Everything you need to know about the Witch Dungeon Museum in a short read.
This museum has been sharing a particularly interesting recounting of the Salem Witch Trials since 1979. The building was initially designed as a chapel for the East Church and you can still see the resemblance to a church today. After a fire in 1902, the East Church's congregation relocated elsewhere in Salem. The building was then passed on to the Church of Christ Scientist. The new owners began holding their services in the building in 1908 and continued until 1979. Then, the Witch Dungeon Museum purchased the building. It's been running as one of the many Salem Witch Trials attractions in the Witch City ever since.
An eerie mood is set before you even enter the building. On the outside of the structure a pillory awaits any Salem visitor eager for a photo op. Behind it, a strange tableau of a Witch Trials hanging rests in the bottom of the main building.
The entrance to the Witch Dungeon Museum involves a slight ascent up a flight of stairs to the gift shop, where you'll purchase tickets. You will not be exiting from the gift shop, so be sure to grab any trinkets you'd like while you're in line to purchase your tickets.
Once you begin the tour, you'll feel like you're back in time, in 1692, in Salem Village. While other Salem tours attempt to replicate this experience, no one does it to such an extensive and ultimately eerie effect. But we'll get back to that momentarily.
To start, you'll watch a brief recreation of a witchcraft trial that doesn't go so well for the accused. Another distinction from other Salem Witch Trials attractions is to be found here. You will not find a live experience with live actors very many places in Salem, certainly not ones centered on the trials.
This experience takes place in the old chapel room where you'll sit on long, old church pews. This setting only adds to the overall effect of watching a real trial take place after which someone will really be sent to the dungeons and, ultimately, the gallows.
Once the live show is over, you'll head into the basement for the truly chilling part of the tour. You'll walk through a recreated 17th century dungeon, complete with intense scenes that show you the conditions the accused endured while imprisoned.
There are plenty of wax attractions, but this one has got a little special something to it. The figures are unsettling, their positions eerie, and the whole thing just has a strange, off-kilter vibe to it. Take a look for yourself.
This museum is definitely one of the best ways to experience the Salem Witch Trials. Seeing it is eye-opening and, after touring, you'll certainly have a different appreciation for the horrors the accused suffered in 1692
You can visit the museum everyday, from 10 AM to 5 PM, between April and November. The hours may vary in October, due to the Haunted Happenings in town.
You can save up to $8 per person if you choose to visit aside this museum, another two: the Witch History Museum and the New England Pirate Museum. Tickets are available at the door.
Address: 16 Lynde St, Salem, MA 01970
by Salem Joel
Here's everything you need to know about The Peabody Essex Museum in a short read.
One of the oldest still operating museums in the United States, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is definitely a must-see in Salem. It is the successor of East India Marine Society, an organization comprised entirely of Salem's maritime captains established in 1799. The society's members brought a huge collection of "natural and artificial curiosities" to Salem from Asia, Africa, and then-exotic locales from around the world. Due of this early global access, the museum still holds one of the most significant Asian art collections in the US.
In the 1820's, the society moved into its own building, East India Marine Hall. The building, now adjacent to the main PEM structure, still houses some of these early objects. In 1867, the Peabody Academy of Science acquired both the Marine collection and the building that housed it. Eventually, the Peabody Academy of Science was renamed Peabody Museum of Salem and after merging with the Essex Institute in 1992, became the Peabody Essex Museum.
In 2003 the museum completed a massive renovation and expansion by adding a new wing designed by Moshe Safdie. Then, more recently, it was renovated again in 2019 to include an entirely new wing.
This is for sure the perfect museum to get lost in for a few hours or maybe even days. Exploring the museum's vast collections and terrific exhibitions is a delight. The museum offers outstanding collections dating back to 1700's. As of early 2020, there's even some buzz that the museum will begin displaying its Salem Witch Trials collection, which would be incredible as PEM stores the vast majority of still existing Trials artifacts.
The international flare that distinguished earlier incarnations of PEM is still present today. This is perhaps the most exemplified by the gorgeous Yu Tang House.
Check out all of the PEM Exhibits Here
Check Out all of the PEM Events Here
You can visit the museum from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 AM to 5 PM. The closest two hotels are the Hawthorne Hotel and Hotel Salem. There's also a parking garage very near PEM at 1 New Liberty St, Salem, MA 01970.
As of early 2020, adult tickets are $20, Senior Citizen $18, Students (with ID) $12 and Children (16 and under) free. Tickets are available at the door.
Address: 161 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970