|Old Burying Point Cemetery|
It felt like I had stumbled into a carnival, and I was its mark.
When you think of Salem, most think of a the 1692 witch hysteria:
Onto the history. Or not. There's the Salem Witch Museum (complete with giftshop!), the Pirate Museum (with giftshop!), Wax Museum, Nightmare Gallery (giftshop! giftshop!). Are you seeing a pattern here? Admission prices were high and space/exhibits were low. If you're planning to visit, check out Yelp and read through the reviews. Some of the "museums" and attractions take all of 10 minutes to peruse and aren't worth the $10-20 a person. I was disheartened to see that the Old Burying Point Cemetery, which contain the remains of the original townsfolk of Salem, was in serious disrepair. Aside from the garbage scattered throughout, the gravestones were weathered and falling apart. It would take so little to keep the cemetery looking as if the town respected the original inhabitants they are making money off. It's a shame they don't seem to care. Once I saw the state of this graveyard, I was pretty much done with Salem.
If these sound like harsh words, they are meant to be. Salem has some beautiful scenery and quaint homes. It's a town steeped in American history, good and bad. Our kids learn about the Colonial time period in school. They learn about the hysteria and mob mentality of Salem witch trials. They learn how Puritans merely had to accuse a fellow townsperson of witchcraft, and if it stuck, they could take their money and property. Ironic that the very event that made history, one centered around people exploiting one another for money, is what the town seems to struggle with today. Perhaps the town of Salem is cursed to repeat itself.