Shane West in the new WGN-TV series “Salem” starting April 20
Daniel Day Lewis as Proctor
Liam Neeson and Laura Linney in The Crucible
While not an obsession, I have a great interest in Salem, Massachusetts. A couple of years ago my niece was ready to start looking at colleges, so I took her up to Boston. A college town if there ever was one! While we were there we made a side trip to Salem, which is very nearby. I was amazed at how focused the town is on it’s witchy heritage! In light of my current obsession’s (i.e., Richard Armitage’s) upcoming star turn as John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, more info HERE, I thought I would gather my thoughts on the town and it’s heritage. I know that Arthur Miller’s play is meant to convey a message about the U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “witch hunt” for Communists, it is still set in the time of the Salem witch trials.
When my niece and I got to Salem the first thing we went to see was the Salem Witch Museum, of course.
And there’s a gift shop!
The museum has two sections – there is a dramatic recreation of the trials by means of light up dioramas with a narrative telling the story, plus there is an actual museum illustrating the evolution of the portrayal of witches over the years. It was a lot of fun. (Especially the gift shop!)
You can find more info about the witch trials HERE. Here is an excerpt from the site:
“As years passed, apologies were offered and restitution was made to the victims’ families. Historians and sociologists have examined this most complex episode in our history so that we may understand the issues of that era and view subsequent events with heightened awareness. The parallels between the Salem witch trials and more modem examples of “witch hunting” like the McCarthy hearings of the 1950’s, are remarkable.”
Another witchy Salem connection to Richard Armitage is, of course, the book “The Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness. Many admirers of Richard Armitage believe that he would be perfect for the cinematic role of Matthew Clairmont, the vampire who gets involved with a witch, Diana, who is a descendent of Bridget Bishop, the first woman hanged as a witch in Salem. More of ArmitageforClairmont can be found HERE.
One more bit of info of modern Salem, Massachusetts. It has really cool stores with all this new-agey stuff and witch paraphernalia!
I highly recommend a visit to Salem if you are in the Boston area. It was great fun and lots to learn about it’s history, which includes it’s maritime history. And there is an EXCELLENT chocolate store there! YUM!!