I’ve had the pleasure of reading a couple of Nathaniel Hawthorne short stories this year through two of my university courses, The Birthmark and most recently, Young Goodman Brown. This got me thinking about Salem, Massachusetts…and of course what it is most famous for.
What I didn’t know before was that Nathaniel Hawthorne had ancestors that were involved in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Hawthorne was born in Salem, so his family must have resided in the town for several generations. For more information on the Witch Trials (I found this an interesting account of what happened and why) click here. There was a lot of misunderstandings that got completely out of hand, and were fueled by young girls and family resentments.
Salem, MA is a lovely, old town with lots of history but sadly has this bad reputation, even centuries later, for what turned out to be a few months of insanity. There are some lovely old buildings along with a bit of tongue-in-cheek memorializing on todays tour. Enjoy!