Archive for the Salem MA Category

Theory on Salem Witch Hysteria (1692-1693)

Posted in 17th century, Salem MA, Witchcraft Hysteria on May 13, 2023 by tommcge

Salem’s Coast (now)

An Alternative Theory to the Salem Witch Hysteria (1692)

In Salem,1692 a community is on edge and intolerance would soon be its master. While many theories have been tested, I have thought about the way people lived in the late 17th century must have contributed to the hysteria. For example, the houses were small, crowded, and damp. Chairs were few; usually only the head of the household had one. The rest sat on benches. 

The understanding of human anatomy is also in flux. Most doctors in the 17th century still adhered to the concept of the four humors within the body. The theory suggests they were specific fluids which were the primary cause for illness. Classified as blood, phlegm, yellow and black bile. It was believed illness set in when a patient had “too much of one” of these in their body’s system. Surgical  operations in the meantime are done by barber-surgeons. (How would you like your barber today to operate on you?)

The life expectancy is 35 years , with most deaths coming in childhood. It had been said if a youngster is able to survive past their teenage years, they could possibly live into their 50s or 60s

Colonists in this century also would have consumed high quantities of cider, rum and beer. Alcoholic drinks were the preferred choice of beverage since drinking water is often deemed unhealthy and dirty.

There are fears of Indian attacks; being abducted, tortured or scalped. Not to mention piracy that saw those swashbuckling sea dogs just off Massachusetts’ coast.

Again, many theorists have argued about the cause of the crisis in Salem MA (1692-1693) . Not a lot have been attributed to lifestyle though. All these proposed ideas as to why, I believe must be included with the closeness of the community. That is, the fears of attacks, abuse and the close proximity to which they lived to one another.

Turner’s Salem Restaurant, Former Home to Bridget Bishop

Posted in A Tale of Two Cities, Bridget Bishop, Salem MA, Witchcraft Hysteria on April 29, 2023 by tommcge

Eat at Turner’s Salem, home of Bridget Bishop 

On July 10, 1692 Bridget Bishop was hanged in Salem MA for the crime of witchcraft. She had been accused by the community of not living according to Puritan standard. Bishop, married three times, ran a saloon and dressed inappropriately; a woman who abided to her voice and not others.

Her house and an apple orchard sit on land that is now a restaurant. Turner’s Salem, formerly Turner’s Seafood opened in 1994 and may be haunted by the spirit of Ms Bishop. You may even smell the aroma of apples while you dine. The menu is a seafood lovers feast. Of course it would be since it lies within a community known for its ties to the sea.

In the YouTube video, “What’s Up Boo: The Ghost of Bridget Bishop” (https://youtu.be/asE_jh_-Yl0) a Salem psychic  has been in contact the ghost of Bridget since the medium was a child. Ms Bishop communicated she is in pain and needs our prayers. She asserts that she had been a good wife and was/is misunderstood. When asked if there is any advice she’d like to share with women today, her spirit went silent.

Bridget Bishop had been unjustly put to death by a community who’s motto was conform or risk death. The Salem witchcraft episode can still teach us today. We must never forget the past nor should we. So why not stop by Turner’s Salem for a quick bite today and say a little prayer for Bridget! You might even catch her roaming the restaurant she once called home.