Halloween 2011: The Bewitching Past and Present of Salem, Massachusettshttp://www.ibtimes.com/articles/235702/20111021/halloween-2011-traditions-salem-witch-trials-haunted.htmMystery and irony in America's 'witch city', Salemhttp://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/real-napa/mystery-and-irony-in-america-s-witch-city-salem/article_e869b4ec-fd09-11e0-b705-001cc4c002e0.htmlZombies v. witches: Who will win battle between bad and evil?http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2051078/Zombies-v-witches-Who-win-battle-bad-evil.htmlMy View: Coming to peace with Salem's "Witch City' monikerhttp://www.salemnews.com/opinion/x250778831/My-View-Coming-to-peace-with-Salems-Witch-City-monikerEssex National Heritage Areahttp://www.essexheritage.org/Salem Maritime National Historic Site: Walking Tourshttp://www.nps.gov/sama/planyourvisit/brochures.htm#CP_JUMP_83949For most of the year, Salem, Massachusetts is a fairly tranquil town located 10 miles or so north of Boston. Salem has been on the map for over 460 years, and as you might expect, the town celebrates many historical and cultural events including the town's role as a major shipping port in the 17th century and Nathaniel Hawthorne, who lived and worked there for years. However, for most casual visitors the town's history can be summed up in one word: witches. This witchy reputation stems from the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, and those seeking to look into intolerance, freedom of speech, religious identity, and a myriad of other topics often make a pilgrimage to Salem. In addition, the Halloween holiday has become more popular among adults, many of whom elect to attend elaborate parties and various celebrations, including those in Salem. This year, city officials are predicting over 100,000 visitors on Halloween night. This large amount of visitors makes for some serious logistical challenges, as the city must rely on nearby municipalities to help out with various policing duties and such. In the past, celebrations have remained largely peaceful, and the majority of those celebrants find a way to share both their costumes and their goodwill with fellow Halloweeners. The first link will take visitors to a piece from Katy Dutile in the International Business Times about her recent visit to Salem. The second link leads to a very nice piece by Bob Ecker of the Napa Valley Register based on his recent travels to the "Witch City". Moving along, the third link will take interested parties to a fun piece from the Daily Mail about a recent playful "feud" between a group of witches and zombies in two competing attractions in Salem. The fourth link will take interested parties to a nice piece by Kristina Stevick about her own experience dealing with the "Witch City" nickname. She has good Salem credentials, as she teaches theater in the city and has been a featured performer in some of the witch trial re-enactments over the past two decades. The fifth link will take users to the homepage of the Essex National Heritage Area, where visitors can learn more about the historic locations and destinations throughout this extremely diverse area north of Boston. The final link leads to some most excellent walking tours of Salem history, provided courtesy of the National Park Service.


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