Look what I found this summer during our vacation ~ a witch and a warlock! It is amazing what you can uncover in the city of Salem, Massachussetts…my kids, whom I always suspected of having second identities, revealed their “other” selves during our haunted day.
Prof Salem Pics 026Here’s my daughter…normally a friendly, fashionable teen. Lo and behold, strip all that away and a cute witch screams out for a spell!
Prof Salem Pics Matt 050Next to reveal his second self was my son – and NOOOO that is NOT a real snake! He would probably be happier if it was a real one but I wouldn’t be anywhere near the kid.

Seriously though, the kids had a blast dressing up for these fun photos. This actually began our Salem adventure. What a beautiful place to visit and stroll through. It is kind of leaning towards a witch-y theme though so be forewarned. Halloween Town you could call it…and I will say, a few of the true magic stores were downright creepy. We’re talking serious spells, clothing, cauldrons, among even darker items for sale. Some of the goods in the true witch stores were relatively harmless but even then the atmosphere combined with the other, more foreboding items, will give any “regular” folk the chills.

So, that warning aside, let’s move on with Salem itself.

The red line for a self-guided walking tour

The red line for a self-guided walking tour

One way to visit the sites and explore the area is to follow the red line painted on the sidewalks. There are a couple of kilometres worth of these lines and they take you past points of interest such as original houses, graveyards to museums and the harbour. This is how the kids and I visited much of the original part of Salem and aside from tired feet, we really enjoyed it. In fact, this is how we met our first Salem friend!
Cape Cod 263The friendly witch! Here is son, hamming it up with our new friend. *sigh* if she only had a broom to lend, for a more comfortable method of transportation….that red “brick road” could use some cushioning for the feet!

An original Salem house

An original Salem house

Here is a photo of one of the first houses of Salem ~ check out the size of that chimney!! The family must have worried about the long, cold winters. This house is located across the street from the House of Seven Gables, both of which are along the harbourfront. This is the end of the red line heading in this direction, so we turned around and headed back up the road.

The House of Seven Gables

The House of Seven Gables

This house has an interesting history, or story, to it. In order to do it justice though, check out the site at 7gables.org. If nothing else, there are some beautiful pictures on the site.Cape Cod 278It amazes me that we walked by houses such as this one, probably on the very same land that the original owners walked when LIVING in these places! It seemed as though the ghost of that era was just beyond sight and sound, that if I were to close my eyes and concentrate, I would hear the swish of the dresses and the clopping noise from the horses passing by on the street.
Cape Cod 279
This plaque goes with the house in the picture above, and does a far better job explaining the house than I ever could.

Daughter, trying another escape route....

Daughter, trying another escape route....

You never know just what is around the corner in Salem! By the time we came across this whimsical painting, daughter had shed the witch’s clothing and reverted back to her normal self. She wanted to travel with the pirates but I’m afraid she went for the harder method – as our friend pointed out, she would have had better luck if she had used the ladder next to her!!Cape Cod 284
By the time we came across this nifty little museum we met up with Hubby (he had to drop off his Mum at the Boston airport). My aching feet were screaming for a break so Hubby took the kids into this museum. Yes….it does say “closed” doesn’t it?

That was so utterly SWEET of the curator to let them in.

I went next door to the donut shop for a bite and a drink. Where I waited.
And waited.
And waited.
And noticed those eyes….those eyes on that h-u-g-e head in the window….were moving ~ were watching me!

Forty minutes later I was definately creeped out. I was convinced that the curator had MY family trapped in that museum of monsters and had turned them into a wax display for the public to admire!
How would I explain THAT to the police?
That my family disappeared into this little place ~ and never came out! and really….REALLY, they are now wax creatures permanently trapped in a living hell in SALEM, for crying out loud??!!

Just when I could bear the thought no longer, the door opened and they spilled out. Whew! What a close call that was! After settling my nerves we set off again. Here are some of the sights along the way….

An original home

An original home

with its original fence!

with its original fence!

This house is open only to the Archeological Society….Cape Cod 295
This place where who-knows-what-happened…maybe the witch trials?

Some shops

Some shops

This photo shows the little shops area. By now a lot of businesses and shops had closed… just our luck!

Son demonstrates an old favoured head rest!

Son demonstrates an old favoured head rest!

There was a chance for a fun photo or two…right son? SON? Hey ~ are we having FUN YET??

Aha - Daughter has another witchy moment!

Aha - Daughter has another witchy moment!

Since we were in THE place for witchy thing, daughter really wanted her palm read. She chose this place, indicated by this sign.

A Palmread and Fortune Teller

A Palmread and Fortune Teller

The shop is owned and run by a High Priestess. Yes, a genuine High Priestess and she has practised since the 1970s in Salem.

A High Priestess

A High Priestess

A very colourful individual – no pun intended…or maybe, just a teeny, tiny bit.
Guess what?
She discovered, through the palm reading….that daughter is STUBBORN. Shocking, folks.Turns out she’s just like her Mom after all!

Last, but not least, we came across a bookstore.
Not an ordinary bookstore, people.
You have to SEE these pictures to believe it. We were THERE and were still totally amazed by the sheer volume and size of the er… displays of books.

Daughter and hubby wade in....

Daughter and hubby wade in....

My brave husband! And daughter! Being the caring mother and wife that I am, I let them go in first. You know, in case any of those freakin’ towers fell over and buried them alive. Someone would have to dig them out!

True meaning to the expression ceiling to floor with books!

True meaning to the expression ceiling to floor with books!

Every nook and cranny was buried in books. There were a couple of narrow aisles to walk cautiously through…. Trying to pull a book out was a frightening experience, let me tell you!When we finally made our selections – and the book owner knew where EVERY darn book was located in that store – then I had to find HIM and his register so we could pay for the books and get out of there.

We eventually followed his voice and discovered this narrow space near the front door.
DSCF2556

The owner

The owner

That was it. It was three rows of books deep.
This man has owned this bookstore for 35 years.

I told him it would take another 35 years to get all those books OUT.
I am NOT kidding!!

So ends our little journey into Salem. I loved the place and want to go back, just to stay in that city and spend a day or two wandering through the shops, visiting the harbour front again. Maybe visit a museum or two…and hey, you never know. Maybe I’ll get my palm read next time! Ha ha ha HO HO HO…as if anyone could tell me something I don’t already know!

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