Sunset in Witch City

Witch Dungeon Museum, Witch Village, Witch Mansion, Witch Museum, Witch House, Witches Cottage, Witch Burger, Witch Scampi, Fried Witch…

With the exception of the last few, the above are all examples of tourist destinations in historic Salem, Massachusetts, and those are just the ones that refer to themselves as museums. Add in other local businesses like Witch City Segway, Witch’s Brew Cafe and, one of my favorites, Dairy Witch and you get an idea of the extent to which Salem has embraced all things witch. Nearly everything is emblazoned with some version of the Halloween witch, despite the fact the Salem witch trials were about the persecution of innocent people, none of whom had probably ever ridden a broom.

House of the Seven Gables

Salem also has plenty of lovely 17th and 18th century architecture, a Maritime National Historic Site and the famed House of the Seven Gables, part of a museum campus of historic homes, including the birthplace of Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is a place rich in history. I’m sure some of the museums even talk about the actual witch trials. But, throw in Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery, a pirate museum and a dozen or so tarot card readers and they are erring on the side of Halloween camp. Which is to say nothing of the number of people we saw in witch costumes (Chloë is not a fan).

Happily, we are now in Boston and, hopefully, far enough away that the witches can’t cast a spell on us for talking shit about their witchiness.


7 thoughts on “Sunset in Witch City

  1. The picture of the sunset in Witch City is glorious! Speaking of witches, if you haven’t already, read the novel “Practical Magic”
    a delightful, charming movie about witches. The movie as darling too with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Love ya!

  2. Nice sunset photo. We visited Salem on two different trips, both for a half day. It’s a bit too “touristy” for my taste, but enjoyed walking some of the streets away from the “witchy” center and the cemetery. The House of Seven Gables was the main reason we went the second time, as we didn’t have time to do the tour on our first trip.

    • Thanks for the comment, Mary. I would like to have seen a bit more of the town. As always, it’s hard to find the best stuff in a few hours. We had our dog with us, so that left us out of the tour, as well. I just don’t think that the witch stuff has anything to do with the trials for which Salem is famous. But, I can see that Halloween witches are a lot more fun on vacation than learning about the brutal details of history.

      • On our first trip, we visited a “museum” that told the story of the witch trials in what looked like something geared toward elementary school field trips. A bit theatrical. On the second trip, we brought our 15 year old niece for a bit of a history vacation in Boston, Plymouth and Salem, as well as several days around Cape Cod. On that trip, we visited the Witch House and did the tour of the House of Seven Gables. There were some interesting tidbits in the Witch House, but you didn’t miss much. It was much more focused on the history than on the sensationalism. Other than the tour, the highlight for both trips was wandering the town and seeing the old architecture.

  3. Witch’s Brew would be my favorite attraction. Maybe all the people dressed as witches were not in costume and Chloe was trying to protect you guys.

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