10 October 2011

Witch City

This past weekend I headed up to Massachusetts to hang out with some friends in Salem. The main purpose of the trip was to see an exhibit of a favourite photographer at the Peabody Essex Museum (a review of which will be tomorrow's post) but one cannot visit the witch capitol in October and not get caught up in the Halloween festivities. 

The crowded streets were filled with all sorts of creatures including Frankenstein and bloody monsters. There were the expected witches but zombies seemed to dominate the landscape. I even witnessed a zombie flash mob at one point.

There were also loads of handsome dogs although the ones in costume didn't always seem too thrilled with the choice.

The city made infamous for its witch trials of 1692 has embraced its notorious past with open arms. From the police badges that include the image of a witch to the multiple shops selling charms and other wiccan paraphernalia, witches are everywhere in Salem. They even have a statue of TV's favourite witch, Samantha Stevens from Bewitched.

But Salem isn't just about magic. Once an important seaport with a huge role in the China trade, Salem's waterfront is dotted with grand old homes and buildings, many of which were built by the cities numerous sea captains and wealthy merchants.

One of Salem's favourite sons is Nathaniel Hawthorne whose hometown was the setting for many of his stories, including The House of Seven Gables, which you can visit today.

My only regret was that the weekend was quite warm (visiting the city when it's colder and less sunny seems to give it even more atmosphere) but it was still a lovely time. 

Photos by Michele.

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