There's Witchiness in Salem

I couldn’t let a Halloween season go by without writing something about what’s happening in Salem, Massachusetts.

Last year I gave you an overview of how this witchy town celebrates the harvest and Halloween — it’s a month long event.  And I’ve also written about the infamous Witch Trials.

This year, I wanted to focus on the happenings at Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of Seven Gables. 

But first, a little history —

The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association was created to assist immigrant families who were settling in Salem.  Philanthropist and preservationist Caroline Emmerton purchased “the Old Turner Mansion” in 1908, and eventually restored the mansion to its original splendor — and its seven gables.  The building became known as The House of the Seven Gables, after Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same name.

Additional structures were eventually acquired, all dating back to the 17th, 18th, and 19th century, and were moved to the site, creating The House of the Seven Gables campus.  It is listed as a historic district on The National Register of Historic Places.  The Association continues to focus on education, preservation, and community service.

But in the Halloween season, the campus takes on a distinctively “other worldly” appearance.

For the Halloween season, The House of the Seven Gables offers two programs:

Legacy of the Hanging Judge:  An interactive theater presentation reliving one of the Salem Witch Trials from 1692.  Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great-great grandfather was a magistrate during that era, and was responsible for the conviction and death of many people found to be witches.  This is an interactive program, so don’t be surprised if you’re the one accused of being a witch.

The Legacy of the Hanging Judge will be performed on October 26th, 27th, and 31st, from 7:15 – 11 pm.  Performances begin every 10 minutes, and last approximately 35 minutes.

Spirits of the Gables:  Resurrecting characters from the literary classic The House of the Seven Gables, you will witness two families entangled in a curse that will haunt them for nearly 150 years. 

This performance is more of the typical haunted house type of experience, and lasts approximately 35 minutes.  Performances are offered on the same dates and times as The Legacy of the Hanging Judge.  Performances start every five minutes.

Tickets for each of the performances is $14, and a combination ticket (good for two performances on the same date) is $25.  Reservations are recommended, and are available at (978) 774-0991, extension 104.

The House of the Seven Gables is located at 115 Derby Street in Salem (map it).  Parking is free while visiting, however, this is VERY busy time of year for Salem, and public transportation may be a better option.

I’ve only been to The House of the Seven Gables during the spring time, when it looks much like it does in the photo above, with beautiful gardens and landscaping.  I can imagine, however, how spooky it must look in the dark and dreariness of Halloween.

Photo credit:  wikimedia

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Technorati Tags: b5media, Flyaway Café, flight attendants, travel, vacation, travel information, travel tips, travel blogs, travel & tourism, witches, Halloween attractions, Halloween, Salem, Massachusetts, haunted houses, House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne

Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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