East Coast Post - Salem

Alright, alright – let’s finish posting the Boston trip, shall we?  

Roy knows I have a secret nerdy love for the fantastical.  So my man suggested we go visit Salem, Massachusetts, so I could get my paranormal fix.  And I was not disappointed.


Okay, only a little disappointed.  ^This is the Salem Witch Museum.  The most visited museum in the city.  Looks really cool from the outside, doesn’t it?  Well it's not.  It's really, really not.  

{P.S. The statue is actually a depiction of the colonist who founded Salem.  It was cast in 1913, long before there was a witch museum beside it.  Ironic that he totally looks like a witch on a broom, right?}

The inside of this museum wasn’t nearly so impressive as the gothic exterior.  Imagine poorly crafted wax figures under dramatic spotlights and a corny narrator telling the story of the Salem Witch Trials over a PA system.  


Soon it was evident that the museum was owned and operated by a Wicca group.  The narration was biased, explaining how witches are misunderstood, how they've been unfairly depicted throughout time, and what they really stand for.  Oh, Wicca.  Leaves in their hair and gettin' all buddy buddy with Mother Nature.  Other than our little lecture, the rest of Salem truly did not disappoint.

In the gift shop of the museum I found this wicked cool hat.  I put it on for a picture, and immediately people started asking me questions about where the restrooms were, where the entrance to the museum was, etc.  People thought I worked there, and I didn’t want to embarrass them.  Kirsten took her sweet time taking this picture so she could watch me squirm.


But I guess it’s not too unusual to see people dressed like this in Salem.
 Tons of shops looked like this…


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Witches flock to Salem!  Apparently a lot of them set up shop, selling crystal balls and candles and herbs.  Oh, and some of them are tour guides.


Pagan symbols were even found in front of homes or on car bumper stickers.  Witches were everywhere!  And even if they weren't truly Wiccan, there were witch logos on the police cars.  And the high school team mascot was--wouldn't you know--a witch!



Where else in the world {other than Diagon Alley} would you find a wand shop?


You better believe it - 12.5" willow with dragon heartstring core.  My only souvenir of the trip.

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And next door was a Harry Potter nerd's paradise.


Guys, we found Hogwarts.  Apparently you can rent out the Great Hall for parties.  So, my 26th birthday is in a few weeks?  You all want to meet me there?  Yeah?


We grabbed a bus tour to see more of the city, and we came upon this house.  Anyone who is a fan of the 90s movie Hocus Pocus will appreciate this pic.


We stopped here for a walk along the sea.  Obscured in the shadow of the witch trials is a rich history of colonial America, and awesome stories of the people who have lived here over the centuries.






The Newportians making fun of the size of the lighthouse.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church was a building that caught my eye right away.


It is built on land donated by a man and his wife who were accused of witchcraft during the 1692 witch frenzy.  Lucky for them they didn't hang, but they did hold a grudge.  Donating land for a church that wasn't in harmony with the Puritans was their way of giving the finger to their accusers.



One of the oldest surviving houses in Salem.  Once again, we chose to peek in the windows like creepers rather than pay for a full tour.



The oldest brick building in Salem.  It's so cute, I want it!

We had a tasty lunch here at the Witch's Brew.


Juuuust trying to break into old architectural masterpieces, per the norm.

Kirsten trying out a Wiccan hairstyle.  Someone walking past noticed our sad attempt and tried to correct us.  He said something about it needing to be an orange leaf, I think.



Just like with the Boston Freedom Trail, Salem has it's own painted red line to lead you around the tourist hotspots.


Another Hocus Pocus alert!  The Town Hall is just to the right of Roy, and that's the building that was used to film the Halloween dance party the parents went to.

Apparently this was an—ahem—endearing nickname Roy had for Kirsten in childhood.  They were both weirdly excited about it.

After our disappointment with the Witch Museum, we decided to skip the wax figures in the Pirate Museum.

We took this picture for my favorite mother-in-law.  Some of her favorite flowers.


At dusk we wandered back to the wand shop for a Ghost Tour.  Led by our American version of Ollivander.  Between the cane and the lantern, I knew we were in for a good time.


We saw several "haunted" buildings, and heard the ghost stories that go with them.  Not scary enough to give you nightmares, just enough to give you goosebumps.  Just enough to make you jump when your husband sneaks up behind you and jerks your back by your shoulders.

Many of the buildings are owned and maintained by the Peabody museum.  However, this one stands empty.  Apparently it is too haunted to permit people to enter.


Here is one of the oldest cemeteries in America.  I took this picture of the cemetery while standing in the Salem Witch Trials Memorial.  The accused were not allowed to be buried in hallowed ground, so the memorial is now set up basically right in it.  The memorial consisted of granite benches with the names of the accused, and the dates and means of their execution.  Kind of creepy at this hour of night.


By the end of the night we were ready for Halloween. 

Since Camden was a few hours ahead of us, we were able to FaceTime him before he went to bed.  He was really happy to see us for the first few minutes, smiling and babbling.  Then he got busy with his toys and didn't seem as keen to talk to us.  


So after chatting with Mom and Dad for a bit we decided to say goodbye.


He stopped, dropped his toys, and gave us the most serious look I’ve ever seen on him. ^

Like, “Wait… what?  Why?  Where are you???”

It was almost enough to send me back on the first plane.  Somehow, though, I was able to stay for the rest of the trip.  Therefore I have a lot more to post.

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