Hotchkiss to earth, come in earth!
What are two things Professor Hotchkiss and I have in common? We both have eaten ate energy globules (okay, well, mine was a granola bar) while feverishly typing away in a hotel room. This is my Nancy Drew way of saying on day three of the Nancy Dew Convention I got some work done in the morning before I moseyed on into Salem for a free afternoon. After such a busy Nancy-packed day 2 I was honestly excited for a calm morning. Wanting to not completely turn into Hotchkiss, I left my hotel room with three items to check off.
- Take the trolley tour of Salem ND Sleuths set up
- Visit the Accused Witches’ Memorial
- Hunt for ghosts and take a haunted tour with ND Sleuths
On the way to the trolley tour pick-up spot, I couldn’t help but stop and try a few apple cider donuts, snap some photos of a familiar statue, and pose in front of an old house with the current Nancy Drew book I was reading, Nancy Drew 33: The Witch Tree Symbol.
If you take a quick glance, you just might see a shadow in the window
- Once I boarded the trolley, we set out on a two-hour tour of Salem. It was honestly my favorite tour I did the whole week, 10/10 recommend. The driver and tour guide were very knowledgeable and told us many funny stories and tidbits about Salem’s history. One of the most amusing anecdotes is how, after the winter holidays, many Salem citizens drag their Christmas Trees over to Dead Horse Beach (yes, that’s really the name!) and create a massive bonfire. Honestly, that sounds like a town tradition straight out of Horseshoe Bay and the CW’s Nancy Drew show. In the show, the town Nancy lives in is always holding some sort of annual festival that seems fun and light but actually rooted deep in historical lore.
Take the trolley tour of Salem ND Sleuths set up – Check! ✅
- After the tour ended, I realized just how walkable the town of Salem truly is. I trekked a little off the main street I had stayed on previously and made my way to the Accused Witches’ Memorial. The memorial is located on Liberty Street, and if you aren’t paying attention, you can miss it from the crowds. It is perfectly simple yet dramatic, honoring the 20 victims of the witch trials of 1692. The memorial butts up against the oldest cemetery in Salem city limits and consists of four-foot-high granite walls surrounding three sides, with granite benches for each victim. The benches note the victim’s name, outcome, and dates of death. This somber nook in Salem reminds the visitor of the tragic past that can still be felt if you linger long enough. It was comforting to find flowers and letters from modern-day ancestors left on the benches. The ground around the entrance and exit is made of stone carved with the last words of the victims of the witch hysteria.
Visit the Accused Witches’ Memorial – Done! ✅
- At last, the hour we have all been waiting for… drumroll please… It’s time for a ghost hunt! This tour was an options excursion just like the trolley or the day trip to Ogunquit. I think this tour perfectly blended history and lore that both Frank and Joe would have appreciated. We walked from one historical location to the next. Our guide would first tell us the historical significance of a place, then feed in the lore that goes with it, and leave it up to you to decide if you believe it or not. I had never had a ghost or haunted tour approach it that way before. Oftentimes, the historical significance of a place made me much more likely to believe in ghost apparitions or spooky happenings. When we passed by the cemetery she gave us pointers on how to try and capture a ghost on our cameras. One member of our group got so excited thinking she caught an orb that looked a little like Camille’s lights in Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon. Since the group was filled with Nancy lovers we quickly investigated and realized she had actually just caught a light from the cemetery that was behind a tree. No ghosts in sight.
- My favorite location where we stopped was the house in the photo below. The house was owned by Capt. Joseph White. He met an untimely demise. I won’t go into the details, but his murder is actually what inspired the Parker brothers to create the board game Clue and even inspired the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Our guide told us the law case surrounding it was even handled by Daniel Webster from Merriam-Webster Dictionary! This murder case is still used in law cases today as a precedent for some very interesting “lawyer things” that I am not going to butcher the facts of on the Amateur Sleuth Blog.
Hunt for ghosts and take a haunted tour with ND Sleuths – Finished that! ✅
Someone in my group was rocking the coolest HeR Interactive merch!
After some cheesecake in a possibly haunted old church-turned-restaurant, it was the end of another 14,321-step day. I took the trolley back to the hotel and decompressed the best way I know how – making Nancy Dew friendship bracelets! Each night, when I returned to the hotel, I made a few bracelets to give to new friends I knew I would make the next day. I always tried to theme for what the activities were going to be doing. Tomorrow is going to be the main convention day, so I wanted to have a big stockpile to hand out! Have you and your friends ever made Nancy Drew friendship bracelets? Comment below what phrases or color schemes you would use to decorate your own!
Which one is your favorite?