“By The Way — We Hung Your Wife.”
Years ago, I took a trip out east with my husband, Rick, and our son, Kevin and one of the interesting places we visited was Salem, Massachusetts. Shortly after arriving, we signed up for a reenactment of a witch trial. It was based on the very first witch trial of a women named, Bridget Bishop, who lived in Salem Town.
Once we got to the meeting point, we noticed several actors dressed in colonial clothing were dispersed throughout the crowd of tourists. They mingled and talked friendly to everyone until without warning one actor turned to another and said loudly in a thick English accent, “She pushed my boy you know and he fell to the ground.” Another actor immediately joined in, “I saw her wearing a red bonnet the other day.” During this time another actor came walking through the crowd and the ones bad mouthing began to push and shove her. At one point they pushed her into my husband and he threw his arms up not knowing what to do. Seeing this one of the actors sneered at my husband and yelled out, “Look at the Minnesotan! He’s defending the witch!”
We then walked with the now angry mob on the same cobblestone street that Bridget Bishop had, to the very building where the trial had taken place in1692. Everyone in the crowd used a wide staircase to the second floor and we were led to a small black elevator because our son was in a motorized wheelchair.
A nice young man dressed in colonial garb loaded us onto the elevator and when we started to move, I jokingly asked,”How do you know if you’re taking up witches?” The elevator suddenly jerked and the man turned to me with frightened eyes. I asked if the elevator ever did that before and he told me it was the first time he experienced or heard of it. We blew it off thinking he was telling us a line to enhance our experience and got off the elevator.
During the trial anyone was invited to testify, but all of the actors testified using the actual documentation that had been used in the original trial. Some were dressed as Quakers and reported that they saw snakes coming out of her stomach which left me thinking that these people had to have been on drugs. In the end she was convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to hang.
When the performance ended, we walked back to the black elevator but when the actor hit the button the doors wouldn’t open. Several other actors and staff also tried, but the doors remained shut. We ended up talking with the actors for over an hour while we waited for the fire department to come and rescue us. During that time we learned more facts about the trial. There had been a strange fungus in the wheat that year and some believed it made people hallucinate.(I argued if the bread was baked it would’ve killed the fungus.)
Bridget Bishop’s only crime was just being an ornery woman who didn’t care about what other people thought or what she said. Her husband was out of town on business when they hung her. I can just hear them telling the poor man, “Oh by the way, while you were gone, we hung your wife.”
We tried to leave Salem that day, but ended up staying the night when one of our brand new tires mysteriously blew before we got out of town. 🧹🧙
I hope you have a fun Halloween!
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These are my books:
The Keys to Paradise (A Tropical Romance) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734084243
Only a Heartbeat Away (A Modern History Romance) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734084235
Revenge in a Heartbeat (A Modern History Romance) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734084227
Heartbeat of Desire (A Modern History Romance) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734084219
Ryley (A Christmas Romance) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734084200
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