The event is live and will feature a Q & A session at the end of the show. Pictures related to the discussion will also be shown by screen share and virtual background.
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Season 2 will is slated to start in November.
Thank you for a great 1st season
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An Evening with Marilynne Roach
Author and Scholar
Wednesday, January 13, at 7 p.m.
Join us for a lively discussion about the 1692 Salem Witchcraft Trials with Marilynne Roach, independent scholar and author. We'll discuss her books and latest projects.
Marilynne has researched the witchcraft trials for over 30 years and is one of the foremost authorities on the topic. She was one of the associate editors of the definitive Record of the Salem Witch Hunt and author of the The Salem Witch Trials Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege and Six Women of Salem.
Andover Witch Hunt with
Author & Historian
Wednesday, January 20, at 7 p.m.
Join us as we bring you the author of In the Shadow of Salem. Andover, a town just 20 miles northwest of Salem, had more accusations of witchcraft than any other town caught up in the hysteria during the 1692 Salem Witchcraft Trials.
A total of 45 people were accused including Martha Carrier, (described as the Queen of Hell), who was executed, and Ann Foster, who died in jail. Many more were jailed and admitted to being witches. One person claimed there were over 300 witches.
This presentation will also bring you to locations where Rev. Dane and Parson Barnard lived as well as the cemetery where many involved were buried.
The Salem Witchcraft Trials and Ergot, the "Moldy Bread" Hypothesis.
Margo Burns, Historian
Wednesday, January 27, at 7 p.m.
On April 2, 1976, Science Magazine published an article by Linnda R. Caporeal which posited that during the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, the visions of specters and painful physical sensations described by the girls who claimed to be afflicted by witches could have been caused, instead, from eating bread made with flour tainted by ergot, a naturally occurring fungal hallucinogen that grows on rye grain under certain growing conditions.
It was debunked immediately and soundly by experts because the historical and medical data used to support the hypothesis was cherry-picked. More than four decades later, however, this interpretation is still pervasive.
Margo Burns, a historian specializing in the Salem witch trials and an Associate Editor and Project Manager of the book Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt, will explain how this lurid chapter in American history was born and how it became cemented in the public imagination. It’s a case study in how people come to believe myths about historical events.
"Creating Horror in Different Mediums"
How a story morphs from one format to another
Author & Filmmaker
Wednesday, February 3rd, at 7 p.m.
Horror stories scare us to the point we can’t sleep. Whether they are short stories, novels, movies or other mediums, they cause us to look over our shoulder when we are alone and take a deep breath when we are about to descend to a basement.
Billy Hanson, who adapted and directed an acclaimed adaption of Stephen King’s Survivor Type that was lauded as “one of the most jaw dropping adaptions of (King’s) ever made…” by John Skipp of Fangoria Magazine, will discuss horror stories and how they adapt from one medium to another.
He will also discuss his book “Spider Season”, that debuted in 2018 and was a gold medal winner in Fiction Anthology, Reader's Favorite Book Award winner in 2019 and one of Book Authority's "Best New Horror Books to read in 2019”, as well as his latest release, “Dolly”. Both publications are haunting and mesmerizing, sure to leave you wide-eyed and gasping for breath.
He is a filmmaker, author and comic book writer with projects ranging from music videos and graphic novels to web series and films. His latest release is Dolly, a horror story published on Halloween 2020. He also has written for the horror anthology comic, “Grimm Tales or Terror“, and his first feature film, “Bone Cold”, is currently in post production, aiming for a 2021 release.
Born and raised in Maine, he now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.
Black History leaders of Salem, their contributions and influence
Giovanni Alabiso, Historian
Wednesday, Feb 10th, at 7 p.m.
Salem is well known for the 1692 Witchcraft Trials. And many people may be aware of the great maritime period as well as the importance of the city in the American Revolution.
But did you know that Salem has a very rich Black history?
There have been several key individuals who made great strides in the community and major contributions to Salem and the state by influencing policy, establishing businesses and leading the abolitionist movement
We will discuss the Remond Family, Charlotte Forten, Frederick Douglass, Charles Augustus Benson and more.
Our special guest will be Doreen Wade from Salem United who will discuss her organization and her plans to establish a Black History museum in Salem.
"The Devil of Great Island"
Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England with Prof. Emerson Baker
Author and Historian
Wednesday, February 17th, at 7 p.m.
In 1682, Town residents blamed what they called "Lithobolia" or "the stone-throwing devil." In this lively account, Emerson Baker shows how witchcraft hysteria overtook one town and spawned copycat incidents in Maine and Connecticut, prefiguring the horrors of Salem. In the process, he illuminates a cross-section of colonial society and overturns many popular assumptions about witchcraft in the seventeenth century.
Emerson "Tad" Baker is vice provost and a professor of History at Salem State University. He is the award-winning author of many works on the history and archaeology of early New England, including The Devil of Great Island and A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience. He has been an advisor and on-camera expert for many networks, including PBS, TLC, Smithsonian and National Geographic. He consulted on the Peabody Essex Museum’s current exhibit on the Salem witch trials and was a member of the Gallows Hill Project team who confirmed the witch trials execution site.
Leslie’s Retreat and Salem’s Involvement in the American Revolution
Giovanni Alabiso, Historian Jeffrey Lilley, Historian
Nick Pierce, Historian
Wednesday, February 24th, at 7 p.m.
Salem is known for the 1692 witchcraft trials but it is also plays an important role in the American Revolution and was visited by several revolutionaries, including President George Washington.
Two months before the battle of Lexington, Concord and the shot heard round the world, Salem had a tense standoff at the North Bridge with Colonel Leslie and 140 Redcoats who came to take our cannons and munitions. But they were turned back by a core group of local militia without a shot and the argument can be made that Salem is the true birthplace of the American Revolution.
The incident is also called The Salem Gunpowder Raid of 1775 and occurred on Feb. 26. The 245th anniversary is just two days away.
Our historians will discuss this incredible event and will show you other significant revolutionary sites in Salem via live broadcast and screen share, like the London Coffee House, Town House Square building, The Assembly House, where Washington slept plus Jonathan Haraden and the role of Salem’s Privateers.
Salem in Context: The Age of the Witch Hunts
With Professor Michelle Brock
Associate Professor of History
Wednesday, March 3rd, at 7 p.m.
The Salem witch trials loom large in American history and in our national imagination. But the events of 1692-3 were not uniquely American phenomena; instead, they were part of a much longer history of witch hunting in Europe that spanned nearly 300 years, involving approximately 100,000 formal accusations and 50,000 executions in places ranging from Scotland to Russia. Michelle D. Brock takes us through an overview of this fascinating and complex “Age of the Witch Hunts,” and asks what insights we gain when we consider the events in Salem as a critical yet distinctive part of this fundamentally European story.
Michelle D. Brock is associate professor of History at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. She is the author of Satan and the Scots: The Devil in Post-Reformation Scotland (2016) and co-editor of Knowing Demons, Knowing Spirits in the Early Modern Period (2018) and the forthcoming Routledge History of the Devil in the Western Tradition. She is also co-director of Mapping the Scottish Reformation, a digital resource for exploring the lives of the Scottish Clergy. You can learn more about Professor Brock and her work—including op-eds and podcasts for a popular audience—here: https://www.mdbrock.com/
Our Obsession with the Unexplained: Ghosts, Monsters & Aliens, oh my!
Author, Cultural Historian &
Tour Guide of the Weird
Wednesday, March 10th at 7 p.m.
In a world where rational, scientific explanations are more available than ever, belief in the unprovable and irrational–in fringe–is on the rise: from Atlantis to aliens, from Flat Earth to the Loch Ness monster, the list goes on. It seems the more our maps of the known world get filled in, the more we crave mysterious locations full of strange creatures.
Enter Colin Dickey, Cultural Historian and Tour Guide of the Weird. With curiosity and insight, Colin discusses what all fringe beliefs have in common, explaining that today’s Illuminati is yesterday’s Flat Earth: the attempt to find meaning in a world stripped of wonder. He'll discuss his visits to the wacky sites of America’s wildest fringe beliefs investigating how these theories come about, why they take hold, and why as Americans we keep inventing and re-inventing them decade after decade.
Colin Dickey is a writer, speaker and academic and has made a career out of collecting unusual objects and hidden histories all over the country. He is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Review of Books and The New Republic and is the co-editor of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology. He is also a member of the Order of Good Death, a collective of artists, writers and death industry professionals interested in improving the Western world's relationship with mortality. With a PhD in comparative literature from USC, he is a professor of creative writing at National University. He is the author of Ghostland, one of NPR's Great Reads of 2016, and The Unidentified.
Where the Salem Witch-Hunt Began: Exploring the Sites of Salem Village with Dan Gagnon
Teacher & Historian
Wednesday, March 17th at 7 p.m.
Salem Village - present-day Danvers, MA - was where the 1692 Witch-Hunt first began, and where many of the leading figures of the Witch-Hunt lived. It is where the Devil was allegedly raised, where people claimed to see specters of accused witches hurting them, and where Villagers turned against their neighbors because of the fear that some amongst them were in league with the Devil.
Although Danvers has many significant historical sites related to the witch-hunt and far more still-extant buildings connected to the witch-hunt than Salem Town (present day City of Salem), its witch-hunt history is less promoted and its historic sites less visited. This presentation will discuss these nationally significant historic sites including where the 1692 Witch-Hunt first started, where several accusers and accused lived, and where Salem Villagers gathered to watch those accused of witchcraft questioned by the judges.
Daniel A. Gagnon is a life-long Danvers resident and historian researching the 1692 Salem Village Witch-Hunt. He is the author of a forthcoming biography of 1692 Witch-Hunt victim Rebecca Nurse (Fall 2021), and his article “Skeletons in the Closet: How the Actions of the Salem Witch Trials Victims’ Families in 1692 Affected Later Memorialization” was recently published in the New England Journal of History (Fall 2019). He serves on the board of directors of the Rebecca Nurse Homestead Museum in Danvers, is a member of the Danvers Historical Society, and serves on the Town of Danvers’ Salem Village Historic District Commission. In 2017, he led the successful effort to petition the governor to declare July 19, 2017 as "Rebecca Nurse Day" in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to commemorate the 325th anniversary of Rebecca Nurse's execution for witchcraft in 1692.