I often look to history for inspiration, not only when writing historical fiction but anytime I am thinking about the times, places, and people who have driven stories, good and bad, through time. There is a wealth of information and inspiration that can be learned from the past, as well as some hard lessons and sad truths in how much damage can be done when we close our minds and hearts to people and allow our biases and judgements to run away with us. It is a bittersweet story, but a powerful example of the best and worse of the human condition.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of spending some time in Salem, MA, exploring historical sites and digging into the history of the town with one of the area's historians, and the owner of Bewitched After Dark, Jeff, who led me through town, providing a candid history of the accused and their accusers and sharing little-known history not found in any textbook. I visited off-season, so the streets were uncrowded and the landmarks accessible. As it also happened to be the anniversary of the House of Seven Gables, I was even able to snap some rarely seen interior photos of the historic home!
I've included some of my shots below to guide you through a brief but inclusive photo tour of Salem and some of the surrounding areas. It's a wonderful, spirited place brimming with history, magic, triumphs and tears--from the Old Witch Gaol and Burying Point, to the home that inspired a literary classic, to the final resting place of several authors who have shaped American literary history. Enjoy!