Salem Witch Museum News
Ever in the interest of preserving history Salem Witch Museum senior staff received board approval to bid on the previously unknown seventh edition Mass Bay Psalm book signed by Elizabeth Corwin, wife of Salem witch trials judge Jonathan Corwin. The estimated auction price was set by Swann Auction House of New York at approximately $30,000 to $40,000, which we bid. However, there was a great deal of interest in the famed 17th century book which ultimately sold for an incredible $ 180,000 today. We are proud to have been part of this exciting opportunity.
The first edition of the Bay Psalm Book was one of the first books ever printed in the colonies and was a starting point in the forming of the Puritan colony. While any edition of the book is rare, the first edition has fetched nearly $14 million at auction.
The seventh edition belonging to the Corwins was purchased from a Boston printer in 1693, the year after the infamous trials. It later passed through several families and in the late 1800’s was acquired by a family in western New York who were descendants of witch trials victim John Proctor.
From a New England barn find, the museum recently purchased a bible stand of the period used by Essex County minister Reverend Moses Parson. It was our goal to display Mrs. Corwin’s Bay Psalm Book in context with the bible stand.
The reason so many people come to Salem in October is the energetic atmosphere created by…so many people.
Part of the festivity is 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.
1. Plan in advance.
Check out Destination Salem’s Haunted Happenings 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. If you’re traveling by car, early birds get the best parking spaces.
3. Dress in costume, but leave weapons – real or fake – at home.
Don’t ruin your night by having your real-looking costume weapon confiscated. Most establishments have rules prohibiting anything that looks like a weapon and ask that you remove your masks while on the premises.
4. Be flexible.
It is possible – even likely as we near Halloween - for certain presentation times to be sold out. Be prepared to opt for an earlier or later tour time. Our presentations begin promptly at :00 and :30 of each hour and last approximately one hour.
5. Anticipate lines or wait-times.
Just about everywhere in downtown Salem will be hopping with celebrators the nearer we get to Halloween. Pack snacks and diversions for the kiddies if necessary; for grown-ups the atmosphere is a free show in itself. And, if there isn’t a line or wait, just be pleasantly surprised!
6. Expect traffic.
The closer we get to Halloween the busier traffic into Salem gets. Get in the mood by tuning in to Syrius radio’s Halloween station or listen to the audiobook of Ray Bradbury’s the Halloween Tree. Directions can be downloaded here, and it’s always possible to map out alternate routes into Salem, ie. Route 1A, Route 107, Route 127.
7. Carry tip money.
Acrobats, musicians and living statues add jolly fun to the street party. Trust me, you’ll want to tip these skilled and humorous performers for entertaining you and making your Halloween even more thrilling.