Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Salem, Massachusetts!

Happy October! Burke and I went to Salem MA to celebrate our 10-year (dating) anniversary and to kick-start our Halloween festivities. We had a great time, and Salem is such a quaint, pretty New England town. The above photo (which Burke is gonna be so glad I posted on this blog) is the statue of Samantha (actress Elizabeth Montgomery) from Bewitched. A few episodes of Bewitched were filmed in Salem in the 60s.
As most of you probably know, Salem is famous for being the site of the Salem Witch Trials, during which 19 people were hung for supposedly practicing witchcraft. Now the town has embraced its dark past and uses the witch as a symbol for the city and an excuse to celebrate Halloween. Our hotel, the Hawthorne, had lots of decorations up, including these huge, real pumpkins in the lobby!
There are all sorts of historic homes (built in the 1600s!) to visit in Salem, including the Witch House, pictured below. This is the house of Jonathan Corwin, a judge responsible for presiding over the Witch Trials. 
The author Nathaniel Hawthorne (who wrote The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables) was born in Salem. In fact, his great-grandfather was also a judge that participated in the Witch Trials! Nathaniel felt so ashamed about his heritage that he changed the spelling of his last name from Hathorne to Hawthorne. Here is the house in which he was born.
And here are two shots of the actual House of the Seven Gables, which we also toured. This house and its residents inspired Hawthorne's book. 
Speaking of Salem's rich history, we saw many old graveyards. In one, there was a headstone of a passenger of the Mayflower who died in 1692.
We also went on a candlelit walking tour of the town, which was really fun and spooky. The tour guide told several true stories about haunted places in Salem. 
And we went to the Salem Witch Museum, which wasn't really a museum (instead, it just had a bunch of wax statues in period costume). Cool building, though.
And finally, on our last night there, we drove by the Danvers State Hospital, which was an insane asylum built in the 1800s. Now it's been renovated as condos (although I don't know who would ever want to live there!). The building pictured below is original, though. 


Merrie said...

I love the photo of Burke with Samantha! :) Happy Halloween!

Amie said...

Boo! You guys and the wax figures...hilarious! What a fun trip.