One of my favorite places to visit when going to Massachusetts is Salem. The town is so much fun! While we typically go in October with all the other tourists, we made a trip up to the North Shore this past weekend to see some sites without the crowds or fall leaves.
We made a couple of new stops this time with the kids and we are so glad that we did! The Witch Dungeon Museum and the New England Pirate Museums were so informative and entertaining!
There are many witch museums in Salem, so it can be a bit overwhelming to decide where to go. There is an entertainment package available where you can see three attractions at a low rate, though, which is a great route to go. This includes the Witch Dungeon Museum, The Witch History Museum, and the New England Pirate Museum. We were invited to check out the attractions on our visit.
The Witch Dungeon Museum was such a great experience! We walked into the building and were escorted in a theatre where we waited for a few minutes. Inside, there were plaques on the wall outlining the historical details of the witch hysteria. These were so interesting to read, as it was information I was not aware of, even having been to Salem so many times. Shortly after going into the theatre, we were treated to a theatrical performance, the re-enactment of the trial of Elizabeth Proctor, an accused witch in Salem in the year 1692. The performers did an excellent job!
After the show, we were taken on a tour of the witch dungeon. This dungeon is where the accused were held until they admitted their guilt or proclaimed their innocence and were hung. Inside are exhibits of what the conditions were like within the dungeon. This was a very eye-opening experience! I had no idea the quarters in which they were held. At one point, an area meant to hold 50 prisoners held over 150 people! The area was dark and cold and would often be flooded with sea water. Prisoners even had to pay for their own accommodations within the dungeon! Some prisoners were held in coffin sized cells and only allowed to stand, while others were tortured in other horrific ways.
We learned about the mass hysteria that plagued the town, as well as the surrounding areas, and how it lasted for about a little over a year. All of it was fascinating and shocking at the same time.
Our tour guide was so interesting and told the stories of those that once were housed inside and their accusers as if she personally knew them. She engaged our family in the tales and we learned so much, all the while being very entertained.
I’m surprised that I had never taken the time to come here before and I most definitely would come back again. I highly recommend this stop during your visit to Salem!
Come back soon to learn more about our experiences at the other attractions!
The Witch Dungeon Museum is located at 16 Lynde Street in Salem, MA. You can find out more by visiting their website.