Witch City and Mnemonic Tourism

in Volume 7 (2006): Issue 2 (Dec 2006)

Court trials and subsequent executions in 1692 of nineteen accused witches in Salem are important events in America’s history that are often studied. Today, ‘Witch City’ draws over sixty thousand visitors at Hallowe’en. While members of the Pagan/Wiccan community honour the accused, well known writers – Arthur Miller and Elie Weisel – publicly acknowledge the Salem witch trials as a lesson. ‘Agents of memory’ imagine they have individual and collective affinities with Salem, the place, its people, and the historical event. These agents develop different explanations for why these events occurred and see in them disparate meanings, thereby directing, shaping and influencing the ways in which the Salem witch trials are remembered.

Journeys

The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing

in Volume 7 (2006): Issue 2 (Dec 2006)