night 11
salem, massachusetts

"Crayon Boy, leave this wall ALONE!"
- Linda and niece, to poltergeist
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Claim to Fame: Over 300 years ago, 19 inocent people were hanged after being accused of Witchcraft. Little did they know that these false testimonies and wrongful deaths would inspire the town to become the Halloween village that it is today.

How to Surprise a Witch

Capitalizing Yet Slightly Off The Mark Business Names of Salem:

Museum of Myths & Monsters
Haunted Hears Tours
Witch City Motorcycle Repair
Dracula's Castle
Boris Karloff's Witch Mansion
Witch Way Gifts
Angelica of the Angels
New England Pirate Museum

Smoke Another One, Witch
Sept 6, Later - 375 years of history, and all people remember are a few dead witches. And they weren't even real witches.

Two years ago, we rented a car for one of our "let's see where this road goes" roadtrips. We ended up in Salem at about 10pm and decided that this was the best time to explore Witch City. With only a placemat as guide, we ran madly through the streets, shouting "Burn the witch!" and "Build a bridge ou' of her!" in our best Monty Python falsettos. That was a Valentine's Day to remember.

So you could say that Salem is one of our old haunts, so to speak. It's a beautiful town to bike in, loads of history (if you're into that kind of thing), and the finest collection of misinformation America has to offer (again, if you're into that, as we are).

Merrill Kohlhoffer has performed as a professional story-teller for more than a decade and has worked as a guide and guide trainer at the House of Seven Gables.
We arrived late afternoon in downtown Salem, found a campground (let us never speak of the campground) and biked back into Salem for the prime witching hours, and food. We found that the scariest thing in Salem is that the whole town closes down at five on a weekday. No food anywhere! AAAUGH!

We went on a walking tour that night with our tour guide, Merrill. We loooove walking tours, especially the tidbits and trivia kind. Thankfully, it wasn't a Witch Tour, which was also offered at the visitor's centre. Yes, there was witchy stuff, but also stuff about Nathaniel Hawthorne, a ghost story, some history of piracy and shipfarers, the pioneer days, and how Salem came to be. When you visit Salem, we highly recommend it. Ask for it by name: Jim McAllister.

By the way, that guy in the photo above -- not Merrill... the foreboding one at the top -- creepy, ain't he? He's just the founder of the town. Maybe Salem's not as creepy as you think.

enter bad 'boo' pun of choice...

The Bone Chilling Particle Board Turets of the Salem Witch Museum

The Ghastly Malevolant Spirit of the Late Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Infamous Bench of Horrific Doom on the Night of 1692 Corpses

The Exhumed Remains of Former Lead Singer of Blind Melon
more scary things in the archive...

Current Location
(should we still be alive)

Salem, Massachusetts

Next Stop: Boston

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Tonight's Weather:

Spine-tinglin' Stats
The Place:Salem, MA
The Year:1692
Judge:John Hathorne
First:Bridget Bishop

*When one is "pressed" to death, one is placed under a heavy flat board while rocks are slowly placed above, until the weight crushes the pressee. In this case, it took 2 days for that nasty witch to die.

© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. For the record, Aimee weighs the same as a duck.