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Best known for the Witchcraft Trials of 1692 when 19 people were hanged, Salem is more than a witches' coven, despite being home to numerous Wiccan and Pagan organizations. Even the television series "Bewitched" recorded 6 episodes in the town in 1970 and left the legacy of a statue of the lead character, Samantha Stevens, in the town center. Once an important shipping city, it was very much a player in the China Trade.
Salem was once home to wealthy merchants and sea captains. You can meander around Chestnut Street admiring the lavish historical homes from this era or step into the Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust House or the Gardner Pingree House for an up close and personal encounter of the indulgent lifestyles that were led. This is where Nathaniel Hawthorne became inspired to write his book "The House of the Seven Gables" after seeing the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, the actual house of 7 gables. There are numerous grisly witch induced tourist attractions to gawk at where the locals have found ways to exploit the town's grisly history and some that are historical, such as the Witch House. You can do a witch-hunt of your own by visiting the Salem Witch Museum, the Witch Dungeon Museum and the Witch History Museum. The Peabody Essex Museum is not for the witch hunter, but for someone who genuinely is interested in being entertained with the knowledge of global art, artifacts and a complete rebuilt Qing-era Chinese house. Cape Ann fishing harbor sitting on the North Shore has 34 villages to explore in the Essex National Heritage Area. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is 9 acres of 18th and 19th Century waterfront maritime history and the permanent home of the tall ship "Friendship", an 18th Century sailing vessel.
As one can imagine, Halloween is a special time in this town when festivals of the dead take place.
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