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A Season with the Witch : The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts
by J. W. Ocker


Overview - Salem, Massachusetts, may be the strangest city on the planet. A single event in its 400 years of history--the Salem Witch Trials of 1692--transformed it into the Capital of Creepy in America. But Salem is a seasonal town--and its season happens to be Halloween.  Read more...

 
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More About A Season with the Witch by J. W. Ocker
 
 
 
Overview
Salem, Massachusetts, may be the strangest city on the planet. A single event in its 400 years of history--the Salem Witch Trials of 1692--transformed it into the Capital of Creepy in America. But Salem is a seasonal town--and its season happens to be Halloween. Every October, this small city of 40,000 swells to close to half a million as witches, goblins, ghouls, and ghosts (and their admirers) descend on Essex Street. For the fall of 2015, occult enthusiast and Edgar Award-winning writer J.W. Ocker moved his family of four to downtown Salem to experience firsthand a season with the witch, visiting all of its historical sites and macabre attractions. In between, he interviews its leaders and citizens, its entrepreneurs and visitors, its street performers and Wiccans, its psychics and critics, creating a picture of this unique place and the people who revel in, or merely weather, its witchiness.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781581573398
  • ISBN-10: 1581573391
  • Publisher: Countryman Press
  • Publish Date: October 2016
  • Page Count: 352
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Body, Mind & Spirit > Occultism
Books > Travel > Essays & Travelogues
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-08-29
  • Reviewer: Staff

This lively chronicle—part travel guide, part history lesson—charts the peculiar relationship between Haunted Happenings, the month-long Halloween celebration held annually in Salem, Mass., and the town’s historic legacy as the site where 20 people were executed during the infamous witch trials of 1692. As depicted by Ocker (Poe-Land), Salem’s embrace of what was once its stigma is a case of civics tempered by commercialism. Plaques and monuments around town call attention to the events of the early 1690s, but many historic sites have been built over—the site of the executions, for example, is now behind a Walgreens—and visitors are instead directed to self-styled museums that offer tours, wax dioramas, and historical reenactments. In the book’s most fascinating chapter, Ocker notes with irony that the Peabody Essex Museum, which possesses the only true artifacts from the trials, is endowed as an art museum and distances itself from the city’s branding for its October festivities. Ocker moves easily among the archivists, historians, and performers he interviews, and he describes the carnival atmosphere that descends upon “Witch City” with enthusiasm and vividness. 25 b&w photos. (Oct.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews