Salem Witch Museum News
by Susie Menice
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Our day started at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers. Rebecca Nurse was the 71 year old Grandmother who was charged for witchcraft and hanged on July 19th, 1692 in Salem. Danvers at that time was known as Salem Village. Many pertinent sites from the trials are in Danvers and today. We tried to visit many of them.
With our book, "Hunting for Witches: A Visitor's Guide to the Salem Witch Trials" in hand, we, along with friends, Anne & Casey, met Stacy Tilney, Director of Communications at the Salem Witch Museum, for some site seeing. After the Nurse house, we visited the Witch Trial Memorial, The Salem Village Parsonage Archaeological Site, where Rev. Parris lived, where it basically all began with the girls having their fits and accusing Tituba of bewitching them. Then we walked on to what was once Ingersoll's Ordinary (tavern) where some examinations took place and where they would all gather after examinations to gossip and discuss the day's events.
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, 149 Pine Street, Danvers, Ma.
A view from the side.
It is said that after Rebecca Nurse was executed, her son came late at night to salvage her body that was thrown into a heap with others that were executed on that day. He gave her a proper burial, unmarked, somewhere on her property. We may never know exactly where she rests, but it is a peaceful feeling to know that she is here somewhere.
This building on The Rebecca Nurse Homestead is a replica of the Salem Village Meeting House, built for the PBS movie, filmed onsite, 3 Sovereigns for Sarah.
The path to the parsonage lays in between two residential yards. The book said it was between 67 & 69 on Centre Street, but we found it to be slightly off.
Excavated in 1970, the remains of the house where Rev. Parris lived. We stood imagining people like Tituba and Betty Parris walking down those stairs at some point...
Ingersoll's Ordinary, once a tavern where locals would meet and drink after the crazy examinations of the accused.
Front of Ingersoll's on 199 Hobart Street, Danvers. (Private residence)
There are still many more sites to see in Danvers related to the Witch Trials and we plan on visiting as many as we can throughout the summer.
Our next adventure will be the Path of the Condemned. Stay tuned!
The film screening of the Witch at Cinema Salem last Thursday evening brought together what would seem an eclectic group in any other city than Salem. Salem witch trials historians, the film’s acclaimed director, Robert Eggers, and actor Anya Taylor-Joy, local officials, and practicing witches came together to discuss the film’s terrifying themes.
After a day of media coverage at the Witch House, an elegant cocktail reception was held at the Salem Witch Museum to thank reporters, bloggers and all involved with promoting the Sundance award winning film.
Set in the early 17th century, a family of colonists ousted from their community for reasons unknown forge a new life on the edge of uncharted wilderness, where the devil himself was believed to reign. The film’s cinematography, score, dialog and symbols of witchcraft combine to create an air of tension that has been compared to the Shining.
During the panel discussion post screening there was a lively conversation including practicing witches Tomas O'Brien Vallor and Lori Bruno, author Brunonia Barry, and historians Tad Baker and Richard Trask, just to name a few. Overall it seemed the audience appreciated the attention to details depicting the time period as much as the portrayal of colonial superstitious beliefs in the diabolical witch.
If you are a horror film fan this one is a must-see.