The House of Seven Gables, made famous by the great Nathaniel Hawthorne, is one of the most popular attractions of the city of Salem, Massachusetts. The house has great power over its visitors and is an absolute must-see.
Salem is a word which causes goose bumps to many on first hearing. No wonder, its history has its dark chapters which many fear to even think about. The Salem witch hunts were very real and even today inspire many authors and filmmakers.
There is one particular author who reintroduced Salem witch hunts. Nathanial Hawthorne was not only fascinated with the mysterious past; his ancestors were in fact associated with it. But the trials were not the only theme of his stories – thanks to Hawthorne, the House of Seven Gables became immortal.
Even though he himself never lived in the house, he had a chance to spend some time here with his cousin, who lived here. The house features some very unique 17th century architecture – in fact, it is one of the oldest surviving wooden mansions in New England. Visitors are more than welcome to explore its beauty as well as a few hidden surprises – such as a secret staircase. That is, however, rather steep and definitely not for the claustrophobic!
Salem is also Hawthorne’s birthplace. The house where little Nathaniel spent his early years was conveniently moved to be near the House of Seven Gables, and in fact, both houses are part of one guided tour today. The tours are conducted by guides who are dressed in historical costumes to bring as much of the atmosphere back as possible. And it works.
Salem has plenty of other appealing attractions – many of which inevitably involve witchcraft, the history of the trials, old legends and stories from 17th century Salem. But this belongs to the charm and almost mystical power of this city which will always have its firm fan base.