Published: June 24th 2007June 24th 2007
“What evil spirits have you familiarity with? None. Have you made no contract with the devil? No. Why do you hurt these children? I do not hurt them. I scorn it. Who do you employ then to do it? I employ no body. What creature do you employ then? No creature. I am falsely accused “
Her defense was useless. She was hanged anyway. Along with 19 others. Her crime - she was accused of being a witch. You may scoff at this now, but in 1692 people did believe in witches and witchcraft. This is the real defense of “Sarah Good" in the Salem Witch trials.
It may have been over 300 years ago, but Salem still is all about the witches trial. The story goes thus …some teenagers in the small village of Salem started behaving strangely, which was concluded as Satan’s influence on them. Mass hysteria swept the village as people were accused of practicing witchcraft. Trials were held and 19 people were sent to the gallows after undergoing horrific tortures.( In all, 25 people lost their lives)
In spite of its rather infamous past, Salem is a quaint, beautiful town well worth spending
a day in.
It’s just 45 min from Boston and easily accessible by road, rail and ferry.
On getting off the commuter rail, we had no clue where to go and asked a bus driver which bus to take to get to the witch dungeon. He gave us a look which essentially meant have-you-been-hit-in-the-head-with-a-saucepan
and muttered ‘WALK’!!
We soon realized that the dungeon was like 400 ft from the T-stop! All the main attractions of Salem can be covered entirely on foot.
The witch dungeon was interesting, unfolding the witch trials story in a courtroom-format, with us as the town residents in attendance, and then taking us through an exhibit of what the real dungeon was like…It was all rather spooky.
The town is really very old, I don’t think we came across any building built in this century or the last; it was all like 1803, 1860…you get the picture. Salem makes a real effort to preserve the witches’ legend which it’s famous for. All shops sell witch brooms, witch caps and other witchy stuff. A Hair salon is called “ghostly parlour”, a delivery store is named “Witch city consignment”.
Walking around in
Salem was totally refreshing..Cobbled streets, fountains, squares… it’s not called New England for nothing !!
(The north-eastern states of Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont are collectively known as New England; this is because the first British colonies in America were established here). We had a very nice time exploring all the historic sites and ambling along the waterfront at Pickering Wharf, tucking into our lobsters at Capt.'s Grill while enjoying the view !! (Do you think Sanjit would really let a blog go without any mention of food??)
Technically, its summers now but I've never set foot outside without a jacket.This is because Boston weather is rather fickle. Bright sunshine may quickly give way to rolling thunder or strong , cool breezes.
(talk to you later)
There are more photos below