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Salem, Massachusetts
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    (1626- )
    Founded by Roger Conant
    Population of 40,407 (2000 census)
    Associated with the Salem Witch Trials (1692)
    Home of the House of the Seven Gables
    Known as ‘Witch City’
    It is associated with the infamous Salem Witch Trials, but most of those events actually happened in a nearby village.
    Nineteen people were executed (some by torture), and others were left to die in jail.
    Historians say there was no evidence whatsoever of witchcraft being practiced.
    Despite being the site of a historical atrocity, it markets itself as ‘Witch City,’ a spooky, fun tourist attraction (what's next, the Holocaust Jamboree?).
    It upset people by putting up a statue of TV witch Elizabeth Montgomery.
    It became a magnet for Wiccans, Goths and assorted weirdos.
    Many think it is the setting for ‘Days of Our Lives,’ but that’s actually a different (fictional) Salem.
    Ironically, its name comes from the Hebrew word ‘shalom’ (‘peace’).
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (of ‘Scarlet Letter’ fame) was born there.
    Arthur Miller wrote a good play, ‘The Crucible,’ about the Witch Trials.
    It is an example of the dangers of paranoia and intolerance.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro

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