I love history and learning about different places, and if they’re creepy, so much the better this time of year. One book that’s caught my attention and made me keep returning to it is A Season With the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts by J.W. Ocker.
The witch trials have always fascinated me, but this book really dives into Salem, itself. Not only does the author explore the witch trials and the history, but also the tourism of Salem, the different personalities who live there, its pirate heritage, its critics, just everything about the town. Honestly, reading it makes me incredibly jealous of the author’s experience and now I kinda want to do a pseudo eat pray love experience and just live in Salem for an October. Your mileage may vary.
At any rate, I applaud him for going all out and covering all that he does. You really can’t get a feel for Salem until you see all of its pieces and how they fit together. The look into why they leaned into their background is also really fascinating. What I love is that you get so much history and an exploration of a place with this, but it’s also a lot of fun and a great look into the author’s personality, as well.
I’ve gone back to this book a few times – it’s one of my October reads – and I’ve loved it every time. If you have any interest in Salem besides whatever you still remember from history class, want to go there, or just love learning about places with a lot of history and interest behind them, this book is going to fit nicely on your shelf.