Salem Journals

Curiously Seeking Susannah

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A May 1995 trip to Salem by Peregrine

House of the Seven Gables Photo, Salem, Massachusetts More Photos
Quote: On our swing through Massachusetts in search of ancestors, we headed north to Salem. This time we were seeking Susannah, the witch. We also visited the House of the Seven Gables and did a little shopping for eye of newt.

Curiously Seeking Susannah

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Overview

The pier from the House of the Seven Gables Photo, Salem, Massachusetts
Quote:
I grew up in a small town outside of Boston, spent most of my childhood there, and like most locals, never got around to seeing the sights. I'd moved away years ago, but when my parents went back to Boston for my father's 57th high school reunion, I couldn't resist tagging along. My father's family had been in Massachusetts for nearly 400 years, so when I was doing a little genealogy, I wasn't suprised to find a collection of skeletons in the closet, including one of the Salem witches. Salem, therefore, had to be on the top of the sightseeing sweep we made after the reunion. Being an English major who's favorite professor specialized in the literature of 19th century New England, seeing...Read More

House of the Seven Gables

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Attraction

House of the Seven Gables Photo, Salem, Massachusetts
Quote:
When I was a kid, I had a handkerchief with a picture of the House of Seven Gables on it. It's still around, somewhere, and it’s always intrigued me because I never could find all seven gables. I have now! They face, just as Hawthorne says in the book, in the directions of the compass. The House of the Seven Gables sits in a lovely garden at the edge of the ocean. Once a sea captain's home, its brooding facade inspired local author Nathaniel Hawthorne to create a story of curses and evil doing. Much of Nathaniel's own brooding came from guilt stemming from the verdicts his great-grandfather Judge John Hathorne (the "w" came later) passed at the Salem witch trials. When Hawthorne ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 11, 2000

House of the Seven Gables
115 Derby Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-0991

Salem Witch Museum

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Attraction

Quote:
The sound and light presentation shown here is not slick and high tech, but it is quite impressive the way it's presented. We, and the others waiting to see the show, were ushered into a cavernous room. The only illumination is from the open door behind you and a glowing red "window" in the floor. We found seats on the bleachers set on either side of the room; then the door shuts. Total darkness, except for the circular window in the middle of the room, glowing red like the fires of Hell. You begin to hear the voices, hysterical girls accusing their neighbors of witchcraft. Spot lights shine on the first of 13 life-size stage settings set high in the wall, each progressing with an audio narrati...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 11, 2000

Salem Witch Museum
19 1/2 Washington Square North
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-1692

Salem Common Shopping

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Attraction | "Around the Common"

Quote:
Salem is a beautiful little town with the requisite green Common and a gorgeous harbor. The cobbled streets are tree-lined and the houses mostly clapboard and shingled. Since most everything we'd come to see was centered around the Common we took a stroll through several of the shops. There are boutiques, antiques and cafes, but what I thought was interesting is that every other shop seems to be cashing in on the witch craze. You can visit a psychic; have your fortune read by tea leaves, tarot or palm; you can buy candles, angels, healing stones, crystal balls; and, I suspect if you look hard enough, eye of newt to toss into your own pot of boiling potions.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 11, 2000

Salem Common Shopping
Throughout Salem Common
Salem, Massachusetts

Curiously Seeking Susannah

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Story/Tip

Quote:
In the summer of 1692, 19 women were hanged for witchcraft in the small village of Salem. One of them was my 9th great grandmother, Susannah Martin. We had come to this epicenter of 17th century hysteria to see what we could find about Susannah. From what I'd read, she was a small, pretty woman with a salty tongue. Those were probably her main offenses, since she was also accused of making "unwomanly advances" to her male neighbors. Contrary to popular belief, the witches were not burned at the stake, that gruesome method was mostly a century earlier in Europe. However, on July 19, 1692. Susannah and four other women were "turned off" (the quaint euphemism for "hanged"). Throughout that summer...Read More