This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
A Spirited Time to Visit


Celebr a t ing Ha l loween in Sa lem by Bill Cissna


Residents of Salem, in particular, were known to pass down stories of hauntings and other supernatural concerns that we still tell today. The Little Red Man of the Single Brothers’ House and the Mystery Guest of the Tavern are just two of Salem’s otherworldly companions.


Moravian records note that wolves, panthers, and wild dogs had been sighted in “unusual numbers” in Wachovia. As a result, it caused great concern when a group of children went out from the village of Bethabara to collect holi- day greens that December and one young girl did not return. There was an immediate hunt on horse- back to find her. Happily, she was found


I


under low-hanging branches of a cedar tree, sound asleep. But she told an interesting tale: in the dark, on two occa- sions, she heard what she thought were voices, perhaps calling to her. The first time, she thought to answer the sound, but what seemed like an invis- ible hand on her lips made


her stop. The second time, she moved to leave her safe haven under the tree, but something that felt like a hand on her shoulder caused her to remain. Once she was safely at home, the adults real-


ized that some sounds made by a panther, or North American cougar, could be easily mis-


26


n 1783, when the Revolutionary War was ending and Salem was still a new town, the


taken for human voices. They concluded that a guardian angel had intervened to keep the young girl safe from the dangerous cat in her vicinity. The Moravians of that time were far more


likely to accept the divine intervention of an angel rather than speculating on the existence of ghostly spectres. Residents of Salem, in particu- lar, were known to pass down stories of haunt- ings and other supernatural concerns that we still tell today. The Little Red Man of the Single Brothers’ House and the Mystery Guest of the Tavern are just two of the Salem’s otherworldly companions. The sharing of these legends is most appropri-


ate in late October each year. After dark the Old Salem historic district takes on a character of its own, as our costumed interpreters tour the dis- trict with lanterns in hand and spirited tales to tell. Discover the eerie side of Salem this autumn through one of our Halloween programs. m


Bill Cissna is a freelance writer and playwright. He lives in Kernersville, North Carolina.


Old Salem Museums & Gardens


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36