We had two stops planned for our first day in the greater Boston area.
Our first stop would be the town of Salem , Massachusetts. Just north of Boston along the coast, Salem rose to prominence in the 1690's with what became known as the Salem Witch Trials.
It was a dark time in the colony, to be sure, but apparently the Puritans weren't fans of taking chances. Early on, Elizabeth Hubbard became to be one of the primary accusers, and her mere accusations carried weight. A member of accusers between the ages of 12 and 20, her age (17) allowed her to testify under oath. Swearing an oath to God on the stand gave the youngster a great deal of credibility in the eyes of the court.
Jonathan Corwin owned the house where many of the trials took place, and it's now the only building remaining in Salem with direct ties to the trials. It's now known simply as "The Witch House":
|The Witch House in Salem, Massachusetts, home of the greatest witch hunt in American history...|
Tours are help from Tuesday to Sunday and cost $9 per person. Much to my chagrin, photography and video recording is not permitted inside the house.
After our your of the Witch House, we decided to just stroll around a bit. Salem was first settled in 1626, so there was sure to be plenty to see (and photograph!):
|I was playing around with a new lens; the Sigma 35MM F/1.4 ART. It's a bokeh beast!|
|The first church in Salem was a Unitarian Universalist church which was established in 1629. The physical church was not built until 1836...|
|The Ropes Mansion, which is part of the Peabody Essex Museum, was built in 1727...|
|The view from the gardens of the Ropes Mansion...|
A lot of businesses were still closed due to Covid, but most were open. This allowed us to find an amazing place to have breakfast (well, maybe a breakfast-themed lunch) at Fountain Place. The food was good, the staff was friendly and it was well within walking distance of where we parked:
|This omelette was absolutely massive. I'll recommend it but, geez, be careful...|
Now, something I was unaware, but which Jess seemed pretty well aware of, is the fact that there's a statue here to honor actress Elizabeth Montgomery, who played Samantha Stevens in the sitcom "Bewitched" from 1964 until 1972:
|Samantha Stevens, astride her broom in Lippin Park...|
There was one more "must see" site that, being a Dad, I was completely unaware of. Right along Ocean Avenue in Salem is a two story house which was used in the filming of the movie "Hocus Pocus", which starred Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker:
|This is probably the most photographed private home in all of Salem, Massachusetts...|
Salem offers no shortage of souvenir stores, occult stores and the like.As walking is the main mode of transportation in the central downtown area, it's easy to check them out:
|An actual witches hat, made by a witch...|
The array of souvenirs one can buy is mind-boggling, as well is the fact that you can buy a cap and a hat which were made by actual witches. I figure that's gotta' count for something, right?
We ended up spending about three hours in Salem, but you could easily spend twice that and not see everything there is to see. From the whimsical to the bizarre, Salem's got something for every witch and warlock in the family, for every spell and incantation.
Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you'll be doing a lot of walking...