First up I had to go to the Peter Pan Bus station to buy my ticket for Thursday's trip over to New York. I had planned to just buy it on Thursday morning when I got there, but after chatting to my host last night, she strongly recommended I buy it straight away given it's 4th July long weekend and a trip to New York is extremely popular for that long weekend. I hadn't even realised Friday 3rd was a public holiday. As it turns out there was only 10 seats left on the 9am one that I wanted. Lucky huh!
Anyway, I caught the bus to Oak Grove Train Station, then had to take 2 different trains to get to Peter Pan. After I fiddled around doing that, I had to catch 2 different trains up to North Station which is where you get the "commuter" train out to Salem. I had just missed one, so had an hour to wait!! Argh! So, I got the 11.20am train out to Salem. Later than I would have liked.
A half hour train trip and I finally made it to Salem around midday. What a cute little town! It's famous for the Witch Hunt of 1692 where witches were hanged.
It's only a few blocks big, and easy to cover by foot. I bought a package deal of 2 tours. First was the 3pm 90min Witch Walk with a witch tour guide named Tom. He was really great - and he had really long hair and wore mascara. The tour started with a magic circle witch ritual where we blessed the earth, wind, water etc and asked for safe travels (since we were all tourists, although I was the only one in the group from overseas). We then got to keep a crystal from the table and you have to keep it on your left side to keep the spell. The coolest part was at the end when he extinguished the candle by throwing "dragon blood" on it and it went up in a puff and a poof! Not real dragon blood of course...it's a ground down plant or something.
Next we walked around town. We stopped at the witch trials memorial, which was only built in 1992. It has a park bench for every witch hanged. He told us a few stories. He said they mainly accused you of witchery if someone had a grudge against you, or you had valuable land...either way they wanted to wipe you out, so accused you of being a witch. A lot of them weren't even witches. We also visited the cemetery and he explained what some of the symbols on the headstones meant.
The second tour was the 8pm night tour so I had some time to kill. I browsed some shops and bought a few souvineers, then grabbed dinner at the pub. A nice relaxing way to put my feet up for 2 hours with free Wifi.
8pm was the night tour with Jeff. He was pretty good, knew his stuff and was very excitable and enthusiastic. He told us stories of ghost sightings and a lot of history of the area. It was pretty good.
It finished at 9.30pm and I caught an Uber home straight after. I wasn't keen on catching 2 trains and travelling over an hour to get close to home when I still would have needed a taxi for the last 20 mins of the trip! Nah...Uber all the way... faster and safer and really only a few dollars extra.
All in all a great day in an interesting town, and it was a lovely sunny day!