Salem Village
Home Up Martha's Vineyard

New England Home Who Went? 1 Salem Village 2 Martha's Vineyard 3 Bar Harbor Acadia 4 Halifax Nova Scotia
5 St John New Brunswick 6 Portland Maine 7 Day at Sea Curse of the Jewel The Artwork of Jane Wooster Scott



In 1692 Salem, Massachusetts served as the site for the worst case of mass hysteria in American history.

It started with the ravings of 4 young girls.   Fears of the Devil interfering with the souls of these poor little girls caused otherwise normal human beings to badly overreact.  The tragedy saw the imprisonment of hundreds of innocent people.  Even worse, before it was all over, 24 men and women who were accused of the sin of witchcraft went to their death.

By the time the infamous Salem Witch Trials were over, 19 men and women had been hanged to death on Gallows Hill, 4 died in prison, and one defiant man, Giles Corey, was crushed to death beneath stones used to torture him into giving a confession.  His courage and refusal to give in was nothing short of remarkable.

300 years later, many of the historic sights in Salem, Mass. are still preserved for generations to come. The Salem cemetery is the 2nd oldest cemetery in the country.  This cemetery holds the final resting places for many of the 'Witch Trial' participants. Even though the tombstones are worn from time, they are still legible.

The gallows tree still stands and so do the original homes of accused witch, Rebecca Nurse, and trial Judge Jonathan Corwin.

These places
serve as grim reminders that "those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."



The day before our New England cruise was to begin, Marla and I took a side expedition to explore the dark side of Salem Village.  Salem is about 30 miles northeast of Boston.  However since the drive takes you through at least half a dozen small towns, the actual drive time turned out to be around an hour and a half.

Marla had suggested we fly into Boston a little early to experience some of the rich history of the Boston area.  Thoughts of Paul Revere, the Freedom Trail, the USS Constitution, the Boston Tea Party and Bunker Hill bubbled to the surface of my mind, but Marla said the first place she wanted to visit was Salem. 

I raised an eyebrow, but knew better than to say anything.
Long-time readers of my travelogues will sense this might be the perfect opportunity for me to write something humorous, but you might be surprised to discover my desire to live is more powerful than my desire to express myself in a witty fashion. 

You see, I have learned on certain issues that Marla is a force of nature.  When I saw that "look", I quickly fell into line.  I immediately replied, "Of course, Darling, that is exactly what I was thinking too!"  

Wouldn't want to make her mad, now would I?  Besides, in the pictures at right, you can see she is already a bit over the edge.

Therefore nothing more will be said about Marla's desire to visit Salem Village at this time other than I thought it was a great idea and that Marla seemed right at home.


The first place we visited in Salem was the village cemetery where many of the victims were buried. 

Ironically, although none of the people who were executed ever admitted to being a witch, here in modern times Salem has become a mecca for many people who actually do claim to be witches.

Everywhere we went, there were people dressed in black or people dressed in robes who looked like they would fit right in at a Halloween Party... except this is their daily garb. 

I soon discovered they didn't appreciate being watched either.  Nor did they look friendly enough to consider taking their picture. 

I decided it was prudent to mind my own business.

At the cemetery Marla and I saw a very strange-looking tree which was quite likely to be the hanging tree.

The shadows were ominous indeed.   One of the local witches stood next to the hanging tree in the picture I took, so imagine my surprise when I discovered the witch was missing from the original image.

Yes, Salem was a very creepy place.   Interestingly, modern-day Salem seems more than happy to cash in on its gruesome heritage. 

Salem advertises itself as the "Halloween Capital of America".  From what the local people told us, the town gets pretty wild at Halloween time.  They said the entire city is completely packed with wall-to-wall crazies. Considering some of the people I saw that day, Salem was already halfway there a month ahead of time.

By the way, Marla reminded me to say this was definitely a fun side trip.

Tomorrow:  Martha's Vineyard

New England Home Who Went? 1 Salem Village 2 Martha's Vineyard 3 Bar Harbor Acadia 4 Halifax Nova Scotia
5 St John New Brunswick 6 Portland Maine 7 Day at Sea Curse of the Jewel The Artwork of Jane Wooster Scott
SSQQ Front Page Parties/Calendar Jokes
SSQQ Information Schedule of Classes Writeups
SSQQ Archive Newsletter History of SSQQ