Tale of two Salems

Salem Ma has two different personas. On the one hand there’s the culture and history while on the other hand there’s the paranormal Salem of witches and ghosts and goblins.

You really can’t blame the town for having a split personality considering the tragic events of the Salem Witch Hysteria.  In 1692 Colonial New England and especially Salem were caught up in a hysteria that captured the attention of the world and not in a good way.

The events of that time have now come to symbolize  intolerance and injustice and the consequences of not having  checks and balances in the legal system. Imagine, based on the accusations of a few girl,s hundreds were accused of witchcraft, friends were pitted against friends and over 10 months twenty innocent men and women were put to death.

Today Salem is a vibrant community that has embraced the lessons of the past. Tolerance and acceptance is the norm. The downtown witch shops cater to  Pagans and visitors can have their fortunes read next door to a museum, restaurants and a National Park. There are push carts and vendors and this is even without a visit in October.

In October the energy climbs as the city is filled with visitors celebrating the Haunted Happenings of Halloween.

On our visit we made only a brief detour into Crow Haven Corner to look around. The rest of the day was spent exploring the PEM (Peabody Essex Museum),

 visiting the restored homes from the 17th, 18th and 19th century,

 wandering the waterfront and enjoying lunch at Murphy’s with their outdoor seating.

There’s something for everyone and the city is easy to maneuver. It’s walkable, which was our choice, or you can take the trolley or even ride around the town on a Segway.

 The day came to close with a pumpkin latte. A perfect ending!

Just beware…when it comes to Halloween no place does it better!

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