So we’ve seen some real clunkers out here and some great things, but the greatest of the great was an incredibly eerie horror film called The Witch, which takes place in pre-Salem New England. A family gets booted out of their plantation for heresy and tries to make a go of it on their own near the forest, but then strange things start happening, and they all go basically batshit. There are a number of animals UP TO NO GOOD in this flick, including a raven who stars in a particularly disturbing scene. Of course when I walked out I wanted to rush to my computer and start writing a long-form piece about the ability to predict which child stars will succeed (Anya Taylor-Joy is fu-cking in-cre-di-ble), the “mass hysteria” in LeRoy, New York a few years back, the psychological purpose of fantasy films for adults, and refugee camps for accused witches in Ghana, but… oh yeah, right, no essays.
But what I did do is reach out to the Salem Witch Museum to ask the below, which I’ve been wondering about for years. I REALLY hope my memory is correct on this one!
I have a very random question about the Witch Trials themselves (not really about the museum) that has stuck in my brain for years, and that I’ve finally decided to put to rest. About twenty years ago, when I was ten, my family visited Salem and visited a number of museums about the witch trials (perhaps yours?) I distinctly remember during this visit one of the tour guides mentioning that all but one of the young girls suffering from “possession” completely recovered. One, however, continued to have symptoms (fits and tics) for the rest of her life. I believe she died young. I can’t find any reference to this online, though, and as it was so many years ago, it’s entirely possible I’m mis-remembering it. If anyone on staff can confirm or deny this, I’d be SO appreciative!