Spooky Salem MA
Most of us have heard of the Salem Witch Trials, but the history of Salem is a lot longer than that. There have been several events that could qualify as spooky, including those trials. In fact, many of the sights are still there to be seen and toured.
Salem Witch Trials: In the late sixteen hundreds the area around Salem, MA was mostly dark forest. The people who moved to this area did so for religious reasons. They were very sternly and firmly set in their beliefs, which differ a great deal from what we believe today.
They believed that the devil was constantly after them. There would be dreams and portents which the villagers believed. They were ripe for what happened, and while some of it was fraud there were probably other explanations.
It started with two young girls, ages seven and eleven. They started having fits, screaming episodes and other unexplainable symptoms. It spread to several other girls, some of whom had fevers or experienced severe pain.
The two girls in the beginning happened to be related to the town’s minister. He called in the doctor, who could find nothing physically wrong with the children. He is the one who suggested they were bewitched.
The Salem Witch House was built for this reason. When it was finished, some trials were even held in the house. Over a three-month period nineteen people were killed by hanging and one was pressed to death.
Eventually, the rest of the colony put a stop to this, pardoned any who were awaiting execution and freed those still awaiting trial. It should be noted that the first three were women who were more or less excommunicated from the village; it was easy to believe they were witches.
Revolutionary War: While most of us think of Lexington and Concord at the first armed conflict, the first armed resistance was actually at Salem. The militia there blocked the British from capturing the ammunition stored in the city.
The privateers that were based in the city at that time also played a large role. They captured or sank nearly than four hundred fifty British ships, helping the United States to win the war. These ships contained goods and ammunition that the young country desperately needed.
Literature: For those who have knowledge of classical literature, Salem is home to the House of Seven Gables. It can be visited and it is the basis of the novel by the same name. Nathaniel Hawthorne also wrote The Scarlet Letter.
The Great Salem Fire: In 1914 a fire tore through the city, leaving more than eighteen thousand people homeless and quite a few jobless. There is some information available online about this fire, although the Salem State University has much more information.
Salem is an interesting place to visit, with many other sights. It is definitely worth a visit, especially if you enjoy early American history. And make sure to see the first Anglo Settler Roger Conant.
You can read more about Pagan and Wicca here.