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The Town of Mystery:  Salem

Yun-Jui (Yvonne) Wu




 Salem is known as a witch town, which was a site of witchcraft trials in 1692. Nowadays, it’s a famous tourist spot. It’s a good place to go before Halloween. There are a lot of people wearing their costumes walking on the streets. Most of the stores there sell spooky stuff or weird costumes. Each one of the tourists can find the scariest thing that they have ever imagined in those stores.


Salem is a small and peaceful town near the sea. However, in 1692, it was not restful at all. The witchcraft frightened everyone who lived in the town. In such a Puritan society, which followed the plainest and the most religious social rules, witchcraft was related to devils, the most abhorrent things in their belief. As a result, there is a dark side of Salem’s history, the truth of witchcraft, the sorrow for those innocent people identified to be witches. There are several museums in Salem. All of them have a particular way to explain the situation at that time. In my opinion, every tourist has to visit at least one museum. Since Salem has such a sad history, we can’t just come here and have fun without knowing the historical background. Otherwise, it would be rude for those victims who have died because of that event.






The stores there are fascinating. The ugliest things can be the best-selling products in this area, like bats, skeletons, spiders and the most popular one-ghosts. This is the paradise of people who enjoy making fun of others. On the street, the statues of witches and devils are standing and smiling to the tourists. The residents will decorate with coffins or pumpkins around their house. The closer it gets to Halloween, the more stimulating Salem is.



Take the T to the North Station, which is on the green line. After that, transfer to the commuter rail line, which is purple. Salem station is zone 3, on the line to Rockport. It’s better to buy a round-trip ticket. Before buying the ticket, please check the time when you come back. Otherwise, you will be under a risk of staying in Salem over night.




The best time to visit Salem is on Halloween. It will be much more crowded than a normal day. On that day, everyone will wear their costumes and walk on the street. Furthermore, you can see thousands of pumpkins on the street. If you have enough time, you can go to Salem one day before Halloween and stay overnight. Then, you can see more exciting things happen during the night!


Pictures by Yvonne Wu




A Short History of the Salem Witch Trials

Link to a six-minute video on the history of the Salem Witch Trials which was developed by the Discovery Channel for American school students. 

Click on the image to go to the site. 





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