In the summer of 2000 I visited Salem with my family (Mom & Dad, brother & sister, wife and children). I'm related to Robert Calef, one of the few people who opposed the Witch Trials but I'd never visited there.
Despite its shameful history, Salem is now the home of thousands of modern day Witches. Why do so many followers of Witchcraft flock to this New England town? I believe it is because of the town's history and openness towards religious beliefs.
We stayed in a gorgeous suite in the Peabody House, a bed and breakfast home that was built in 1874 in the heart of Salem. Our suite was beautifully furnished, the staff was pleasant and the prices were good. Its part of the Salem Inn and I highly recommend it.
The downtown/tourist section of Salem is about 1 1/2 square miles, you can easily walk to any destination, but there is a trolley that runs during the daytime. Be warned, the trolley service was pretty slow, so you might just want to walk around. Being accustomed to Florida's climate, my family had no trouble beating the New England heat.
The first place we stopped after the Visitor's Center was "The Burying Point". It is Salem's oldest cemetery, and many of the people involved in the Salem Witchcraft Trials are buried there. Click here to see a panoramic view of it!
Adjacent to this cemetery, the town has created Salem Witchcraft Trial Memorial. It is an open garden, with a stone bench for each person that perished during the trials.
Next we stopped by the Salem Wax Museum of Witchcraft & Seafarers and later the Salem Witchcraft Village. The Salem Witchcraft Village holds a nightly walk through Salem called "The Witching Hour".
That evening we went on "The Witching Hour" tour. Before the tour started, an attractive Wiccan Witch cast a protection spell on our group, more for theatrical purposes than actual threats. The tour lasted about an hour and we stopped by historically relevant buildings from with Witchcraft Trials and were told stories. Some of them were ghost stories, others were just interesting stories. I brought my digital camera along and snapped quite a few boring pictures. The last stop of the tour was "The Burying Point". They passed out candles to everyone and stopped by a few significant grave sites and told stories about the people. I snapped this interesting picture while we were there. None of the other pictures that night had any kind of orbs on them.
When we returned to the Peabody house, I unlocked the front door to the house and before I could unlock the door to our suite my daughter pushed the door open. Not only was our door unlocked, it was unlatched. Inside the room was all of our luggage, some cash and a notebook computer.... needless to say I was worried. Inside the room, a cover from the couch had been moved to the middle of the room and the kitchen rug had been moved also. The laptop, cash and luggage were undisturbed though. I checked the suite to make sure nobody was hiding, and my wife said she had a freaky feeling... every hair on her body was standing on end and she was covered with goose bumps. I decided to photograph the entire suite with my camera, and caught this other interesting image in our bedroom:
We went over to my parents suite in the nearby Salem Inn and told them what happened and reported the incident to the inn keeper who suggested we call the police, which we didn't do.
Later that night, back at our suite, the Jacuzzi bathtub capped off the night and I had a great night's sleep.
We left Salem early the next day, after visiting the House of the Seven Gables. There were too many museums and interesting locations to see in one day, so I missed a few attractions of the town, but I had a great time.