New England: Part 1
It’s been an interesting few years and as a result, posts here have been sporadic at best, utterly absent at worst. I’d hit a rough patch, went through a divorce and some other shit you don’t really need to hear about, but I managed to finish my latest novel, find a wonderful new relationship, get myself into a far better place than I was, and last week I had my first proper vacation in far too long, which is the subject for the day.
The plan was to spend a few days in Salem, MA, then head south to Providence, RI, hometown of H.P. Lovecraft!!! Today we’re covering Salem.
We took the 6 hour drive to Salem from the 3 year foreclosing house in NJ and arrived in a torrential downpour, which was supposed to have already passed by that time, but then no one ever paid the fucking weatherman for being right. The little town is absolutely beautiful, and we’d booked a room at the cutest place called Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast, and if I ever return to Salem (which is likely), I wouldn’t stay anywhere else. The owner is the sweetest guy, the room is clean, comfortable, the breakfast is lovely, there’s a deck on the roof with a view of the harbor and it’s directly across the street from The House of Seven Gables.
So back to the rain…we had to kill some time and figured, what better place to hit right out the gate than Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery! Now they don’t allow photography inside (bastards!) so the above photo is all you get. They were also out of T-shirts in my size, but I digress. The place is not very large and will only take a few minutes if you breeze through the displays, but they have a lot of really kick-ass wax sculptures of everything from Nosferatu to Hellraiser to Pumpkinhead crammed into that tight little space, and it’s a must see for horror fans if you visit Salem.
And another thing, the people in Salem are really, really, really nice. I mean, ridiculously nice. A young stranger politely asked my girlfriend for a cigarette, apologized for bothering us, said, “thank you” and, “have a nice night.” Cars drive by playing classical music! Classical? Yes! It’s another world and I’d like to live there, please!
Now our Bed & Breakfast, as previously stated, offered a view of the Salem Harbor at the end of a quiet dead-end street. We sat on the deck with our coffee and wonderfully delicious–who gives a fuck how many calories–cookies, listening to the night, watching the water, and I couldn’t have been more relaxed. The weather was beautiful once the sun went down, so we had outdoor waterfront dining both nights in Salem.
Of course we also did the obligatory witch tours, wax museums and shopping (I stumbled upon a Cthulhu bumper sticker and water bottle, score!). Most of the witch museums were actually really short, the information started to repeat and cross over one another, and some of the “wax sculptures” looked more like manipulated mannequins, but a couple of them, such as The Salem Witch Museum, were well worth the time and quite interesting.
On our last night we visited the House of Seven Gables, which was another location that would not allow photos. Why we failed to take photos of the exterior, which we were allowed to do, is beyond me. I guess we were having too much fun! This was one of our favorite tours in Salem, which included a really cool hidden passageway and lots of interesting historical information on the house and the novel that it inspired.
All in all, we can’t wait to return to Salem. It’s a beautiful, cute little town with a cubic shit-ton to do, all within a ten minute walk. Hell, I wouldn’t mind living there (and a side note, the trip to Salem also made Rob Zombie’s Lords of Salem far more interesting, as I recognized many of the locations in the film). But this was only the first half of our trip to New England, to be continued in the next post, where we visit H.P. Lovecraft’s hometown of Providence, RI! Stay tuned and if you have a favorite spot of your own in Salem, or have any questions, feel free to comment below!