April 17, 2015

Ask A Salem Witch: Is Salem too Touristy?



Many people have a difficult time understanding how something as terrible as The Salem Witch Trials can be commercialized in our modern tourist industry.


March 5, 2015

Converting to Witchcraft - Ask A Salem Witch [Video]

Victims of witchcraft hysteria like in Salem in 1692 have been accused of converting to witchcraft in many strange ways - spitting on the cross, signing the Devil's book, and even kissing his ass!

But how does a real witch do it?










The Difference between Wicca and Witchcraft - Ask a Salem Witch [VIDEO]

This is one of the most common questions a witch can get.

Many times, people will refer to me as a Wiccan, which I am not, and I wont even bother correcting them because I am so sick of explaining the difference. 






March 3, 2015

What We Know about the New HBO Show Featuring the Salem Witch Trials [Updated 3/16/15]

[Updated 3/16/15: More of the cast has been announced, scroll down to see.]




People in Salem, MA are dying for more information about the new HBO Salem Witch Trials show. So far, we don't know much, but it's still enough to get excited. I should still probably calm down though.


Eddie Izzard doing a Puritan selfie at The Rebecca Nurse Homestead.

When I heard the top-notch English comedian Eddie Izzard was cast in the Jenji Kohan project, I knew he was going to be playing a villain and I am happy to announce that I was right! He will be playing Thomas Putnam, who many believe played a pivotal role in motivating and compelling the afflicted girls. This will be a great role for him, not just because every actor loves playing a bad guy, but because the uncompromising temperament of the Puritans is something that can come out in a character in a very subtle way that seems almost comedic. And knowing the feminist leanings of Kohan (creator of Orange is the New Black, and Weeds) and Izzard, we can only assume how the men in this show are going to be depicted - and rightly so, as the historical figures involved were not black-and-white "bad guys", but confused, ignorant, stubborn, complex characters. I think they know exactly what they're doing.

Jenji Kohan

The project, which so far is only a pilot being co-produced by HBO and Lionsgate doesn't have a name yet. First  it was being called "NEW WORLD" and now it is "THE DEVIL YOU KNOW". I'm not sure how this type of thing works, but I hope it gets more than a pilot, it sounds like a fantastic idea for a show, especially considering how hilariously bad WGN's Salem has been (don't get me wrong, I like watching it, but it's terrible). I've been able to obtain and read a synopsis of the pilot and, while the story certainly is not historically accurate, it seems to be a lot closer to what actually happened in 1692.

Gus Van Sant, will be directing. He's most well known for Good Will Hunting and Milk.

The role of Thomas Putnam's daughter, Ann, has also been cast and the tortured soul Mercy Lewis as well.

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UPDATE:

A few more major names have been added to the project. At first I wasn't going to update, but this is just getting crazy!


First of all we have Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), who will playing Jane Porter.

Ewen Bremner, who most Americans will remember from this picture of him pooping in the movie Trainspotting will be playing her father, Isreal Porter. I should mention, Isreal and Jane Porter are very minor figures in the witch trials so we can assume the writers will be taking a lot of creative liberty with their stories.

Kate Nash, the singer/songwriter from the UK has been cast as Bridget Bishop. The actual Bridget Bishop was a lot older and often gets confused with another woman who was a younger tavern owner. I guess you can't blame people for getting two women named Bridget Bishop from 1692 mixed up. We can assume she will be playing the historically innaccurate version of Bishop. In WGN's Salem the writers even went so far as to make her the leader of a brothel. Either way, Kate Nash is awesome and is a great addition,

Zawe Ashton as Tituba! I love her. If you are an American and have never seen the English tv show Fresh Meat you are really going to have to see her in it to get an idea of how amazing she is. 

Julian Rhind-Tutt is another actor Americans might not recognize, but has a prolific career. He will be playing The Reverend Samuel Parris! He has a striking look, absolutely perfect for an evil reverend. 


And fans of the UK series Being Human are excited to hear that Damien Malony, who played a vampire on the show, will be joining the cast.

So, that's basically half the actors in the UK. So many I am beginning to wonder if they are really coming over to start another colony.

They have been filming at all the great historic homes and reenactment parks in the area which makes the nerds in the area very happy. So far they have been confirmed filming at Old Sturbridge Village, Saugus Ironworks, and The Rebecca Nurse Homestead.

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This is still in the very early stages and not something I should be freaking out about this much, but as with most things Salem related, I will be keeping on eye on how things progress and keeping you all updated - that is, if I can. You see, I also auditioned to be an extra in the show last week and I'm pretty sure if I get cast I am not allowed to talk about it anymore! Here's a picture of me at the casting call:

I might be a background Puritan!

January 24, 2015

Real Witches Use Eye of Newt and Tongue of Dog??

It's something most people hear about but never actually consider - if witches are real, do we actually use the strange ingredients you hear about in fairy tales and literature?

Should we lock up our pets?? What does this mean? WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!? :p

But seriously, Tom the Tour Guide explains:



That's right, no need to worry. In fact, I'm even a vegetarian witch and my black cat's name is Brachleagh! Here's a video of him being annoyed with me:




January 20, 2015

Why is Salem Called "The Witch City"?



Many people wonder, is there were no witches in 1692, why is Salem called "The Witch City"? Shouldn't we be "The Hysteria City"? It's a horrible thing to say, but instead of a witch flying across the moon on a broomstick, would it not be more appropriate for the symbol for our city to be a lady hanging from a tree?

To understand why real witches are in Salem we first have to understand how we became known as "The Witch City".