Salem's spookiest tourist traps

By GREG COOK  |  October 21, 2011


The Wax Museum recounts Salem history (mainly witch hysteria plus a little China trade and pirates) via life-sized figures in dioramas including Salem founder Roger Conant, 1692 hanging judge John Hathorne, his descendent Nathaniel Hawthorne (who politely holds a "do not touch" sign in his hand), and "Lusty" (you can tell by the way she hikes up her skirt to reveal her . . . ankle) Bridget Bishop, the first to be convicted and hung for witchcraft. These figures are among Salem's most realistic — though the flesh tends to be too orange, eyes often look in wrong directions, and limbs bend at awkward angles. Downstairs, a second attraction — the haunted house Frankenstein's Lab — offers cobwebs, a bloody lady in a coffin, a wolfman, and a laboratory table that clonks up and down. Its mishmash of styles resembles a ransacked party store, but that doesn't keep performers from startling you by leaping out of dark corners.

288 Derby Street | $7 each ($13 for combo) | 978.740.2929 |

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