Jason: It's hard to explain the appeal of Salem. I think it depends how interested you are in witchcraft and the Salem Witch Trials. It is commercialized and when we went, I remember that Lee and Julia said that they had been to Salem back in the 70's and 80's, when it was much smaller, and that you could still get a feeling of how it was in the 17th century. They said that back then, the towns like Danvers, Beverly, Peabody and Salem were all separated by farm land. Now, it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins because there's been so much building that they've all grown together. I also like all the witch shops and witchy items that you can buy in Salem and that doesn't appeal to everyone.
The rebuilt meetinghouse, both inside and out, has every appearance of a genuine structure of the 1600s. Some sensitive individuals, upon entering the building, claim to feel “uneasy” in the dark interior and believe the replica, though of recent vintage, harbors the unsettled spirits of accused witches.
I've never been to Salem. If you have a picture of the meeting house, could you please post it?
I was just reading about the Salem Witch Trials and remembered this article. Salem celebrates the Witch Trials at Halloween, but none of the hangings took place in October. They started in June and lasted through September 22nd, which was just the beginning of fall.
We've been to Salem twice on our Dark Shadows trips, but I would love to go again. Most people just go to the touristy sites, but there are many other places that most tourists don't know about. When we were there in 2014, we got the keys to the house that used to be Ingersoll's Ordinary (an ordinary was a tavern) in Danvers (which was Salem Village during the trials), where a lot of the initial examinations were held. The building has been renovated and is now a private house, but it was exciting to be standing in the same rooms where people like Sarah Good, Tituba, the Reverend Parris and the afflicted girls had stood. When we were there, it was for sale and we got the keys from the realtor to visit the house, which was empty. If anyone knows who bought it, please share what you know about it. I hope whoever bought it didn't make any drastic changes.
I went to Salem years ago, but I was there just for the weekend and didn't get to see everything on my itinerary. I had always hoped to return when I had more time. From what I've read and seen online, it's become a lot more crowded and commercialized.
I absolutely love true ghost stories and this site has so many wonderful articles. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I think if I had to pick one, “Ghosts of the Salem Witch Trials” would be close to the top of my list. Until I read it, I didn’t even know about the ghost of Mary Easty appearing to Mary Herrick. Since reading it, I’ve started reading books about the trials and there’s a lot that most writers leave out of what you find online.