The state of Massachusetts holds many gems and is one of my favorite places to visit. Salem Massachusetts, holds a special place in my heart for me. There is something magical about this town that keeps me coming back. Whether you find it on the cobblestone streets or in the quaint shops that line them, magic is everywhere. Salem, Massachusetts, is known for the witch trials of 1692, a historic town with a dark past and a waterfront with an important history. Come along and travel to Salem with me. We will have a witchy good time.
Salem Historic Waterfront
Salem’s waterfront played an important part in the American Revolution, as well as becoming a large trading seaport.
The American Revolution (1775 – 1783) found Salem an excellent seaport for procuring “privateers.” Hundreds of merchant ships and their crews commissioned by the government to defend the colonies from the British navy and troops.
By 1790, Salem Harbor was the sixth-largest seaport in the United States. An industry built by trading and receiving goods from the Far East and distributed among the colonies.
Discover all the history of the harbor at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Walk back in time on nine miles of waterfront land and visit historic buildings while taking in the beautiful views of Derby Warf.
Today, Salem Harbor is a vibrant community for both commercial industry and tourists. Along with miles of sandy beach, visitors can find many places to visit on the waterfront. A replica cargo ship “Friendship” sits quietly on the dock, while just down the shore, you can explore the 17th-century mansion The House of Seven Gables.
Stop and enjoy some coffee and sweets or a glass of wine at Joho Coffee Roaster and Wine Bar while you stroll the waterfront. Looking for some great seafood? Finz Salem offers a great dining experience with an incredible ocean view. When you are visiting Salem, make time for the waterfront. You will be glad you did.
Salem Witch Trials
The city of Salem, Massachusetts, is best known for the witch trials that took place in 1692 – 1693. A time of turmoil and unrest with over 200 people accused of witchcraft. Trials were held, of those 200 people, thirty would be found guilty.
As you walk the streets of Salem, you almost feel the presence of the turmoil. Sitting on the benches of the cobblestone, tree lined streets, you can imagine the fear that was in the air. Around you, the restoration and preservation of the past help bring that past to life.
The words “Lord Help Me, I am Wholly Innocent” are carved in stone at the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Take a walk in the graveyard where the judges and dignitaries are laid to rest. Are they resting? There have been ghost sightings in that graveyard. Take a ghost tour of the second-oldest cemetery in the country and see for yourself. The history of this tragic time is all around you.
The Salem Witch Museum
Learn the details and the participants of the Salem Witch Trials at the Salem Witch Museum. Step back to 17th-century Salem in the main auditorium, where you find a life-sized recreation of the chambers where the trials took place. Listen as the narrator tells the stories of the accused and their tormentors.
The museum also houses another exhibit called “Witches: Evolving Perceptions. The exhibit takes you through the perception and persecutions of witches through the ages.
An interesting and intuitive way to display the story of the witches of Salem. The Salem Witch Museum should be on every Salem travel itinerary.
The Witch House
The only original structure from the witch trials is The Witch House. Open as a museum in 1948, the house belonged to Judge Jonathon Corwin. Although the records are intermittent in his involvement, we know he signed arrest warrants for those accused of witchcraft. Interestingly, his mother-in-law was accused but never convicted. The woman who accused her later confessed to witchcraft and was arrested and jailed.
The beauty of the 17th century New England architecture and the intriguing story will have you coming back for more.
Salem Massachusetts and the Entertainment Industry
My favorite show growing up was Bewitched. Following Samantha’s antics and watching her wiggle her nose to get in and out of trouble. With mortel husband Darrin and her mother, Endora, at constant odds over her practice of witchcraft, it is a fun filled series. Filmed in Hollywood on a screen set for most of the episodes, a fire on the set would bring Samantha and her crew to Salem Massachusetts. A total of eight episodes in 1970 were filmed in the witchy city. A statue of Samantha sits in the plaza at the end of the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. A beautiful tribute to a fun and magical show.
Everyone’s favorite Halloween movie, or at least mine, is Hocus Pocus. A story of the evil Sanderson sisters brought back to life by a teenage boy (Max) and his fearless little sister (Dani). The Sanderson sisters played by Bette Middler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Nijimy in the original movie flew on brooms and vacuum cleaners over Salem casting their nasty spell while the kids fought to put them back with a little help from their friends and a black cat named Thackery Binx, that was caught in a spell of his own.
While the first Hocus Pocus movie was filmed entirely in Salem, only parts of Hocus Pocus 2 were filmed in Salem. It was fun to see where the characters came to life in this fun and funny Halloween movie.
Other Films of Salem Massachusetts
There is a long list of films that have used Salem as a host for their shoot locations. As far back to 1922 with the silent movie “Java Head.” Among others is Rob Zombie’s “The Lord’s of Salem” in 2012 and “Hubie Halloween” with Adam Sandler in 2019.
Take a Tour of Salem
There are many ways to see Salem. One of the best ways to visit is by taking a tour. There are many kinds of tours offered, such as walking history tours, ghost tours, witch tours, and trolley tours. Each time I come, I take a different tour, and each time I learn something new.
My Salem Massachusetts Dining Pick
As you all know, I love finding great little places to eat. Each place I go, I look for a small mom and pop diner or a cafe to stop for a bite to eat. With each upcoming blog, look for my favorite dining pick to grab anything from a snack to a meal.
My Salem Dining Pick is Red’s Sandwich Shop on Central St in Salem. I almost missed it as I walked, and I am so glad I did not.
As I walked into the restaurant, I was greeted by this sign. I knew it was going to be a great place. My server, Megan, greeted me with a smile and showed me to my table. Red’s Sandwich Shop is a breakfast and lunch restaurant and served a whole lot more than sandwiches. A quick look on the menu, and I had seen what I wanted. It was a delicious breakfast and delightful service. It will be a sure stop on my next trip to Salem.
I encourage everyone to make a stop in Salem, Massachusetts. You will have a witchy good time.
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure!
See you next time
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