Sunday, October 27, 2013

If It's October, It Must Be Time to Visit Salem

Most Halloween lovers will agree that Salem, Massachusetts is one of the top places to visit during October.  Haunted Houses, various witch themed museums, ghost tours, psychics and even a pirate museum abound in this historic New England town. 

A pedestrian walkway on Essex Street houses dozens of tents selling Salem themed shirts, witches hats, food and a host of Halloween themed items.  Salem Vintage Photography features an extensive shop of costumes where customers can dress up and purchase period photos. 

People in costumes roam the pedestrian walkway on Essex Street 
While rich in maritime history, Salem is best known for the Salem Witch trials of 1692 where 19 people were hung and one man, Giles Corey, was pressed to death.  A reenactment of an accused’s hearing is performed in the Witch Dungeon Museum.  Downstairs is a replica of the jail that the accused witches were sent. The Salem Witch Museum has a narrated version of the witch hysteria history of the with scenes above for viewing.  Then visitors are brought in the back to view a timeline and hear more history from that time period. 

There are several ghost tours departing at various times starting in the late afternoon and continuing through the evening.  We signed up for a 5:00 tour.  Our guide Pete was extremely knowledgeable about Salem’s history and was impressed with my sons' active participation and extensive history knowledge throughout this tour.  Pete showed us where the original buildings in 1692 Salem were, took us through the historical cemetery, and ended the tour in front of Captain White’s house where Captain White was murdered in Salem.   His murder later inspired the Parker Brother’s game Clue.  Parker Brothers, originally the George S. Parker Company, was founded in Salem.

Pete was an extremely knowledgeable tour guide.

Salem Witch Memorial dedicated in 1992- Each bench bears the name of one of the twenty people killed in 1692 for practicing witchcraft.  

Giles Corey, pressed to death during the Salem Witch Trials

Part of the Salem Cemetery

Captain White's house - his murder inspired the game Clue
Salem has a number of good restaurants.  Our favorite is Rockafella’s  with its fantastic food and wonderful specialty drinks.  Murphy’s Restaurant is another place we enjoy for a quick lunch and pumpkin ale.  I have heard the Lobster Shanty is a recommended place by visitors and locals alike, and we will have to check it out next time.

Wear your costumes, don your witches’ hats and join in the fun!  There’s something for everyone in Salem!

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