Friday, November 11, 2016

Exploring the Witch town of Salem [Part 2]

There were a few visual sights of our New England road trip in my head before we departed and the town of Salem was one of them. And why wouldn't it be? Its history is well known throughout the whole world. It's both macabre and fascinating, and a glimpse into the horrors of human nature. On the other side Salem is captivating for the colonial style houses, wonderful ocean front, and in fall, for amazing fall foliage covering the streets. So come join us on a exploration of the old witch town of Salem, Massachusetts.

The first morning in New England

Before I start with Salem, I'm quickly going to mention the first morning of ours in New England. As I said in part one, we slept in the Knight's Inn motel in Danvers, nearby Salem. We arrived late the previous evening and didn't really get to see much of our surroundings (actually there was some fog and it seemed creepy). But the next morning was eye opening. I went outside and the colors were already amazing, even though we were only in the parking lot of the motel. We had breakfast which was fine (though very sugar based, which we're not used to, this would repeat itself during our stay in the motels), then checked out, and drove in our rented car to Salem.

Entering Salem

Our GPS took us on a nice back street tour of Salem (a habit of the GPS that would send us on a scary trip through the mountains of Vermont later on!) until we found parking. The tour actually proved to be interesting. We drove through Chestnut Street which has amazing houses and tree lines (I didn't take any images we just drove through it and didn't get back there, since we had to visit 5 towns on this first day!). Parking meters can be found all around town and are mostly 25 cents for 15 minutes of parking.

Points of Interest in Salem

If you roam the old town of Salem, you are bound to discover all of the important sights without any guide, since they are all close by. But to summarize a few let me start with the old cemetery, housing graves from the 17th century. Next up is the witch memorial, which is also an interesting sight. We saw Salem at night as well. Day and night play differently here. Daytime is lovely, night is creepy in these places. But it's all fun!

Further on the list is the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, which houses the Custom house (free entrance for this wonderful old house where taxes used to be paid in the past), Friendship tall ship and a small lighthouse. There are some old brick and wooden houses in this area, and you can explore the grounds freely. Some offer a sight into life in the past, others are used today, but all are refurbished and look magnificent. Especially during the Halloween season, everything is festively decorated.

The History of Salem

But the history really does show here. Salem is very rich with history and every corner holds stories. Puritans had come to Massachusetts to obtain religious freedom for themselves, but had no particular interest in establishing a haven for other faiths. The laws were harsh, with punishments that included fines, deprivation of property, banishment or imprisonment.

House of Seven Gabels

The House of the Seven Gables (or Turner House), was made famous by author Nathaniel Hawthorne and the same named novel The House of the Seven Gables (1851). It's another colonial mansion named for its gables. The house is now a non-profit museum, with an admission fee charged for tours, as well as an active settlement house with programs for children.

Salem Witch Trials

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, fourteen of them women, and all but one by hanging. Five others (including two infant children) died in prison. The episode is one of the Colonial America's most notorious cases of mass hysteria. New England had been settled by religious refugees seeking to build a pure, Bible-based society. Some of those influences can be felt while walking around town. They lived closely with the sense of the supernatural. Salem Village (present-day Danvers) was known for its fractious population, who had many internal disputes, and for disputes between the village and Salem Town (present-day Salem).

Arguments about property lines, grazing rights, and church privileges were rife, and neighbors considered the population as "quarrelsome". In such a setting, anything that sprung out of the realm of ordinary was considered to be witchcraft. Of course talking about the Salem witch trials in full detail would blow the proportions of this one post. I recommend further reading on the net if you are interested or this great book.

Walking around Salem set the corner stone for the rest of our trip. New England is steeped in controversial and sometimes upsetting colonial history, the presence of which is felt even today. More on this subject matter will be explored towards the end of our road trip when we visited Plymouth. After getting a good look at the sights we headed towards our car, ready to go on. Of course one thing waited for us...

Where to Eat in Salem?

This is just a quick suggestion, but if you happen to visit Salem, don't miss Red's Sandwich Shop. The food is amazing. We got one order of blueberry pancakes and got three HUGE pancakes with lots of syrup and butter. It was beyond delicious. The coffee is ok, but the food is the real winner here. Male a stop, you won't regret it. The prices are also really good. We had breakfast in our motel so we only went for something sweet, but the food on the rest of the tables looked phenomenal!

One more selfie in Salem, and we are off on our road trip. The next post will cover a few coastal towns in Massachusetts, all amazing and charming (like Manchester-by-the-Sea, Rockport, Gloucester and others)! So stay tuned for part 3. 

End of Part Two
To be continued...


  1. Mersad, even though I have been to some parts of New England, Massachusetts has not been one of them, and your photos and lovely tour make me feel as though I was right there with you enjoying all the lovely sights and food. I will check out that restaurant link. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    1. I have to say we enjoyed Salem very much Linda. We returned there twice and would love to visit again. I can see its appeal to travelers from all over the world.

  2. Loved the post. Awesome pics.
    Have a nice weekend.

  3. My first-ever viewing of the House of Seven Gables and I really like it. Everything Is Beautiful as always and I really like the selfie at the end

    1. Thanks Sandra. Have a great weekend.

  4. I'm so enjoying this tour through your words and photos, Mersad. As always, your images are outstanding.

    1. Thank you Linda. This trip had us in awe from day one, and I think i will show in this travel series.

  5. Das Eichhörnchen ist total süß und du hast es so gut erwischt.
    Von Salem fallen mir sofort die Hexen ein. Auch am Bodensee gibt es einen Ort mit Namen Salem, wo ich schon war und interessant ist.
    Und ihr vier auf dem letzten Bild strahlt wieder so viel Lebensfreude aus. Ich muß wieder sagen,m ihr seid ein toller Vierer.
    Ich fliege morge weg...bis nachher.
    Liebe Grüße

  6. Einfach nur wunderschön lieber Mersad. Ich konnte es richtig genießen, auch wenn ich zu gerne mit dabei gewesen wäre. Genau so habe ich es mir vorgestellt. Ich liebe diese Orte, die Häuser und ich könnte mir sehr gut vorstellen das es euch in Nova Scotia (CDN) auch sehr gefallen würde. Da eine Rundreise, mit Trip nach Cape Breton und noch Prinz Edward Island.

    Danke dir vielmals für den klasse Post und die wieder vielen Bilder.

    Hab ein schönes Wochenende und ganz liebe Grüsse


  7. So good place an it have so many good things to enjoy. it is full with natural beauty and so stunning photos you shared of that palce.
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  8. Nicely done---- I've never been there, but I think you've captured the place very well.

  9. I visited Salem once years ago with my kids. It was a fascinating place. So much history!

  10. Lovely! You will have to come back so you can spend some time in the Peabody Essex Museum.

  11. Salem isn't a bit like I imagined - it's lovely. I imagine it to be dark and dismal.

  12. Salem isn't a bit like I imagined - it's lovely. I imagine it to be dark and dismal.

  13. Gorgeous photos of a town beautifully dressed for fall. I especially liked that door on the yellow house.

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