Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Hawthorne Hotel of Salem, Massachusetts

The Hawthorne Hotel opened on July 23, 1925 (84 years ago today) in the infamous city of Salem, Massachusetts. The hotel, then known as just The Hawthorne, was named after one of Salem's most accomplished residents, Nathaniel Hawthorne. The name "Hawthorne" actually has an ironic connotation for the city of Salem. While it pays tribute to the famed author, it is also an unintentional reference to the city's dark past. Nathaniel Hawthorne's great-great-grandfather, John Hathorne, was one of the judges during the Salem Witch Trials, earning him the moniker of "The Witch Hanging Judge," and the only one to refuse to repent for his actions during the time. Out of great shame of his family's legacy, Nathaniel later legally changed his name by adding the "w" to Hawthorne.

Perhaps it is only fitting that a hotel named after an author well known for employing the supernatural in his fiction and whose own past is tied to one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in the United States is itself rumored to be haunted. In fact, there is a legend that the hotel is built on the former apple orchard of Bridget Bishop, the first person to be executed during the infamous trials. According to reports, guests and staff alike encounter the phantom smell of apples throughout the hotel to this very day. Of course, that is just one of the many ghostly legends tied to the hotel. In fact, if the stories are to be believed, the hotel is one of the most haunted locations not only in the state of Massachusetts, but in the entire country.

Read more on the ghosts and legends of the Hawthorne Hotel.

-Casey H.

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