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Published: November 14th 2009
Today was the last day of our New England trip. We left Boothbay Harbor early to ensure we would be able to fit in a stop in Salem to visit some of the witch related attractions. There definitely was not enough time spent here in Maine to fully appreciate it all. In all, we were probably only in the state less than 24 hours! Before leaving, we stopped by the harbor to take a few photos but the bone chilling cold of the morning forced the stop to be a rather quick one. Driving down the Maine turnpike and into New Hampshire, we finally arrived in Salem, Massachusetts around 11. We parked our car in a parking garage and started walking to find the Salem Witch Museum. After looking at a map, I saw that we were very close by. However, I guided everybody in the completely wrong direction. It seemed like we walked all over downtown Salem before finally finding the museum about 30 minutes later. We purchased our tickets and were assigned the 12:30pm tour. To our complete horror, we ended up getting placed with a large group of junior high school students on a field trip. I thought
Statue of Roger Conant
In front of the Salem Witch Museum
it was going to be a typical museum where we toured and explored various exhibits at our leisure. However, it was more like a presentation or lecture. We were brought into this large open room with an illuminated red circle on the floor. The circle contained the names of the people who were killed during the paranoia of the Salem Witch Trials. The room was encircled with various scenes that would light up while a narrated historical account was told. The whole set up was quite cheesy but quite informative at the same time. The second part of the tour focused on the origins of the Wiccan religion as well as the origins of the stereotypes that modern day witches face. The last part of the presentation compared the paranoia of the Salem Witch Trials with other types of paranoia such as McCarthyism, Japanese internment, gay discrimination, and terrorism. The whole point being that fear leads to hate and violence. The whole "presentation" lasted about 45 minutes and I left quite disappointed. The exhibits were extremely cheesy with not enough emphasis on the actual events of the Salem Witch Trials. It was definitely not worth the $11 we had paid.
During our walk around Salem while trying to find the museum, I got the sense that the town was a big tourist trap. The visit to the museum definitely confirmed those thoughts. After wasting 2 hours of our life in this town, we drove back to Malden in order to return our rental car. From there we caught the subway to Boston Logan Airport for our 4:25pm flight on Virgin America.
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