Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Trip To Salem

I went to Salem, Massachusetts today. I was in the area and figured Salem during the Halloween season would be fun. I wasn't disappointed- there sure was a lot to see, but it made me kind of sad.

We visited the cemetery, which have graves which date from the mid 1600s.  Many of the graves have a sort of flying skull motif on them.

There were many visitors to the town and cemetery, but the cemetery was littered with garbage. It really made me sad to see that while the cemetery wasn't forgotten, it wasn't respected, either. My husband spent our visit to the cemetery cleaning up the wrappers and trash from the ground.

The Salem Witch Memorial really depressed me, as well. It's merely a cleared out area with concrete slabs sticking from a wall. The slabs appear to be benches, but when you get closer, you see there are names, dates and methods of death .

On the ground before the "memorial" were the words of the condemned professing their innocence. To me, this was most important, because, as many people forget, these people were not witches. They were Puritans and most of them were devout.

I was disheartened to discover that these words were rubbed out, worn and covered with dirt, leaves and debris. In the photo below you can read the words "I am no wit..." A partial wall was erected over the rest of the words.

"I Am Wholly Innocent."


I think what bothers me most about Salem is that the town clearly profits over the misfortunes in its history. While I don't really have a problem with that per se, I do think they should, at the very least, remove garbage from the cemetery and sweep the area around the Memorial. We're planning another trip up to New England next month and, barring any legal prohibitions, I'm bringing a broom to sweep the area out.

Anyway, there was a street performer pretending to be a statue. She was up on stilts (I think) and was so still that I was surprised when she moved. A cauldron sat in front of her and if you dropped money into it, she would pat your head and pose for pictures with you.

We also saw the statue of Nathanial Hawthorne, which was framed in a gorgeous orange foliage.

We're planning a trip to a maple sugary tomorrow. I adore maple, so I am so excited.

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