Author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was a direct descendent of John Hathorne, who was one of the judges who presided over the Salem witch trials. So ashamed of his ancestry, was he, that Nathaniel, who was born over 100 years later in Salem Massachusetts, changed the spelling of his surname. He hoped to distance himself from his dark familial past. Still, that past colored his works with a texture and vividness that clearly displayed the impact of it on his life.

This small bit from Hawthorne’s “House of the Seven Gables”, is a great example of that: (click the image to enlarge it. It will open in a new window)

Hawthorne's Seven Gables

As if that isn’t enough to cement the darkness and hopelessness of the times in your mind, I believe the following link will. It is about the most haunting interactive I have found on the subject of Salem Village. It was that hopelessness, that sense of the unreal consuming reality that I tried to tame in my erotic trilogy, Immoral Virtue.

Take the tour yourself, click on the image below. Do all the scrolling and clicking on the interactive. See whether your perceptions will be forever altered…

National Geographic Salem Witch Hysteria

click to go to NatGeo
(will open in a new window)