I’ve been in Salem, Massachusetts, for a week now, reading cards at the World of Witches Museum and hanging out with my old friends from Chicago, Ed Hubbard and Don Lewis (the Witch School co-conspirators).
Random impressions of Salem:
I should have packed more black. This is a town where over-the-top witchyness is good for business, and I am here, after all, on a business trip.
This is the second year in a row I’ve been in the Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade. Not something I would have expected to find on my resume, but fun nonetheless. I’ll see if I can find pictures.
I will enjoy putting on my resume that I am a licensed psychic in the city of Salem, Mass. Of course, all that means is that I passed a criminal background check, but hey, not everyone can pass one, right?
I like the parts of Salem I’ve seen, which is admittedly the tourist area. I have no idea what the rest of the town is like. I don’t have a car while I’m here, so my exploring is limited to what I can reach on foot. But I like that. So far, everything I need has been close enough that I can walk to it. If you are coming as a tourist to Salem, you can pretty much park your car and wander around to everywhere you want to visit. Wear comfy shoes. If it’s October, expect that finding parking will be an adventure.
I might take the train into Boston while I’m here and do a little touristing there myself. Although I visited Cambridge one afternoon a dozen years ago, I haven’t seen any of the museums or other attractions in Boston since I briefly lived and worked there more than forty years ago. I shall presume a few things have changed.
If you think there are witch wars where you live, they’ve got nothing on Salem. I hasten to say I like most folks I’ve met here, but the touch of drama in the air can carry over to interpersonal relationships. And inter-business relationships. Witchcraft is how people (our people, anyway) make there living here, and turf wars do erupt.
Weird things you notice, especially after they’ve been pointed out to you: if a tourist stops outside and reads the “Psychic Readings” sign out loud, even if they come into the shop, they will not get a psychic reading. Hasn’t happened yet. I’m sure someone will do so today, just to prove me wrong.
Pointy hats in Salem are like berets in Paris. Of course, I packed a beret. At least it’s black. And it has the advantage of staying put when the wind kicks up.
As those of you who know me well can attest, I usually wear a ball cap. I brought two with me. One I bought here last year; it’s bright orange embroidered with a black silhouette of a witch above the name of the town. The other one I got at the New York City Pagan Pride Day a few years ago. It’s black (yay!) with an embroidered witch. First time I wore it, Don said I might be mistaken for a police officer. ‘Cause in Salem, even the police patches have witches on them.
The kids who are involved in the web reality show The Young Witches of Salem are really a nice bunch. I wish we had a camera going for all the great conversations we have in the lobby of the museum.
That’s all for now. If you’re in the Northeast, why not road trip to Salem and pay me a visit? World of Witches Museum, 57 Wharf St, Salem MA 01970. I’m there most days, on and off from late morning until 8 or 9 at night.