Yes, I know that Salem is not located in Boston. However, the series is titled Boston and this is about the time I spent in Salem while on the trip, so bear with me. I ended up going to Salem twice during my trip. The first time was in the evening and we didn’t arrive until past dinner time and it was already dark. This made everything seem spookier. The older buildings along with the brick or cobblestone gave the town an eerie look in the dark. There were many tourists in costume for the haunted tours and walks (October at its finest). There were many creepy displays and decorations everywhere. After some perusing the group had dinner and headed back to the hotel.
On a different day I went back out to Salem for some more touristy attractions. I went to a variety of Witch Museums, watched a skit and toured a replica of the dungeon the witches were held in. This was all entertaining and semi educational. Apparently none of the ‘witches’ in Salem were burned at the stake – Fun Fact! Also most of the ‘witches’ were not actually from Salem, but surrounding towns. 19 total died before the trials were put on hold. 18 hung and 1 pressed to death. Apparently he was a feisty bugger who would not enter a plea of guilty/not guilty. Silence quite literally squeezed the life out of him.
Throughout the town there were all sorts of street performers in costume. They gladly accepted tips to have your picture taken with them. Others stood so still that they appeared to be a statue…until an unsuspecting tourist would walk by and they would twitch, reach out or make a noise. This was sooooo funny to watch!
There were also quite a few stores that sold ‘real’ magic potions, voo doo dolls, books, performed tarot and held seances. Unfortunately I was not willing to pay the pretty penny so I missed out on that ‘authentic’ experience. However, I walked around the Salem Witch Trial Memorial. It had an interesting atmosphere. People were walking and laughing taking pictures while looking at the names of those who were murdered.
In the cemetery there were a some neat headstones. There was a tour guide telling everyone about a specific grave. This grave belonged to a 7-year-old little girl who was buried alive by her family. Apparently she was sick and the family thought she was contagious. After she fell asleep they placed her in a coffin and into the ground. When they tossed the first shovel of dirt on the coffin she woke up. She screamed the whole time they buried her until she ran out of air. Rumor has it she can still be heard screaming on occasion…
As I walked around the cemetery listening in on other people’s conversation I kept hearing screams. At first I told myself that it was in my head and I was psyching myself out. Then when I kept hearing them I was like WTF – so creepy! I thought maybe someone wired speakers to play into the theme for tourists. When I couldn’t find any while walking the perimeter I noticed something. In the distance between the trees I could see a carnival. I laughed. The screams did not sound joyful between the distance and the breeze off the coast. What a perfect setup to make the hairs on the back of tourists necks stand up.
I particularly enjoyed the Booby Trap that I ran into 🙂
If you would like to read more about my Boston trip here are the other posts: