Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Fun of Research: A Day in Salem

Sometimes research is a boring, necessary evil.  A chore.

But other times, like this past weekend, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

We went to Salem, MA. Half because I wanted to visit a couple psychics for “research” for the series. And half because Salem in October rocks. There’s tons to do. People watching at its finest (many in costume).

This dude was riding by on a bike calling out, "Who wants a ride with a creepy guy?"

There are also the usual Salem attractions and museums, plus seasonal haunted houses. Tons of food. Vendors selling their wares.

I visited The Burying Point, a graveyard dating back to the 17th century, where I was fascinated by many headstones but in particular this one.

Two siblings. Both died at the age of 16 months. Both died in August, but one in 1681 and one in 1684. It looks like there may have been a third child as well but the headstone is no longer complete.

Then I wandered through the Witch Trials Memorial. The Salem Witch Trials are one of those historical events that seem like a story or a film and not something real. It’s so horrendous it couldn’t possibly have really happened. But reading the names and dates… it strikes you.

Pressed to death doesn’t sound like a nice way to go.

Sarah Good refused to confess and her last words, with the noose around her neck, were, “You are a liar. I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life God will give you blood to drink." As legend has it, 25 years later, Reverend Noyes died from a severe brain hemorrhage, choking on his own blood.

Overall, I had a blast.  The psychics weren’t what you’d call… accurate. But I view it as entertainment and loved soaking up the Salem atmosphere.

What fun have you had in the name of research?


  1. One of the funnest Halloweens I ever had involved a spur of the moment trip to Salem. This post brought back some great memories. Thanks!

  2. You're welcome! :)

    I've been to Salem before, but never in October. It's awesome! I want to do it again next year.

  3. Who wants a ride with a creepy guy?

    Man, that belongs in a book. I've never had that much fun researching. I spent most of yesterday reading up on defibrillators.

  4. Carrie, lol!

    I spent yesterday researching magnetism for a scene in book two, so it's not all fun. ;)