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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

[195/365] Below

On Saturday, my friend and I took a field trip to Danvers and Salem MA to get our history on. Our first stop was to the Rebecca Nurse homestead. Rebecca was one of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. Here we learned that most of the trials and activity actually took place here in Danvers (formerly Salem Village), and that many of the residents from that time still have descendants living in the town today. Rebecca wasn't "below" this memorial to her in the family cemetery, but supposedly she was buried somewhere nearby.

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The Massachusetts Archaeological Society was at the homestead, teaching visitors how to throw a primitive weapon, the atlatl. I've watched them throw this weapon on the show "Top Shot," and was excited to try it. I did pretty well.

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Leaving the small crowd of the homestead, we ventured into downtown Salem. As expected, it was crazy and crowded. But I did get to meet Captain Jack Sparrow. Josh saw this photo and said, "You shouldn't have let him touch you. He's scary." Ha!

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There were costumes everywhere. I enjoyed watching these cans try to walk down the street.

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It was lovely down by the water. Unfortunately, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site was closed due to the government shutdown (and I can't even access the website because of that, which is really annoying).

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The shops were in full swing, making all kinds of tourist money. It didn't matter that it was cloudy, grey, misty, and cold. There was still plenty going on. They even had an outdoor screening of "Hocus Pocus" on the town common.

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Of course we had to visit the Witch Museum. We learned more about the Witch Trials here, and about the history of witches, from Pagan midwives to modern day Wiccans. It was interesting to see how they have been demonized throughout history for not adhering to certain religious beliefs, even though they were certainly indisposable in society in early history. We were reminded that in several times throughout US and world history, certain groups have been singled out, "hunted," and persecuted just for being different. It was like this during the Witch Trials, as many who were hanged were the outcasts of the society. It would be nice if we could finally learn from these mistakes.

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If you'd like to see my other photos from Danvers/Salem, please click here.