My Salem Muse
Maybe it was watching Bewitched or reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond that first turned me on to witches and the Salem Witch Trials. But stepping foot on the historic streets of Witch City aka Salem, Massachusetts, was the spark that ignited The Timeless Ones, a story about Merry, an accused witch who leaps from the 17th century into modern-day Salem.
I love visiting Salem–the history, the shops, the New England seaside town vibe. Halloween is always a thrilling time, and I loved incorporating the experience into A Necessary Darkness. Another favorite holiday is July 4th on Derby Wharf with fighter jets flying overhead and an orchestra playing while fireworks light up the harbor. From the beautiful green Common to the bricks and cobblestones of Essex Street to the waterfront – any day in Salem is a good day.
But, what some may not know is that the witch hysteria that spawned the Salem Witch Trials began in the neighboring town of Danvers, MA that used to be known as Salem Village. This is where the afflicted girls began throwing fits and accusing their neighbors of witchcraft and where many of the accused were interrogated and handed an unfair fate.
There are many sites to see in Salem proper—one of my favorite being the Witch Trials Memorial next to the Old Burying Point. Within the stone walls are 20 granite benches honoring each of the victims.
But, lesser known is the Witch Trials Memorial in Danvers. A beautiful granite display containing unheeded claims of innocence behind a pulpit holding the Book of Life, beside which lay the shackles that anchor these unfortunate events to our history forever. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend stopping for a visit.
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