Salem. A place where they all went a bit loopy and burned lots of witches in 1692!

Well that was my knowledge of the place. Combined with a more recent theory that the effects of dodgy rye bread sent the town a bit high and got them throwing a few wild accusations around.

Wandering the red tourist lines helped educate me on a hot June day. First of all, there were no burnings. That tended to be a European and Catholic approach to pesky witches. These guys were Puritan and thought felony, not heresy. So they preferred a bit of hanging instead.

Nineteen hangings that year. One other execution was an old chap who was “pressed to death”. A little probing suggests this was similar to a good stoning. As you do. If I recall yesterday’s learning correctly six of the “witches” were men.

The only house still standing from 1692 is the Witch House. Where none of the accused lived. Just the judge. A Walgreens drive thru pharmacy now stands on the hanging site.

But Salem has a little more history. It was once a great port. We saw the old moorings and wandered around the Customs House where we discovered that taxes on goods brought into the port accounted for 7% of the revenue of the US Government for a time. Huge!

The locals also enjoyed the practice of tarring and feathering customs employees for a time. Not very sporting but supportive of smugglers.

We then headed for Marbelhead. Looked. Weren’t particularly enthused. Headed back to the hotel to see the UK Election results come through. Jet lag still has me. I was asleep by 8.30pm!

Gloucester today.  Maybe whale watching.  Who knows?

Boston – Chilled Out For non-Drivers