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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lynn - We had Fake Witches Too!!! Come here for Halloween!

I was talking with a co-worker recently about how Salem just kind of took the whole witch thing and made something out of it. Salem and Lynn looked a lot alike about 30 years ago.  Everybody's got a history ... It's what you do with it that matters.  I made a joke in passing that Lynn had witches too! I thought I was joking. I was not.

Recently I got a book from a good family friend, Cathy Kibbey. She has been featured many times in our "They're Talking About Lynn" series. Read her posts on Central Square and the great movie theatres of Lynn.  The book is called "History of Lynn - 1692-1865. Based on the above I thought I'd flip over to 1692 and see what was up in Lynn while "witches" were getting pressed and hung over at Rockafellas. Lo and behold some of the most prominent Lynners of the time were accused and stood trial in Salem. Thomas Farrar, Sarah Bassett, Mary Derick, Elizabeth Hart, Thomas Hart, and Sarah Cole all stood trial and spent months in prison. Elizabeth Proctor, wife of John Proctor, was the daughter of William Bassett, a very big Lynn name of the time. She was condemned to death but then later released. John, as we all know, did not have the same luck.  People believed in witchcraft at the time. It was part of religious teachings, so it was easy to get caught up in the hype once the accusations started flying.

I can't wait to pour through more of this book. There have to be nuggets in here that we can embrace and bring forth to celebrate our history and bring more tourism to Lynn. If we don't have anything yet, we better get going on creating some.

I'll leave you with the final sentence from the chapter on withcraft. Amazing that this is a sentence about 1692 written in 1890 by author James R. Newhall:

"We wonder at the delusion of those days -- but is there no mist before our eyes at present?"


Halloween in the City of Sin! I can't think of any better place to spend it.

-Corey

2 comments:

  1. I think we have enough that's unique to Lynn, but it should come as no surprise that witch hysteria touched Lynn as well. Besides, Danvers used to be "Salem Village" back then, and has just as much right, if not more, to capitalize on that period.

    We have the story of pirates and Dungeon rock, for one... and while it may be a heavily bent truth, I don't see Salem following the path of historical accuracy..

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  2. why hasn't anyone created a Native American museum or site to see somewhere. the museums are hogging artifacts. High Rock and Sagamore Hill in Lynn were favorite dwelling sites by the natives. There may be other sites I am studying.

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