If you live in America, you’ve most certainly heard of Salem, Massachusetts and the Salem Witch trials. We learned about them in school while reading Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” and in the popular movie Hocus Pocus, which takes place in the town. The lure of Salem brings visitors from all over during the Halloween season. I have been there a few times but never in October, the busiest and most exciting time to visit. It was during their off-season that I was able to book a room in Salem’s infamous Hawthorne Hotel. It’s been featured on many paranormal shows, including Ghosthunters, making it the ideal place to stay.
The Hawthorne Hotel has a rich history dating back to when it opened in 1925. It’s named after the famous author of the novels, “The House of the Seven Gables” and “The Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne. The hotel has 93 rooms, two restaurants, 6 banquet rooms and countless stories of ghosts and paranormal activity. I love any good stories related to the paranormal, one of the many reasons I wanted to stay at this iconic hotel.
From the moment I checked in, the atmosphere seemed to wreak of history, popping out in every detail. In asking the employees if the hotel was really haunted and if the stories written in the guest book were real, they all seemed to have the same answer, “No comment.”
In reading the guest book, you might have a different opinion. For instance, room 612 is reportedly the most haunted location in the hotel. An apparition of a woman has been seen wandering the halls outside of the room. Inside the room, guests have admitted to experiencing an uneasy feeling. In room 325, there were several accounts of lights and faucets turning on and off on their own. The sounds of crying babies could be heard and some guests even said that they felt as if someone were touching them. Even my stay at the hotel left me a bit mystified, having felt like someone was sitting at the edge of my bed during the night.
With everything that’s been reported and even seeing it first-hand, I have to say that my stay at the Hawthorne Hotel was a memorable one for a somewhat different reason. It was something I saw on the way out to dinner one night, a quick glance while exiting onto Essex Street. It was a picture and a short story about a bell hop from 1927 named Charlie. The story wasn’t what really caught my eye, but rather the picture of this bell hop. Charlie looked exactly like my younger brother. Of course, I snapped a picture and sent it out to my brother and to everyone on my Facebook page to see. There wasn’t one person who said that Charlie didn’t resemble my brother. I’m not sure if I fully believe in the afterlife or the existence of doubles of ourselves, but I have to say that I questioned it after seeing this picture. Being that we were already up north this past week, we just had to make a stop and introduce Charlie to my brother. My brother was a little creeped out and said even up close to the picture it does look like him, even though he felt if you look closer you can see some differences.
Visiting here makes me love this quaint little town of Salem. Whenever I get a chance to visit, I take it. This year, I’m trying to make arrangements to attend their famous Halloween Ball on October 25th, which is the Saturday before Halloween. If you ever have the opportunity to visit and stay at this historic hotel, take it. You won’t be disappointed. What’s more exciting than getting a chance to add your own story to the guest book?