October Nights
with contributions from Anne Lucas

October at The Gables is a very special time every year. The Legacy of the Hanging Judge and Spirits of The Gables, our annual theatrical productions, create an air of excitement, education, and fun.

Fifteen years ago, Anne Lucas, a local writer, was asked to create theatrical performances to enhance the visitor experience in October. Ms. Lucas was inspired to write The Legacy of the Hanging Judge after a trip to the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum. “I saw the dangers that prejudice taken to extremes in any community can produce.” This performance, which takes place in the Hawthorne Birthplace, gives the visitor an opportunity to meet Nathaniel Hawthorne as he agonizes over his writing.  He hopes to expiate his guilt over his ancestor and witch trials judge, John Hathorne.. 

As the performance moves through the historic house, it goes back in time introducing us to the — meeting perpetrators and victims of the infamous Salem witch trials.  They warn us not to turn a blind eye to injustice “or it could be you in the cell here beside me.”

Ms. Lucas was also given the task to enhance an existing performance when she developed Spirits of The Gables. This tour and performance allows the visitor to meet the characters from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous novel, The House of the Seven Gables. Lucas loves that, “we meet these “shades of the great Nathaniel Hawthorne’s mind” in the house that inspired their creation. The Ghost of Matthew Maule stalks the audience and warns that the Pyncheons will die horrible deaths — ‘God will give them blood to drink’ for the injustice done to him.  We find there is only one solution to this family feud — love.”

Much like the year-round staff at The House of the Seven Gables, Anne Lucas enjoys the October season. “Every year it is so much fun to come back to The Gables with new actors and old regulars.  The wonderful staff feels like family.  So there is always a letdown when it is over.”
Don’t be letdown as well! Be sure to get your tickets for this year’s performances.
Zombie photos by John Andrews, Creative Salem

Do’s & Don’ts of Salem Haunted Happenings
By guest contributor Kate Fox, Executive Director of Destination Salem

Salem Haunted Happenings, the annual celebration of Halloween and fall in New England has grown into one of the largest celebrations of Halloween in the world. Visitors passionate about Salem and Halloween book travel months in advance, excited to be immersed in the unique history and fun that Salem Haunted Happenings presents. 

Haunted Happenings presents unique opportunities, including expanded programming and a festive atmosphere, and challenges, including traffic and longer waits for a table at your favorite restaurant. We have a few tips to offer to help you make the most of your visit to Salem during the height of the season.
  • Do pack your patience! Lines can be long. Don’t cut the line – other people are waiting, too!
  • Do dress for the weather so you don’t get caught in a snowstorm wearing your cute summer T, or melt in a wool sweater on a 75 degree day.
  • Do bring cash for the garages and surface lots, which charge $20 on entry on weekends in October so that you don’t get a $40 parking ticket, and do plan to leave your car and walk between sites.
  • Do check for road closures, traffic updates, and event listings so you don’t get stuck on Route 1A on Parade night (October 6) or Halloween.
  • Do make reservations for events that take them, including Spirits of the Gables and Legacy of the Hanging Judge, so you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of a sold-out event! 
  • Do be kind to the workers, staff, and volunteers in Salem. Don’t forget, they are doing their best to help you and others as quickly as they can!
Finally, do have fun. October in Salem is a bewitching season filled with fun, frights, and a festive atmosphere. 

For up-to-date information about all the events and programs during Haunted Happenings, visit To learn about all of the things to see, do, and eat in Salem throughout the year, visit
Click to learn more about Haunted Happenings
Gifts at The Gables

Stop by the Museum Store this October and see some of the unique creations of The Gravestone Girls. We are pleased to add their atmospheric castings and magnets of old New England’s tombstones to our selections.

Available for purchase at The House of the Seven Gables Museum Store. Can't make it to our Museum Store? Contact Everett Philbrook, Store Manager at 978-744-0991 x195 or, and we can have this item shipped to you.
October Events
Spirits of The Gables and Legacy of The Hanging Judge
Select weekend nights starting on October 7th, 8:00-10:30pm
As nightfall descends on Salem, walk the halls of two of America's most famous homes as you enjoy these exciting theatrical productions.
Buy Tickets Now
November Events
Splendor in Marblehead a Century After the Turners
November 16, 6:00-8:00pm

Join former Lee Mansion curator Judy Anderson for an illustrated talk about the preservation of the splendid Marblehead house and its hand painted wallpapers that are over two and a half centuries old. A book about those wall-coverings will be for sale after the talk.
Reserve Your Seats
The Boston Girl: A Lecture
November 27, 1:00-3:00pm
Join us for our final lecture of 2016 with New York Times bestselling author, Anita Diamant. A book signing will follow in the Museum Store. Ferreira Foods will be on site that day with a pop up cafe. Seats are going fast!
Reserve Your Seats
What's Happening in Settlement?

A children’s trade book that dealt with the topic of slavery was the centerpiece of the Gables’ summer program, Caribbean Connections. The book, The Red Hair Comb / La Peineta Colorada, was originally published in Spanish. The Gables obtained permission from the publisher to do a PowerPoint presentation of the book and unpack its richness in English for local educators.
On August 30th, Ana Nuncio, Settlement Partnerships Manager, explored the book through a “picture walk” presentation.  Educators from the Salem Public Schools, Essex National Heritage, the Royall House and Slave Quarters  Museum, North Shore Community College, and historical researcher and educator Irene Axelrod attended the session.
Three strands were highlighted in the PowerPoint presentation:  cultural notes, historical background about slavery in the Caribbean, and close-ups on vocabulary and figurative language that is used throughout the book.
What's Happening in Preservation?

The Retire Beckett House (1655) not only has a new roof, but is also receiving repairs to the siding on the north elevation. Wood siding on a historic buildings serves aesthetic and functional purposes. Clapboarding, both in style and color selection, help to define a building’s architectural style. Siding of any material acts like the “skin” of a building that helps to deflect sunlight, wind, and water. Because of its exposure to the elements, it needs to be replaced on occasion. The repairs taking place will help to protect the Retire Becket House for decades to come.

Members! Join us on Thursday, October 6 for a special, complimentary reception and performance of Spirits of The Gables or Legacy of the Hanging Judge.

Showtimes begin at 7:30pm. Space is limited. Please contact Ryan at 978-744-0991 x104, or to reserve a space. 

A reception with light refreshments will run from 7:00-9:00pm.
Copyright © 2016 The House of the Seven Gables, All rights reserved.

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