October 5, 2010
Hoax Adventures and Seasonal Witches
"Who is that? The guy from American Idol?" I hear a young woman on Essex st ask.
Nope. That slick-haired celeb with the camera crew and boom following him while he walks down the street swinging his arms and popping his hips extra casually is Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures mugging for the camera and stopping for photo ops with his biggest fans - little girls.
Even if I were to accept the flawed science on the show, I truly hate paranormal investigators that taunt and provoke in order to get results. It is not only a cheap and showy way to build excitement and energy, but just plain disrespectful. A paranormal investigator should show the utmost respect for the history of any place and the people that were once there. I bet during their filming in the witch house (see how they painted it black back in the day to trick tourists into thinking it is spooky?) they really play up the old legend about how some of the examinations of suspected witches may have taken place there, which has been mostly proven completely false.
Just a quick Youtube search results in countless amateurs casually debunking their "paranormal" activity. I wont even waste any more time talking about them.
One of the best things about Salem in October is seeing people I have never seen before swoop into town and represent the city as if they are locals. I say 'best' because I know they will be gone in November, but it does get a little annoying. On Saturday afternoon I counted EIGHT different people passing out flyers on a 1/4 mile stretch of Essex st and EVERY SINGLE ONE was a girl dressed like a stereotypical pointy-hatted cartoonish witch. And I may be wrong, but it seemed like at least HALF of those people were employed by the self proclaimed "Howard Stern of witchcraft". Give it a rest! I am so sick of seeing all the litter scattered everywhere ALL being from the same two shops: HEX and OMEN. Aren't these supposed to be the newest coolest shops in town? What's with the saturation campaign? Shouldn't their awesomeness speak for itself? Clearly not.
Honestly, I feel bad for all the seasonal October people. Most of the time they have no idea what they are getting themselves into. This one guy who is an awesome and funny magician who is doing shows for my friend's shop said "I'm used to renaissance fairs, so [Salem drama] is nothing compared to that." Haha, so true. But still, most intelligent enemies make sure you underestimate them! As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, "...rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's coming, but on our own readiness to receive him..." Then there are the people who my boss yells at for handing out our competitor's flyers in front of her ticket office... Some don't even know what they are handing out. All they know is that ten bucks an hour to bother tourists is a great way to make beer money.
Oh and I have to mention... My 3pm tour goes by Salem City Hall right around closing time and I saw the mayor talking on her cellphone while driving as she pulled out of her parking spot onto Washington st! LMAO They JUST made that illegal in this state so I will give her a break, but my tourists were all dying laughing. It was pretty funny.
[Edit: I realized after I wrote this that it was TEXTING while driving that was made illegal. As far as just regular talking Massachusetts law states "Drivers can use their cell phone while driving as long as it does not get in the way of the vehicle's operation and one hand is on the wheel at all times." So, I was totally wrong. Sorry Mayor Driscoll! But just so you know I would love you even if you did break the law!]