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Trials and Tribulations

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2) Salem, MA

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​By the time Lovecraft picked up a pen, Salem was already inherently creepy. The site of the 1692 Witch Trials, in which 20 people were found guilty and executed for a bullshit rap, Salem is mentioned in a few Lovecraft stories including “The Thing on the Doorstep” and “Pickman’s Model.” The Pickman’s are said to have come from Salem stock and in the old Charter Street Burial Ground there is an actual grave marker for a Caleb Pickman, who was killed by lightning in 1737. Several of the town’s historic homes, such as the Derby House, are mentioned in Lovecraft. Neighboring town Danvers is home to the now defunct Danvers State Hospital, which many believe is the influence for Lovecraft’s Arkham Sanatorium.

Salem, a.k.a. the “Witch City,” is now a hub for wiccans and warlocks from across the globe. And boy do the local businesses love exploiting their town’s murderous past. Downtown is drowning in “witch shops” selling tarot cards and touristy t-shirts. While the town thinks it’s honoring the men and women killed during the trials, in reality they’re roping in tourists and bleeding them dry. Witches are in industry in Salem, nothing more. It’s also home to Salem State College so during the school year expect to run into drunk “bros” starting fist fights outside every over-priced bar downtown has to offer. During tourist season, traffic is unreal. At least there’s a nice view of the ocean.

Not cool description of Salem at all…actually pretty pissed


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