Salem the capital of witchcraft and magic
Salem or Salem (Eng. Salem ) – a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, one of the oldest cities in New England, the settlement was founded in 1626 by fishermen southwest of Cape Ann Peninsula. It was named for Jerusalem. Old Salem was known for the strictness of its Puritan mores. The brightest manifestation of Puritan intolerance were massacres of “witches”, committed by local residents in 1692-1693. Thus, the head of the city declared a witch hunt, which lasted for about a century and a half. The novel “The Scarlet Letter” (1850) by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a native of Seychelles, describes the customs of its inhabitants.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Seylem was New England’s largest maritime trade and shipbuilding center. During conflicts with England it became a center of privateer activity. A serious blow to its well-being was caused by the severance of trade ties with Britain and the extremely narrow harbor. Today the city is home to tourism and Salem is also home to Salem State College, the largest public college in the state. In 1914 there was a major fire in the city.
The city’s most interesting landmarks are:
- The Witches’ House (c. 1670), where the witch trials were heard.
- Pickering House (1651), the oldest house in the United States occupied by the same family.
- Hawthorne Museum in the house where he was born (built c. 1740)
- The House of the Seven Spires (1668) – made famous by Hawthorne in his novel of the same name.
- Palladian buildings, designed from the 1780s to the 1810s by Salem city architect Samuel McIntyre.
- Pioneer Village is a layout of the city as it was in its early decades.
I recommend that you take the ferry from Boston to Salem, not the bus, because it’s faster, and the boat has incredible views of Boston (Downtown) and Salem itself – lots of sailing boats, yachts, and private ships are moored at the pier, and you feel like you’re in a pirate and magical city on arrival.
After stepping off the boat, you have to walk down a narrow street leading to the center of town (where the main fun awaits you), and the first attraction is the mad inventor’s house. In the courtyard of the house, there are extremely unusual and “crazy” inventions on display. In order to figure out what is what sometimes you need the help of local residents or a guide – so many unusual “gizmos” are presented there. All in all, a free attraction that delights adults and children alike.
Next, you have to walk down a completely deserted street. It seems that the city is uninhabited – the windows of many houses carefully shaded, some even closed blinds, on the way we did not meet a single person. In the windows of some houses candles are lit and crosses stand – and when you see something like this, you suddenly realize that Salem was not accidentally named the capital of witchcraft. In the evening, you get the feeling that a witch on a broomstick is about to fly out of every corner – the atmosphere of the city impresses you that much.
When you get to the center of the city, there are more surprises waiting for you – a huge number of animators are doing their best to scare you even more. On every meter there are actors dressed up in such a realistic way that it seems that the blood on their clothes and other “charms” like cuts, scars, etc., are real.
You can take a picture with Count Dracula, shake hands with Frankenstein’s monster, find the head of a beheaded woman – the story goes on and on, there are no “masked characters” there. And the actors do not get out of the image for a moment, make heart-breaking sounds, very believably portray the dead, in a word, they amuse people as much as they can.
Along the main street there are numerous stores and stalls where you can buy everything for witchcraft – magic talismans, potions, herbs for potions, books of black and white magic. And it’s all in all seriousness! They even sell cauldrons for witch potions, and you can get a free consultation on potion-making, and other “cute” witchy antics. You feel like you’re in a Harry Potter movie, except there’s no wand shop (but that would definitely be overkill).
Numerous “hereditary” witches and sorcerers gladly give advice and magic lessons, predict the future, make voodoo dolls, hold séances – in short, any whim for your money. Encouraging is that here you can also learn how to protect yourself from black magic, buy a charm, and remove the “evil spell. In general, if you don’t want to do witchcraft, then protect yourself – the witchcraft industry works both ways.
Well, if you’re not interested in all the “magic stuff,” then you can sign up for the “Witch Hunt” tour. As darkness falls, all participants in the show tour are given flashlights, and an arsenal for catching a witch. Also available are ghost tours, shows with animators. According to reviews of tourists, entertainment is not for the faint of heart – these tours scare you from the soul. Actors jump out of the darkness, appear out of the smoke, fly on brooms – in general, very realistic. Tourists like, however, many in the middle of the tour, surrender, “losing to the dark side,” it is very natural effects, and the effect of surprise is not for everyone to like, so and stutter can become. Truth to justify the organizers of amusement, it is worth saying that they give you a choice, you want a scarier show – please, and if your nerves are naughty, then you can choose something less extreme.
But if you like a quiet holiday, and you do not want to risk your nerves, Salem will please you with numerous museums and historical monuments. One of the most famous museums is The House of the Seven Gables (The House of the Seven Spires) The atmosphere of the time of witch hunting is described in the famous mystical thriller of the Middle Ages, the American classic by Nathaniel Godorn “The House of the Seven Spires”, about the family curse and witches. The novel is set in this very house, the Hawthorne family home. The curse the writer recounts, a native of Salem, was imposed on his entire family because his great-grandfather, Judge John Hawthorne, had convicted “Salem witches” at trials from 1692-1697.
A tour of the house, including all its rooms and a walk through the garden, costs from $13. An audio guide is also available in Russian.
No less interesting will be a visit to the Museum of Witches (the main exhibition consists of 13 theatrical scenes, episodes, which allow you to fully enjoy the oppressive atmosphere of the events – $ 9-10, there is an audio-guide in Russian).
You can also tickle your nerves looking at the terrible instruments of torture in the Pirate Museum. Beginning in the 17th century, piracy was recognized as an official trade in New England, so the port city of Salem quickly and successfully prospered. So, Salem is also one of the pirates’ favorite towns, which coupled with witches makes it even more mystical-adventure.
Salem is also home to many historic buildings such as the Pickering House, which is the oldest house in the United States and is occupied by the same family.
An interesting fact is that among the homeowners who like the city is the famous writer Stephen King. By his own admission, “King of Horrors”, it is in Salem where he writes particularly well, which is understandable, given the genre of King’s novels, and the atmosphere of the city. According to local residents, King spends the summer months in Salem, and not only engaged in creativity, but also likes to sail his yacht, because the views are truly fascinating.
Salem – the city of witchcraft in the United States
A small American town Salem is famous for the famous witch hunt. The events that took place in 1692 changed the lives of its residents forever. So much blood was spilled here that the town became a haven for the ghosts of executed witches and witches. Read on to learn all the details of this grim story.
Salem is a city of witches in Massachusetts.
Salem, a suburb of Boston, USA, is one of the oldest settlements in New America. It was named after Jerusalem. The city is noted for its beautiful architecture, cozy parks, and small stores. According to the demographics, it has a population of just over 40,000 people. This includes people of white race, African Americans, and people of Asian descent. About 2,500 residents identify themselves as wizards and witches. Today, Salem is called “Witch Town” because of the horrific witch hunts organized by the Puritans in the 17th century.
Today, almost every place in the city is associated with witchcraft. Police cars bear witch logos, the town school is called the Elementary School of Witchcraft, school sports teams are named “Witches,” and sports competitions are held on the Hangman’s Field, where witches used to be executed. More than 300 years have passed since those events, but you can still hear the silent curses of the afflicted people in the town. Thousands of tourists come to the city to see the historical sites associated with the Salem witches. Salem has preserved a large number of landmarks from those times in the form of old buildings. It has managed to preserve the style of the houses and streets of the 17th century.
Tours and celebrations are held in the legendary structures. These include:
- The 1740 Hawthorne Museum, located in the house where one of the first universally recognized masters of American literature lived.
- The House of Witches in 1670. It was the site of the trial of American witches. The museum contains 500 documents of the trials and a huge number of instruments of torture of those times.
- Palladian structures by architect Samuel McIntyre 1780-1810.
- Pickering House 1651. The oldest house in the United States, with different generations of the same family living in it since it was built.
- Pioneer Village. Layout of the city of Salem as it was in its early decades.
- The house of the Seven Fronts of 1668 still evokes fear to this day with its terrifying history. Those who have read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same name can visit Salem and see the majestic house in person.
- The Pobrody Essex Museum offers many interesting exhibitions that are updated every month. It has more than a million works of art, objects related to the history of the city and navigation.
For the entire month of October, the town turns into a city of wizards and sorcerers. Thousands of tourists come every year to celebrate Halloween. Travelers can take a night tour of the city’s magical sites, visit the Scare Room and the dungeons where witches were locked in 1692. Since 2007, Salem has had a tradition of lighting fireworks on the Halloween holiday. Currently, the Governor of Massachusetts approves the position of the town’s supreme witch.
The town’s popularity grew significantly after 1970, when several episodes of the TV series “Bewitched” (“My Wife Bewitched Me”) were filmed in the town. In 1979, the movie “Salem Vampires” was released. Salem’s tourist popularity was also influenced by the 1993 film Hocus Pocus. In 2014, the drama “Salem” was made. Books have been written about the “City of Witches. The real resonance in Europe was the novel “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In his book, the American writer described the way of life and morality of his Puritan ancestors in the mid-17th century.
History of the city
In 1629, near the Naumkeag River, fisherman Roger Conant and emigrants from Cape Ann established a small trading settlement. The first pastor of the Puritan abode was Samuel Skelton. He died at the age of 87. In his honor, a monument was erected in the form of a statue looking at Salem. The town did not stand out in any way among other settlements in America. During the Civil War for Independence, Salem became a base for pirates. Naval battles and attacks on ships with valuable cargo became commonplace for Salemites. A significant blow to the well-being of the settlement was caused by the severance of trade ties with Britain.
In the 17th and 18th centuries the town became the largest center for trade and shipbuilding and the sixth largest in the United States. A quiet town whose inhabitants could not have imagined the notoriety that awaited their settlement. In the early 17th century the town was settled by Presbyterians from England. They had fled from Europe, where the Inquisition reigned. From 1692-1963 there were witch trials. Hundreds of people were arrested and murdered on the basis of fictitious testimony that would have no legal force these days. People accused each other of witchcraft without thinking of the consequences.
The colonists were very religious people. Anyone who was not like them in spirit fell into the disfavor of the majority. Any attack (disease, crop failure, Indian attack) was seen as the work of the devil, who acted through his servants. Such were considered people who practiced magic. Because of the patriarchal order, women had to obey men. The female sex was considered to be closer to the Devil. Children’s toys were considered useless, so boys were allowed to go fishing, take walks in the woods, and learn from blacksmiths and carpenters. Girls were taught to cook, clean the house, sew and do laundry.
In 1641 the death penalty for witchcraft was legalized. For fifty years no one remembered this punishment, until the terrible events that occurred in 1692 made a world-wide splash. Recall that there were two Salems: the Village of Salem, where the witches lived, and the City of Salem, where the trials were held. In 1836, Salem officially became a city. Its economy prospered, thanks to trade links with India, China, and Europe.
In 1914, there was a fire that took half a hundred lives. About a thousand people were left homeless. It started in a garment factory. Because of the strong winds, the fire quickly spread to a huge area. Some museums and buildings were destroyed. However, the historic buildings from 1837 were not affected. In 1935, Salem established its own coastal patrol. Today Salem is home to the largest state university in Massachusetts. The university building attracts travelers with its architecture.
Salem City of Witchcraft and Magic
Salem is the informal capital of magic. In the city, locals openly practice witchcraft as an applied art. The houses of the townspeople are decorated with witchcraft paraphernalia. There are no graves where witches are buried in the cemetery. The streets of the town are completely deserted. The windows of the houses are hung with curtains and shutters, and the doors are locked. The light shining through the windows is not electric, but from the flicker of a candle.
There is most likely a magical ritual going on there. Spiders, owls, bats, black cats and crows are everywhere. A walk through the city at night will deliver an unforgettable experience. The city has become a “memorial” of historical events. In the center of Salem, tourists will find animators who will do their best to scare them even more.
The city now boasts the largest Witch Museum in the world and the Witches Dungeon Museum. The facts presented in them are contradictory. There is no way of knowing for sure on which hill the women who were sentenced to death for witchcraft were hanged. Everyone is given the opportunity to experience what the women prisoners experienced in the cells. The museum has cells with different facilities: general and individual, cells where torture took place. Parapsychologists claim that Salem’s incredible energy, which emanates from the torment and pain of the dead women, contributes to the abnormal phenomena in the city.
Why is Salem considered a City of Witches? What made it so famous?
In the late 17th century, Salem became world famous for witch trials. At that time, the mass of ignorant townspeople longed for the death of those who were declared witches or sorcerers. All the events that made the city famous throughout the world began when seven unstable women accused about a hundred and fifty people of witchcraft. Many people suffered and died from the unfounded testimony of the girls. When it came to the attempt to slander the First Lady of the state, the wife of Governor Salem, the latter ordered the “witch hunt” to end. Nevertheless, the practice remained for centuries. At times in America and elsewhere, there are manifestations of the social phenomenon of the “hunt for dissenters.
In January 1692, Pastor Samuel Parris’s daughter and niece, Elizabeth and Abigail, ages 9 and 12, showed signs of an unknown illness. The girls were squirming in unnatural positions, screaming, convulsing, and making strange noises. They covered their ears and hid in the room while the priest was saying prayers. They claimed that someone was cutting them with a knife and stabbing them with pins. During another attack, they told Parris that Titubu, a nanny from Barbados, had taught them witchcraft.
According to some official sources, Titubu was Indian, from others she was African. The woman admitted under interrogation that she had not practiced witchcraft alone, but with other women. In 1688, Titubu was arrested, soon to be hanged on one of the hills surrounding the city. Similar symptoms manifested themselves in twelve-year-old Anna. Dr. William Griggs stated that the cause of the girls’ obsession was witchcraft. He reasoned that his diagnosis was that all the symptoms were similar to the disease described in the work of Cotton Mather. Acting as clairvoyants, the girls pointed to witches and sorcerers who came to them in visions.
On March 1, 1692, Elizabeth, Abigail, and Anna testified that Sarah Hood and Sarah Osborne were thrown into prison. Among the “servants of the Devil” was even a four-year-old girl. In order not to be separated from her mother, who was arrested, she herself said that she was a witch. The child was in prison for eight months and witnessed the execution of her mother. They were all poor women. Then the girls began to point to the rich and famous men of Salem. The case went as far as the wife of the city’s governor.
The American “inquisitors” looked for witches all over the city, guided by their peculiar signs: warts and birthmarks. It was believed that they were used by “servants of the devil” to feed the demons. The women were brutally tortured during interrogations. Residents of Salem began to recall that after the visits of the suspected women, they had poor harvests, spoiled food and sickly cattle. One of the “bewitched” women confessed that she lied all the time, as did the other women.
The death machine could no longer be stopped. Arrest after arrest took place. In time, the witch-hunt engulfed all the residents of the city. Two hundred people were arrested, 31 were convicted, 19 were hanged, and three died during the torture of the “inquisitors. In addition, two dogs, who were called “servants of the witches,” were killed.
More than 300 years have passed since the tragic events. However, there is still no consensus as to what it was and who was responsible for the large number of deaths. Perhaps it was the Devil’s handiwork. A hypothesis has emerged that most of the victims were innocent people. However, many Salem priests believed that the women hanged were true “ministers of the Devil.” Only a few years later did the judges admit that they had been misled.
In the mid-20th century, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a decree reversing the charges against all those undeservedly convicted. The descendants of the women who were not cleared of the charges are challenging the verdict of the court, which was handed down more than 300 years ago. They prove that their ancestors were not witches and did not harm anyone. They demand their full rehabilitation.
A community that practices the pagan cult of Wicca
Salem became the center of the Wicca religion. It is one of the new religions that was founded in the 20th century in England. The Wicca cult is a branch of witchcraft in which the worship of the Devil has been replaced by the worship of the forces and spirits of nature. However, the rites and rituals remain the same. This city is home to the largest community that practices this religion. Among the “minor religions” Wicca is the largest pagan cult. One third of the local population of Salem are Wiccans. About 2,500 people refer to themselves as witches and sorcerers.
It is commonly believed among people that witches are ugly, evil women. Modern witches who are united by the cult of Wicca are not evil, but on the contrary, nice girls and women. One of the principles of the religion is “do whatever does no harm to others.” One of the branches of the religion is herbalism. Women use herbs to heal illnesses. Some of the techniques of witchcraft coincide with the methodological principles of medical hypnosis and psychotherapeutic practice. Wicca followers consider themselves witches and sorceresses. With passion carry out mystical rituals, which are commonly called magic.
Every year on October 31 in the city of Salem people from all over the world come to the grand festival – Samhain. Visitors to the city can not only visit a coven, but also buy a variety of witchcraft paraphernalia and sets of herbs. “Witch City” attracts all things mystical from all over the world. In addition to witches’ paraphernalia in the stores you can buy accessories for Indian dream catchers. If you are just going to become a witch or wizard, here will gladly advise where to start and what to stock up on. Those who wish can order a voodoo doll for their enemy, as well as get rid of the evil eye and look into the future.
Salem has a special store with magical souvenirs, opened by the town’s chief witch, Laurie Cabot. She taught Tarot card fortune-telling at a college for witches, worked for the municipality, practiced witchcraft, and repeatedly ran for governor of the city. Laurie’s cause was continued by her daughter. The witch now handles the town’s affairs and participates in sabbaths. The Governor of Massachusetts is currently approving the position of supreme witch of the town.
There are female wiccans in the United States Army who are called upon to provide for the spiritual needs of witches and witches in uniform.
Mention in games and music
The theme of witchcraft and magic is used in games and music around the world. The game Salem Witches. The player will have to try on the role of a good witch, whose main task is to keep all the gems intact. Quest game in the genre of mysteries of the past. The player’s main task is to uncover the dark secret that shrouded the town of Salem in the late 17th century. With the help of clues from the ghost writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, you can find out what really happened in the city four centuries ago. The player must help the ghost to get rid of the witches’ curse.
In 2012 the Swedish studio Seatribe developed the multiplayer online game Salem. The game takes place in 17th century New England. Players act as colonists of the Old Council. Here, players will have to conduct deadly battles among themselves. Salem involves unusual systems of crafts, agriculture and construction.
American rock singer Marilyn Manson dedicated the song “Cupid Carries a Gun” to the TV series Salem. The song can be heard on the title pages of the film. The main holiday of the city of Salem, Halloween, is dedicated to music and songs. One of the popular songs is “This is Halloween,” by Danny Elfman. The American performer Monster in the song “Salem (The City of Witches)” recounts the events of the city in 1692.