Salem's spookiest tourist traps

By GREG COOK  |  October 21, 2011

1681

1681 SALEM VILLAGE PARSONAGE
When enjoying Salem's Haunted Happenings, it's easy to forget amidst all the delicious ghoulishness that there were no magical evil witches here in 1692. Salem's witchy attractions are located in downtown Salem, but the hysteria began five and a half miles northwest, in rural Salem Village, which became the town of Danvers in the mid 18th century. Danvers maintains the actual site of Rev. Samuel Parris's parsonage, where the girls listened to Tituba, and got sick, and started pointing fatal fingers. Standing on Centre Street, follow a poorly marked cart path between two neat suburban yards to a fenced-in site shaded by maples, white pines, and lilacs. All that's left of the house is the sturdy foundation stones and a hole excavated in the 1970s. It feels like a grave. It's a monument to the maliciousness of teen girls and to some of the greatest village-idiot assholes in American history.

Opposite 64 Centre Street, in Danvers | free.

>> Find out more about Boston's haunted happenings at thephoenix.com/halloween <<

To read Greg Cook's blog, The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research, go to gregcookland.com/journal.

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