Archive for the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Category:
If you saw the Google Doodle today you know it’s the 200th anniversary of Brothers Grimm. In the fabric of our being we carry the lessons from Grimm’s fairy tales told to us since a young age. In our exhibit Witches: Evolving Perceptions we look at Hansel & Gretel’s hag archetype. Small wonder we’re afraid of witches, it’s said they eat children!
What is your favorite Grimm’s Fairy Tale?
The reason so many people come to Salem in October is the festive atmosphere created by…so many people. It’s part of the excitement, chatting with fellow revelers and soaking up the atmosphere. A few people who aren’t in the right frame of mind might grumble about the lines, crowds and traffic. Prepare yourself with information, and embrace it all as part of the fun.
Tips for an enjoyable visit to Salem in October
1. Check out Destination Salem’s online visitors’ brochure to help plan your trip. You’ll find a helpful walking map of the downtown and waterfront area listing major attractions, shopping, restaurants and activities. It also lists parking options and road closures (for parades) where applicable. You can pick up the print version of the Destination Salem Guide & Map once you’re here at the Salem Witch Museum, at the National Park Visitor Center, or many other places throughout the city.
2. Arrive as early as possible. The Salem Witch Museum opens every day at 10:00am. The earlier you arrive to purchase tickets, the more likely your preferred tour time will be available.
3. Be flexible. It is possible – and especially as we near Halloween very likely – for certain presentation times to be sold out. Be prepared to opt for a different tour time. Our presentations begin promptly at :00 and :30 of each hour. Presentations last approximately one hour.
4. Anticipate lines or wait-times just about everywhere in downtown Salem the nearer we get to Halloween. And, if there isn’t a line or wait, just be pleasantly surprised!
5. Expect there to be some traffic the closer we get to Halloween. Directions can be downloaded here, and it’s always possible to map out alternate routes into Salem, ie. Route 1A, Route 107 , Route 127.
Salem Witch Museum Hours for October, 2012
Day Date Open Close
Mon 1-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 2-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 3-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 4-Oct 10:00am 8:00pm
Fri 5-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sat 6-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sun 7-Oct 10:00am 8:00pm
Mon 8-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Tue 9-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 10-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 11-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Fri 12-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sat 13-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sun 14-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Mon 15-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 16-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 17-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 18-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Fri 19-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sat 20-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sun 21-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Mon 22-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 23-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 24-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 25-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Fri 26-Oct 10:00am 12:00am
Sat 27-Oct 10:00am 12:00am
Sun 28-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Mon 29-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 30-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 31-Oct 10:00am 12:00am
For many years the Salem Witch Museum has welcomed an annual tour group from Ota, JapanThrough a sister-city relationship beginning in 1991, hundreds of teachers and students as well as business, cultural and government officials have visited Salem from Ota.
The family of our own Will Parr is extending their hospitality on a very personal level by hosting a “Homestay” student in coordination with the Salem-Ota Club.
For more information about our sister city check out the City of Salem website:
The Salem Witch Museum offers our main presentation translated into Japanese as well as 7 other languages.
Every year in January we close for business for a few days to scrub, paint and refresh. Here is our schedule, but feel free to call us with questions at (978)744-1692.
1/4/12 Wednesday CLOSED
1/5/12 Thursday CLOSED
1/6/12 Friday CLOSED
1/7/12 Saturday Open 10am – 5pm
1/8/12 Sunday Open 10am – 5pm
On the 319th anniversary of the hanging of Bridget Bishop we approached learning more about her story in a few unique ways. We spoke with Jenney Dale, the actor who portrays the first executed Salem witch trial victim in the History Alive! theatrical production of Cry Innocent.
We asked Ms. Dale what most captivated her about playing Bridget Bishop. “She was stubborn. I could identify with her outspoken nature, not wanting to go along with others’ definitions of how a person should act.” In some ways we still experience that today, but we have it so much easier than they did in 1692.” Being an outspoken woman certainly made her all the more suspect of being a witch, having endured years of town talk about her independent spirit.
Cry Innocent calls their audience to sit on the Puritan jury, hearing the reenacted historical testimonies from the pre-trial examinations, cross-examining the witnesses, and finally passing judgment themselves. Ms. Dale admits that sometimes the verdict is surprising. “It’s hard to tell which way they’ll go. But, I really want people to see the events through the eyes of Puritans,” so they can understand why the proceedings went as they did.
For more information about Cry Innocent, please click here or call their box office at: 978-867-4767
Our new trees and shrubs may be the only things around here who are still grateful for this week’s seemingly endless forecast of rain. After the large conservation project on the building’s façade last summer, we’re putting the finishing touches on our entrances this spring. The talents of Gail Michaud, owner of Fleurish, Marblehead, are on display in front of our building and surrounding the beloved Roger Conant statue. As rainy skies are on the agenda for at least the next few days, our gardens are drinking up and saying a spring-time Thank You.
For more information on Fleurish call 781-820-0190
Here at the Salem Witch Museum we’re so blessed to have many creative, talented people on our staff. Peter Murphy, a sophomore theater student at Salem State University, has been part of our team for the last year and hails from Plymouth, Massachusetts.
During a recent trip home for spring break Peter took time to stop by Manomet Elementary School, where his mother is a Teacher’s Aid, to impart his knowledge of the Salem Witch trials to the third grade class. With a photo presentation to illustrate his history lesson, Peter shared the infamous story of the tragic 1692 witchcraft accusations. Not an easy task considering his audience of 8-year-olds might presumably rather watch Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place than learn about colonial history – and a tragic period at that. But Peter was surprised to learn that these kids had many questions and positive views of witch characters, like those portrayed in Harry Potter or Sabrina the Teenage Witch. “I was thrilled to find that the kids were curious about the topic, asking ‘Are witches real?’ ”
There is a broad span in perception between the Puritan notion of witches and the way these images are depicted in popular media today; though of course today we know that the accused in Salem were not in fact “witches” by any definition. Peter described Hollywood interpretations and other stereotypes associated with the witch image. He explained the evolution in perceptions of the archetype from ancient healing wise women, through medieval persecutions of so-called heretics and sorceresses – like Joan of Arc – all the way to the ever recognizable Wicked Witch of the West.
For his part, Peter was enthusiastic in his own learning experience speaking to a group of young people about the subject. A seasoned actor in Salem State’s recent production of Ghosts of Troy, he’s no stranger to performing in front of large groups. For his role as a seer in this “punk rock with a Cirque du Soleil twist” interpretation of the Odyssey, Peter energetically studied the athletic movement art of aerial silks. Adept at working in front of theater audiences and guiding tours through the Salem Witch Museum exhibits, Peter was invigorated by the challenge of relating the history of the Salem witch trials to elementary school children in a classroom setting.
We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank Peter Murphy for his passion in the projects he undertakes, in and outside of the museum. It is an honor to work alongside him.
Last week at the Destination Salem annual meeting the long awaited new logo and tagline was unveiled to an enthusiastic crowd. Take a minute to view this fun and energized look at its debut.
You may have heard in recent news that the Salem Award Foundation has received a $25,000 grant from the Annenburg Foundation.
“Charles Weingarten visited Salem last fall to research the history of the witch trials in preparation for a possible film. He contacted Alison D’Amario, Patty MacLeod and Tina Jordan, of the Salem Witch Museum. D’Amario and MacLeod were instrumental in establishing the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and the Salem Award Foundation. During his exploration at historic sites with local experts, they told him about the Salem Award and its mission to educate the public through the lessons of the trials.”
Charles Annenberg Weingarten (pictured left). Photo courtesy of the Annenberg Foundation.
The Salem Witch Museum is proud to be part of a community dedicated to contributing to the cause of human rights and social justice.