gables on Derby Street in Salem, Mass.
Part of the House of the Seven Gables complex in Salem, Mass., is the birthplace of Salem-born author Nathaniel Hawthorne on July 4, 1804. Aug. 18, 2017
The granite and bronze statue of Nathaniel Hawthorne, on Hawthorne Boulevard in Salem, Mass., was erected in honor of the Salem-born novelist in 1925. The bricked building behind the statue is the Hawthorne Hotel. The hotel, which opened in 1925, was named after the novelist who wrote “The Scarlet Letter” and “House of the Seven Gables.” Aug. 18, 2017
The interior reception area of the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Mass. Aug. 18, 2017
Using tree saplings as his sole material, Patrick Dougherty created this outdoor stickworks art called “What the Birds Know,” at the corner of Hawthorne and Essex Streets in Salem, Mass. These look like my stereotypical view of where a stereotypical witch might live. Or really big bird tree houses. But either way, they are enjoyable to just look at. Aug. 18, 2017
Salem, Mass., has darkness in its past, but it definitely has a lot of cuteness in its presence. This is the Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast located steps from the Salem Harbor. Aug. 18, 2017
A look at the Salem, Mass., wharves which began operating in the 1800s.
In the morning, before getting to Salem, Mass., we stopped at Castle Rock.¬†Once known as “Great Head”, Castle Rock was a lookout for arriving and departing fishing fleets and for pirate and enemy ships, both British and France. It offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean with benches, fishing and off-shore sailing. Aug. 18, 2017
Once known as “Great Head”, Castle Rock was a lookout for arriving and departing fishing fleets and for pirate and enemy ships, both British and France. It offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean with benches, fishing and off-shore sailing. Aug. 18, 2017

 

 

 

 

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