Same Salem, Different Halloween

October 16, 2011 — I live less than an hour from Salem, MA, that wonderland of witches that is reanimated every year by the chill breath of Autumn, so I visit the small city a couple of times a year…but always at least in October. I wrote about one visit here. Another here. Another here. Yet another here.

And I visited Salem again today.

Looking back on those writings, my opinion of the place seems to shift with both my mood and my joint pain from casual interest to embarrassment to enthusiastic support, but every additional visit seems to be a pendulum swing toward me donning black eyeliner and purchasing retail space there to sell herbal remedies and cheap souvenirs that have “Life’s a Witch” printed on them.

And, even though I’ve written a large book proposal’s worth of text about Salem so far, I still haven’t emptied that cauldron yet of everything I have to say about it.

The place makes me wish that witches, ghosts, and ghouls really did exist, just so that they could run a city. Makes me realize how much more apt I am to give money to panhandlers and street performers when they wear a rubber monster mask while going about their tasks of playing saxophones and explaining on cardboard the horrible turns of fate that brought them to this state. Makes me wonder how a city could have three times the sense of self that I have when it doesn’t even have a self in the first place. Makes me want costume to always be a perfectly acceptable wardrobe choice alongside of casual, business casual, Magnum P.I., and slob.

Yet today I think I’ll just let my pics do my rhapsodizing and, if it be the case, criticizing. It goes without saying that laziness plays a role. More relevantly, though, I have two bottles of mead that I bought on Salem’s Essex St. pedestrian mall that I need to get to and I also want to catch The Walking Dead tonight, which, admittedly would be much more exciting plans had I not had to capitalize and italicize that latter phrase.

Actually, this pic was from a previous
visit, but it sums up Salem better than
any other pic we've ever taken, I think.

Mine minus me.

Pamplemousse, where we bought the mead...

...and some pumpkin spice soda.

Bought this from some highschoolers
raising funds for their athletic
department. Like I'm going to pass up
the chance to own a box of Salem High
branded breakfast cereal.

In a store window. You build her yourself.
You have a better punch line than I, so I'm not going to try.

And, of course, Mr. Hawthorne is still there.
Hasn't donned a conical hat yet, though.


Great pictures. That's my window in the third one.

Aw, that picture of the little kid drinking the soda is adorable. I kind of want to photoshop it to look like a beer! :)

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