Salem's spookiest tourist traps

By GREG COOK  |  October 21, 2011


The museum, which opened in 1972 inside an old gothic stone church, promotes itself as the most visited museum in Salem. And it's certainly the grandmother of all the other Salem edutainments that followed. The show is a bit like watching store mannequins perform The Crucible. One by one mannequin dioramas around the room light up in time with a spooky recorded narrator. He recounts the witchcraft hysteria — Puritan girls taken ill after hanging out with minister Samuel Parris's slave Tituba, their sickness blamed on witchcraft, spreading accusations, trials, imprisonment, and hangings. Accused "witch" Giles Cory groans, "More weight," as he's squished under a pile of rocks. Even a scaly winged devil makes an appearance. "Who is the devil?" the narrator concludes. "On whose side is he fighting? On whose side does he fight even now?" A guide then leads a tour through a companion exhibit "Witches: Evolving Perceptions," which urges us to "look beyond the stereotype" of pagans. Finally, you're ushered into a gift shop stocked with toy monsters, plastic skeletons, and witch dolls.

19 1/2 Washington Square | $8.50 | 978.744.1692 |

<< first  ...< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |   next >...  last >>

2 of 18 (results 18)
  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Salem, halloween10, Museums,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   PERFECTLY HUMAN  |  April 16, 2014
    Sometimes I think you can understand everything about our society today by considering it through two themes — the perfection of technology versus the messily human handmade.
  •   THE LAST FRONTIER  |  April 02, 2014
    They say that temperatures in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica haven’t been above freezing in millennia.
  •   ASSURED ABSTRACTIONS  |  March 19, 2014
    “The golden age of abstraction is right now,” ARTnews informed me last spring.
  •   COMMON GROUND  |  March 12, 2014
    “I did everything in the world to keep this from happening,” exclaims the assistant to the rich man in Kerry Tribe’s There Will Be ___ _.
  •   LOCAL LUMINARIES  |  March 05, 2014
    Reenacting a childhood photo, portraits of fabulous old ladies, and dollhouse meditations on architecture are among the artworks featured in the “2014 RISCA Fellowship Exhibition.”

 See all articles by: GREG COOK