Sunday, October 10, 2010

Early Halloween event in Salem next Thursday

Oct. 14th, Paul Tremblay, Christopher Golden, Amber Benson and myself will be signing books and reading original scary Halloween stories at Cornerstone Books in Salem starting at 7 pm, and yes, it's the same Amber Benson who played Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The story I'll be reading is titled "Pink Wiggly Things". Should be a fun night and I hope folks in the area show up (and showing up is the only way you'll find out what 'pink wiggly things' are)!

6 comments:

Adrian McKinty said...

Dave

Is Salem at all embarrassed by the witch industry that has grown up there?

Does it need to be stressed that there were no witches in Salem. The people who were judicially murdered there in 1692 were victims of mass hysteria.

Some people - a minority apparently - do see this:

"The 300th anniversary of the trials was marked in Salem and Danvers by a variety of events in 1992. A memorial park was dedicated in Salem with a stone bench for each of those executed in 1692. Speakers at the ceremony in August included Arthur Miller and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel."

Dave Zeltserman said...

Adrian, yep, the witch trials happened in what's now Beverly. I don't spend much time in Salem, but yeah, it is a bit of an industry with museums, etc. Ironically, what happened with witch trials, torture and executions in the colonies was a mere drop in the bucket compared to what happened in Europe, yet when people think of witch trials they think of Salem. Is there anything remotely like the Salem witch industry in Europe?

How's Australia been? Do you miss Colorado?

--Dave

adrian mckinty said...

Dave

It just seems tasteless to me. When you drive around Salem you see those witch on broomstick signs everywhere. It makes me want to yell: there were no bloody witches, thats the whole bloody point! And yes, of course in Europe its just as bad: in Belfast they have "Troubles Tours" which take people around the sites of notorious bombings and attacks and a lowlight of my life was getting a tour of Dachau with a bunch of drunk rugby players on an off day from the Oktoberfest.

I miss Colorado a bit, especially in February when the temp here climbs above 110, but finally being right next to the ocean after a near decade in landlocked exile is a big compensation.

Dave Zeltserman said...

It is bizarre (and tasteless).

In Europe over 80,000 tortured and killed as witches, in Massachusetts, 20 people, yet here is where a witch tourism industry gets established and continues. Maybe because the sheer number murdered in Europe is so horrific that people there would just as soon wipe it out from their history.

I'd love to get out to Australia someday, but more likely to get to Colorado before then.

--Dave

adrian mckinty said...

Dave

I dont think there was one particular site where witches were burned or pressed or hung in any numbers that would attract a memorial in Europe. Of course you cant think arithmetically about moral facts but still in Salem it was a lot of people in a short period of time.

Whats also shocking about Salem is that it happened during the Enlightenment not the Middle Ages. And of course only a few years later everyone was embarrassed by bit.

I actually know Beverly/Salem quite well. My father in law lives in Marblehead and I did my driving test in Beverly. I hate the coopting of the place by the so called wiccans, when there are far more appropriate spots even in Massachusetts for their invented religion. Newburyport for example features often in HP Lovecraft's mythos. As does Ipswich, which is also where John Updike lived. Perhaps all the witches could move there. That I wouldnt find offensive at all.

Dave Zeltserman said...

Adrian, I researched witch trials in Europe for a book I worked on, and there are villages where 100s were killed. And the Age of Enlightenment came about slowly--they were still executing witches in Europe well into the 1700s (Salem witch trials occurred in 1692).

I know Marblehead well--my uncle and aunt used to live there. A beautiful town.

--Dave