As we did in Boston and Cambridge we had a Cityview Tours trolley take us around the Salem area - We visited graveyards, old houses and even a beach by the name of "Dead Horse" - it was explained to us that back around 1750 or so there was a disease affecting horses (apparently only horses?) and in order to control the spread of the outbreak there was mass slaughter of these poor animals and the carcasses were buried in a large pit on this beach!! - I don't think I'd want any kid of mine digging sand castles anywhere around there!! - The trolley driver stopped at a house that had a "Peacock Window" I don't know what the big deal was but she thought it was pretty important - maybe it's a female thing!!
The author, Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem - he apparently had two important novels - The Scarlet Letter (1850) and The House of Seven Gables (1851). - Roger Conant was Salem's founding father (1626) and the religion of the day was "Puritan" and if you look at his statue in the main square you would swear that he looks like what we picture as "a witch".
The Puritans were eventually replaced by the Church of England but not before their mid-evil rituals and superstitions played havoc and caused death in this English settlement!!
We attended a re-enactment of the Salem Witch Trials at the Salem Museum (no cameras allowed during the performance) and the story line was far from what I expected!! ...................Because those in authority in the Puritan Society ruled with a heavy hand, a few teenaged girls (who were bored stiff) decided to start a rumour about a black woman (one of only a few in the community) that she could cast spells on people and speaks of un-godly things and upon investigation by the elders it was determined that this woman was not alone at being controlled by Satan and therefore unholy, and a larger net was cast - this was all done with the help and the lies of this group of teenagers and the terrible results were all bogus!! Years later some of these girls admitted that they had lied and only started this horrible twisted mess because there was nothing else to do in Salem....... but at the time they were too frightened to tell the Elders that they had started a lie!!
The trials were held over a considerable amount of time and when the dust settled 20 innocent people (both women and men) were put to death, mostly by hanging or burned at the stake - but one really unfortunate guy, Giles Cory was put on a board and heavy rocks were placed on his chest, the longer he proclaimed his innocence the more rocks were added until his rib cage collapsed - he met his maker on September 19/1692. - so much for Puritan justice!!
A parallel has been drawn between the Witch Trials of the 1690's and the Joseph McCarthy's search for Communists in America in the 1950's. (Arthur Miller - The Crucible) - Terrible results stem from terrible imaginations!!
The next day we drove to my cousin's Connecticut cottage on Amston Lake and took day trips (including the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casinos) I lost - Ann won (but not enough to write home about!!) - On our way to Amston Lake we stopped in Mystic, Conn. - had pizza at "MYSTIC PIZZA" - This is where Hollywood filmed the 1988 movie "Mystic Pizza" starring Julia Roberts, Annabeth Gish, Lily Taylor and Vincent D'onofrio who presently stars in Law and Order Criminal Intent - good movie/good pizza!!
Well folks - that's our "Road Trip" for this year - Ann & I will have pleasant memories thinking about it for a long time to come - the whole trip held many surprises and tons of wonderful moments!! ................I hope some of you enjoyed seeing our exploits and remember, Newfoundland is Canada's best kept secret and if you ever ever ever have an opportunity to visit "The Rock" due yourself a favour and go!!