This city is one of the most famous places in the USA; in fact, the story of the witchcraft accusations, executions and trials that took place here, has captured the imagination of writers and artists everywhere in the world. If I think about Salem, the fist thing that comes across my mind is the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, that analyzes the story of the witchcraft accusations (although the place of the story is Boston, not Salem). Hawthorne had a relative involved in the witches accusations, and based on that he decided to write the book.

But, what happened historically? And how is the city today?

First of all, we have to say that Salem is a coastal city in Massachusetts and nowadays there are over one million people annualy that visit this place as tourists.

The city was first settled by Europeans in 1626. And the word “Salem”, strange enough, comes from the Hebrew word “shalom”, meaning “peace”. The prosecutions of people known as “The Salem Witch Trials” began in 1692; these prosecutions are now considered as the emblem of religious extremism and false accusations. The domination on the city by conservative puritan leaders, and the beliefs of many people that at that time lived closely with the sense of the supernatural, led to the death of many innocent people.

Today, if you walk through the city, you can find many characteristic places, such as The House of Seven Gables, The Salem Willows Park and the Forrest River Park. But, for everyone who is interested in witchcraft history, a must see is The Witch House, the only structure still standing from The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and that is now a museum.

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Published by Iole Catanzaro