Salem has made history as a seaport and for its 1692 witch trials, which saw the persecution of 200 local people accused of witchcraft by a group of young girls, and 19 hangings as a result.
Today, visitors can explore the trial judge’s home, preserved in the colonial style, and authentic documents from the trials. The Salem Witch Museum is also an informative venue, where you can enjoy a live performance from actors, based on statements given in court.
In contrast, the modern-glass exterior of the Peabody Essex Museum houses a huge collection of art, from maritime scenes to art from across Asia. The PEM organisation has overseen the preservation of the town’s many building styles from post-medieval to Georgian, including the John Ward House, built for a leather worker in 1685. Condemned as unfit to live in, it was purchased by the museum in 1910, split into two and rolled on ox-drawn logs to its present site, becoming part of the first outdoor architecture museum in the country.
Fly direct from Manchester to Boston, then take the train to Salem or the ferry from Boston harbour.