Right across the street from the Pickering House is one of the oldest cemeteries in Salem. This picture of the entrance was taken on a lovely Summer day. You're welcome to visit, but not after dark.
Beneath a small, white obelisk (Plate 9) lie the remains of George and Jonathan Corwin. George, who was only twenty-five at the time of the hysteria, served as the high sheriff of Essex County in 1692. In this capacity he directed the confiscation of property from those convicted of witchcraft and carried out the death sentences of the nineteen who were hanged and of Giles Corey who was pressed to death for refusing to stand trial. George's funeral in 1697 was delayed by Philip English, who sought to recoup some of the fortune Corwin had seized from him in 1692 when English stood accused of witchcraft.
Jonathan Corwin, a Salem merchant and the owner of the still-standing "Witch House," served as a magistrate at many of the examinations and later as a justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. He died on 9 June 1718, aged seventy-eight years.
It may have been a church at one time, but the Witch Museum has been housed here for many years. Inside the "DIORAMA" tells the story of the mania that took place in the Puritan society of 1692 in Salem. Accusations of witchcraft resulted in 19 people being hanged and one man was crushed to death...for being afflicted by the "evil hand".
Roger Williams was in the town earlier....a town originally named Salem, which was an adaptation of "shalom" meaning "peace". Roger Williams escaped the madness of the crowd who banned him because of his outspokenness on freedom of religion. He fled to Rhode Island to found a new state based on religious freedom.
Meantime, you can learn the story of the witch trials and trace the history through the town and the cemetary....
This cemetery is enchanting to visit. Do a gravestone rubbing....try to find the graves of the people mentioned in the history.... The cemetery is adjacent to several other highlights you could visit...such as the Salem Wax Museum, Witch Trials Memorial, Salem Witch Village, and close to the Salem Beer Works!! New England Pirate Museum is just around the corner. You can walk to all of these attractions in Salem. Dump the car immediately and spend the day on foot.
Salem's most visited museum THE SALEM WITCH MUSEUM is the perfect starting point for your visit to "witch" city.
And that's exactly what we all did - Hans and I, Jenny, Melanie, Angie, Emily, Ed, Chris, Steve and John.
It began by us being ushered into the "Great Hall' where a taped narration told the story of the 1692 witch trials. A group of girls and women, who had been dabbling with the occult, began acting in a strange manner. A local doctor claimed they were afflicted by the "evil hand", setting the stage for the accusation of approxiamately 190 people for witchcraft. Some were enemies of the accusing girls' families. Others were outspoken or propertied men and women. In all, 19 people were hanged and one man was crushed to death. The trial ended after 15 months, largely because evidence was declared inadmissable.
After the narration, we were ushered into a room filled with artifacts relating to witchery and then our host announced "this is the conclusion of our presentation" and then we were conveniently ushered again into t heir gift shop. Ummm! Very interesting!
The museum is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Presentations are every half hour from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Plan to allow at least one hour for your visit.
The House of Seven Gables is the oldest surviving mansion in New England built out of wood. This wonderful home was uilt in 1668, and inspired a novel by Nationiel Hawthorne with the same name. Tours of this wonderful home are offered at $12.00 per adult. The fee for children is $7.25 however I don't recommend this tour for the little ones, it won't hold their attention. A tour includes a guided tour of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion (The House of the Seven Gables), a visit to the Nathaniel Hawthorne House, the Counting House, the Colonial Revival Gardens, and the waterfront.
The home is open for tours during the following dates and time during 2008:
January 1, 2008 - January 10, 2008 Closed
January 11, 2008 - June 30, 2008 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
July 1, 2008 - October 31, 2008 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
OCTOBER WEEKENDS Until 11:00 pm
November 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
The museum is closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, and closes at 2 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
If you have ever read the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel, or even if you haven't, the House of Seven Gables really is a must see for any Salem visitor. Built in 1668, The Turner-Ingersoll Mansion as it is also called, is the oldest surviving wooden mansion in New England. It's interesting to see the settings where the book took place and compare it to how you had pictured it in your mind. The grounds overlooking the water are beautiful and inside there is even a secret passageway.
The house is open for touring Monday through Saturday 10am - 5pm. In Jul-October 31st 10am -7pm. with Special evening tours taking place during Haunted happenings, the October Halloween celebrations.
The Salem Witch Museum is really more of a theatrical performance, well not exactly a performance, a diorama with voiceover would be a bit more accurate, than a museum. The lines on Halloween are huge. You buy your ticket in advance in most cases and then return at the time of your appointed show. Instead of a ticket you get a color coded sticker which allows the tourguides to know by which color which time you are booked for. When it's your time you are led into a large room with a red circle on the floor. The circle bears the names of those who were wrongfully accused of witchcraft at the time of the hysteria. The program continues telling the story of the witchcraft trials and hysteria illuminating each appropriate diarama with each chapter. The show is only about a half hour long. It is informative and a great way to learn about this time if you didn't know the history before coming to Salem. It definately feels like one of the things you "have" to do when in town, well at least the one time....
Of course when you are done with your "tour" you walk out into a large gift shop with all sorts of witchy souveniers.
Hours are 10-5 year round
10-7 in July-August
Special extended hours during Salem's Haunted Happenings in October
The Burying Point is the oldest cemetary in New England. It is open from dawn to dusk, free of charge. I would imagine it would be a pretty creepy place without a hundred people trampling around. The gravestones are from the 1600's and have that thin haunted house quality about them. Some of the inscriptions are interesting, worth taking the extra minute to read.
This was one of our first stops in Salem. As we walked down the cobblestone way we were bid to come inside by a man dressed in period costume. When we went in we found ourselves in the midst of a psychic faire, with tarot card readers, palm readers, gemstone readers and the like. There were also a few vendors selling jewlery, wings, t-shirts and bric a brac. I meant to return to get a gemstone reading, but alas, we did not get a chance.
The Friendship is a replica of an East Indian merchant vessel used for international voyages. The original ship was built sometime during 1797 by Enos Briggs. It completed 15 voyages prior to its capture in 1812 by British troops. The replica took its maiden voyage in 2003. It is open to the public daily. The Friendship like most Tall Ships is a must see while visiting Salem. I have had a love affair with sailing vessels of all kinds since I was a young girl so being surprised by this beautiful sea vessel was wonderful.
Oldest house continuously occupied by the same family since it was built in 1651.
Visit by appointment only ... call
Open Mondays 10 to 3 Call for in-season schedule and by appointment.
Admission charge $4.
Allow 20 minutes or more.
Over 300 years old, and the only house in America to be continually occupied by direct lineal descendants of the early pioneer, John Pickering. It is without a doubt the oldest house in Salem. The eastern portion of the house is said to have been erected by John. Additions to the Pickering House have been added throughout the years. In 1841 the house was restored and now represents what people of that time thought an early seventeenth-century mansion should look like, before any search had been done on colonial architecture. The Pickering House in Salem is one of the few remaining examples of the many gabled houses, steep roofs evidently built in the imitation of the Gothic half-timbered cottages of England.
I haven't toured the inside yet, but the outside on a cloudy day looks as spooky and interesting as the history of our famous city of Salem.
Jonathan Corwin, a Salem merchant was living here in 1692. Corwin presided over many of the witchcraft examinations and later served on the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Although the house is known locally as the "Witch House," no person accused of witchcraft either lived or was imprisoned here. The house is open to the public. There is an admission charge. For that reason, I would call it a "Tourist Trap", but it might be interesting to take the tour to see what a house of this age would look like. I have yet to decide if I want to spare the money and see.
This Derby house is the oldest brick house in Salem Massachusettes. It was built by Richard Derby for Elias Hasket Derby, his son and Elizabeth Crowninsheild Elias' wife. It is a perfect example of a Georgian Colonial house. Elias Hasket Derby is best known as America's first millionaire. I nearly overlooked this historic site since it was not clearly marked. There wasn't even a great deal of information given on it on the plaque on the fence. The home itself was built in 1762.
This museum really isn't something I would have done alone. ES wanted to go here because he missed it during his last trip to Boston. The tour is full of information however the scenes are basic and pretty boring. Our tour guide was very funny which made stopping here worth while. This museum would be a great stop for people with children who are under age 12. The older kids would probably be bored. Admission is $8.00 per adult, $6.00 for children and $7.00 for seniors; however there are combination tickets available for the Pirate Museum, the Witch Dungeon Museum and the Witch History Museum. The museum is open May through October...10am to 5pm, weekends in November and some nights during Haunted Happenings.
As a museum site, the HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES is a treasure for the city of Salem. From its origins in the 17th century as a vehicle for display of wealth and architectural sophistication by a leading mercantile family through an interim period in which the literary associations with Nathaniel Hawthorne developed, to its seminal restoration in the Colonial Revival Period by Joseph Everett Chandler, this site has a significant and storied history. This property is among the most distinguished surviving 17th century houses in the nation.
Venture inside the birthplace of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. Stroll seaside gardens and a spectacular waterfront