Everything you need to know about the Salem Jail of 1692 in a minute-long video! Keep scrolling past the video for a full transcript and much more information.
Welcome to the Salem Spotlight, a series in which I tell you everything you need to know about attractions, restaurants, hotels, witch shops, tours, and a bunch of other locations in Salem, Massachusetts. Today we're having a look at the jail used to house the accused during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692.
The accused in Salem were actually held in four separate jails, but this one, built in 1684, hosted the majority of them. To call the building's conditions inhumane would be an understatement. The lower level dungeon was even used to torture the accused as they awaited trial.
This jail was abandoned after a new one was built and, after that, in 1863, Abner Cheney Goodall used the old jail's timbers to construct a residence. In the 1930s, the family recreated the jail and opened one of the very first witch city attractions in Salem.
Shortly after, in 1956, the New England Telephone Company destroyed that building to construct their new headquarters. So unfortunately, the jail structure no longer exists, but there is a bronze plaque displayed at the Federal Street location where it once stood.
The jail is well-known due to its connection to the Witch Trials. The jail was dirty, dark and dismal. Quarters were absurdly tight, illness was everywhere, and some of the accounts of the time spent in the jail are absolutely horrifying.
It was also from this Salem Jail that Giles Corey was taken to an open field and pressed to death. It was here that Margaret Jacobs accused several others of witchcraft, including her grandfather. And this is, honestly, just a slice of the horrors that occurred within these dank, ugly walls. So perhaps it's not such a bad thing that the building is gone?
The site of the Salem Jail is right in the middle of downtown at 4 Federal Street, Salem, MA. Again, only a plaque remains to commemorate the site. But you can see an original timber used in the construction at the Witch Dungeon Museum.
by Cristiana L.
Everything you need to know about the Gardner-Pingree House in a minute and a half! Keep scrolling past the video for a full transcript and much more information about the Gardner-Pingree House.
Welcome to the Salem Spotlight, a series in which I tell you everything you need to know about attractions, restaurants, hotels, witch shops, tours, and a bunch of other locations in Salem, Massachusetts. Today we're having a look at the Gardner-Pingree House .
In 1804, legendary Salem architect Samuel McIntire built the house for John Gardner Jr. and his wife Sarah. While McIntire is better-known for the gorgeous Chestnut Street district in Salem, this building is actually considered to be one of his masterpieces.
After enduring financial losses, the owners sold the house to Sarah's brother. Shortly after that, captain Joseph White bought the house. Unfortunately, the Gardner-Pingree House would go on in 1830 to be the site of White's gruesome murder.
Not long after the captain's murder, the house transferred to David Pingree and it remained in his family until 1933. The family then donated the building to the Essex Institute, which still manages it (as the Peabody Essex Museum) today.
Considered a masterpiece of engineering and design, the house is another must see in Salem. The three-story ell is composed entirely of bricks, laid in Flemish bond, with a beautiful white marble trim.
Additionally, inside the house you'll find lavishly-carved woodwork in the public spaces, and a warm atmosphere. The fireplace mantels, cornices and stairway balustrades also add a dash of elegance to this historic home.
PEM offers tours of the Gardner-Pingree House along with the Yin Yu Tang house in a one hour and fifteen minute organized tour.
Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Address: 129 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970
Everything you need to know about Bunghole Liquors! Let's kick things off with a short, introductory video. The video below is part of the the Salem Spotlight series in which I fill you in on everything you need to know about attractions, restaurants, hotels, witch shops, tours, and a bunch of other locations in Salem, Massachusetts. Today we're having a look at Bunghole Liquors. Keep scrolling past the video for much more information about Bunghole Liquors.
During the Prohibition-era, Americans would often go to extreme lengths to get their hands on heavily restricted alcohol. In Salem, a funeral home by the wharf even went so far as to serve liquor out of its basement. Frequent visitors to the parlor began referring to it as, "The Bunghole." This term was likely a bit cheeky in its intent. The bunghole is a the little, corked hole on the side of a liquor barrel. Its used to provide easy visibility to the liquor inside, without having to open the entire barrel and potentially expose the fermentation to damaging light or materials.
But it also sounds pretty hilarious. I know if I was forced to drink in the basement of a funeral home, I'd want it to be called something hilarious too.
Speaking of drinking at the bunghole. It was just as gruesome as it appears to have been. There are multiple claims of Salem's residents getting sloshed literally right beside corpses. If that's not the most Salem thing I've ever heard, I'm not sure what is.
Due to either well-guarded secrecy or the inclination of Salem's policing officials to look the other way, the funeral home/liquor dungeon somehow held on through the entirety of the prohibition age. As Prohibition lifted in 1933, people began searching for places to drink in droves. Hence, in the same year, a liquor store emerged in the place of the funeral home.
Legend has it that the name came directly from a Polish priest who frequented the parlor every single day. He, like most of Salem's drinkers, had adopted the bunghole colloquial, years prior. And so, Bunghole Liquors was born.
The main store (in downtown Salem) offers with a wide variety of drinks, especially wine and beer. It also has an online store, where you can buy Bunghole merchandise. Unfortunately there's little these days that hearkens to the store's strange history. Legend has it, however, that the basement still contains the portholes where once corpses awaited their final internment. Bunghole is one of the several Salem locations that supposedly also contains access to the infamous tunnel system that runs beneath the city streets.
Most fascinatingly, the dark and macabre history of the store has led many Salem residents and visitors to claim the building is haunted. Rumor has it that there are two ghosts who frequent the store. The first is a woman, usually spotted along the wine racks. The second is the infamous black cat of Salem, which has also been spotted at the nearby House of the Seven Gables. You can learn more about those hauntings, as well as the paranormal history of four other Salem locations, in the video below.
Bunghole Liquors in Salem Ma is perhaps best well-known outside of Salem for its sign. Why? Because it's hilarious. The entire brand is hilarious if I'm honest. That leads many people to share images of the sign on social media. Here's a photo of mine if you'd like to share it.
The store is rather advantageously positioned. You'll find it near Derby Wharf between the Salem Waterfront Hotel and the House of the Seven Gables. If you're visiting the Witch City, chances are you'll run right into Bunghole without even trying to. Bunghole isn't the only liquor store in downtown Salem. But it is the only one on the wharf.
Address: 204 Derby St, Salem, Massachusetts
Bunghole also opened a sister store in the "Tanner City," Peabody, MA in 1995. Its address is 79 Lowell St, Peabody, MA 01960
Everything you need to know about Wicked Good Books in a minute and a half! Keep scrolling past the video for a full transcript and much more information.
Welcome to the Salem Spotlight, a series in which I tell you everything you need to know about attractions, restaurants, hotels, witch shops, tours, and a bunch of other locations in Salem, Massachusetts. Today we're having a look at Wicked Good Books .
Wicked Good Books is a book store, meeting point and destination for residents and visitors to Salem. The last independent bookstore in Salem, Derby Square Bookstore, was going under in the 2010's. Luckily, it was purchased by a local couple, renamed and reopened.
The couple remodeled the bookstore, doing away with its well-known floor-to-ceiling stacks of books. The new owners aimed at maintaining the shop's Salem roots and preserving its historic charm as much as possible. Old shelves in the former store were re-purposed to build stairs and create a one-of-a-kind counter.
The new store inherited the former store’s merchandise too. It also houses an eclectic mix of non-fiction, fiction and a wide collection of local authors. Wicked also keeps up the community engagement by hosting book clubs and readings by local authors.
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sunday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
The bookstore is located in the heart of Salem at 215 Essex St, Derby Square, Salem, MA 01970-3727
You can reach Wicked Good Books via Phone: 978-594-1938
Everything you need to know about The House of the Seven Gables in a minute and a half! Keep scrolling past the video for a full transcript and much more information about The House of the Seven Gables.
Welcome to the Salem Spotlight, a series in which I tell you everything you need to know about attractions, restaurants, hotels, witch shops, tours, and a bunch of other locations in Salem, Massachusetts. Today we're having a look at The House of the Seven Gables.
Throughout The House of the Seven Gables' many years, it has inspired authors, artists, tourists, ghost hunters, and many more. It was built in 1668 by a merchant and shipowner named John Turner who was the head of one of the most prominent New England families at the time.
It passed to the Ingersoll family in 1782. In 1804, Susannah Ingersoll inherited the home. For about a four year period in the 1840's, Ingersoll's cousin Nathaniel Hawthorne worked just down the road at the Custom House and would pop in frequently. These visits inspired Hawthorne to pen his famous novel The House of the Seven Gables.
After the Ingersoll's lost the mansion to creditors in the 1870's, the house bounced between a variety of owners until it landed on the Upton family. The artistic and industrious Uptons were both the first to give tours of the mansion and to sell souvenirs relating to it. This makes The House of the Seven Gables the longest-running Salem attraction!
The final notable owner was Caroline Emmerton, who worked with a local architect in the early 20th century to restore it to its original appearance as well as preserve it for future generations. It is because of Emmerton that The House of the Seven Gables stands in such fantastic condition to this day.
The House of the Seven Gables offers one of the most bang for your buck admission policies there is. With the cost of the ticket you get:
I've taken this tour twice. And both times I had an absolute blast with it. Check out all the images I have from both tours on the images page. My favorite part of the tour is also the most infamous. It's not often in life one gets to take a hidden staircase to an unfinished 17th century attic. But, the House of the Seven Gables tour lets you do just that. Disclaimer though, you must be relatively thin and fit the do it, it's a bit of a tight fit. There is also a more leisurely path up to the attic for all who'd rather avoid the tight squeeze.
Another distinguishing characteristic of the tour is that it includes multiple structures and outdoor garden spaces. And all of it is positioned seaside. This makes Gables a perfect stop on a gorgeous day in Salem as, after the tour, you're free to hang out in the gardens and feel the cool ocean breeze on your witchy face. The other structures on the grounds are absolutely worth checking out. They're more of a self-guided situation though, although there may be a guide waiting inside to answer questions. All things considered, the House of the Seven Gables tour is well-regarded for good reasons. It's one of the very few places I recommend for anyone traveling to Salem, even if they've been to the attraction before. There's always some new facet to check out at the Gables.
Like many Salem attractions, The House of the Seven Gables has fluctuating seasonal hours:
The House of the Seven Gables is located a little bit further down Derby St. than Pickering Wharf. Coming from downtown Salem, it's on the way toward Salem Willows and Winter Island. It's also a stop on the Salem Trolley. The address is: 115 Derby St. Salem, Massachusetts 01970
You can reach the attraction at 978-744-0991 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music used in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rQ4KJcOzX4
by Salem Joel