A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts

A Season with the Witch The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem Massachusetts Salem Massachusetts may be the strangest city on the planet A single event in its years of history the Salem Witch Trials of transformed it into the Capital of Creepy in America But Salem i

  • Title: A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts
  • Author: J.W. Ocker
  • ISBN: 9781581573398
  • Page: 341
  • Format: Paperback
  • Salem, Massachusetts, may be the strangest city on the planet A single event in its 400 years of history the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 transformed it into the Capital of Creepy in America But Salem is a seasonal town and its season happens to be Halloween Every October, this small city of 40,000 swells to than a quarter million as witches, goblins, ghouls, and ghoSalem, Massachusetts, may be the strangest city on the planet A single event in its 400 years of history the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 transformed it into the Capital of Creepy in America But Salem is a seasonal town and its season happens to be Halloween Every October, this small city of 40,000 swells to than a quarter million as witches, goblins, ghouls, and ghosts and their admirers descend on Essex Street For the fall of 2015, occult enthusiast and Edgar Award winning writer J.W Ocker moved his family of four to downtown Salem to experience firsthand a season with the witch, visiting all of its historical sites and macabre attractions In between, he interviews its leaders and citizens, its entrepreneurs and visitors, its street performers and Wiccans, its psychics and critics, creating a picture of this unique place and the people who revel in, or merely weather, its witchiness.

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      341 J.W. Ocker
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      Posted by:J.W. Ocker
      Published :2018-011-27T21:01:49+00:00

    About "J.W. Ocker"

    1. J.W. Ocker

      J.W. Ocker Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts book, this is one of the most wanted J.W. Ocker author readers around the world.

    365 thoughts on “A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts”

    1. Out of respect to my American friends and their culture, I really wanted to explore one of their most celebrated holiday known as Halloween. It is a phenomena, it sounds so much fun, it is a new world to me even it has been widely spreading its atmosphere in my part of the woods, too. My daughter's school is really picking up with this even when it is not part of our culture - they are having a Halloween disco again this year, which she is really looking forward to. As much as she is fascinated [...]


    2. Ocker and his family spend a month in Salem, MA. This book is more about the city than about that month. Ocker gets bonus points for including a chapter about the non-tourist section. I have to love a book that makes reference to Hocus Pocus. But honesty, a fun and funny read.


    3. The ultimate book to use as a guide to see the witchiest city in America JW guides you through its haunts, graveyards,and history of a time gone bywitch trials and the like I enjoyed the book very much,and now really hope to visit the city some daytaking this book with meAnd now folks, read Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon.I bet it's one horror novel you've not experiencedNew England mayhem in the fall.with both of these books. Thanks JW for your book. A job well done, my friend.


    4. Argh, the typos! I still went w/the 5 star, as I enjoyed the author's style and learned far more about Salem than I ever imagined (and not just the witch trials history). Very interesting to hear from many sides (art snobs, history buffs, modern-day witches, party-lovers, cemetery grounds keepers, etc.) on what Salem was, is, should be, and means to them. A perfect read for getting into the Halloween spirit!


    5. This book is basically Salem's history rather than being about Halloween like the title suggests. It didn't really keep my interest and I couldn't finish it. I think I should have realized that I wouldn't like it when they referred to 'Salem's Lot like it was written about Salem, Massachusetts


    6. The allure of Salem, Massachusetts is a large one if you're someone who revels in Halloween and/or history. We all know the basic outlines of the Witch Trials but this book just proved to myself that I don't know enough. Now, this isn't the book to pick up if you're looking to learn about the Witch Trials like myself, but it is the one to pick up if you've been wondering just how weird Salem gets around Halloween.It was interesting to find out that Salem only really began putting an emphasis on [...]


    7. For the most part this was a pretty interesting book. I've been to Salem a number of times and didn't know where most of the not-too-obvious historic sites were. I found that really useful for my next visit there. However, I wish I'd highlighted those entries now!I ended up skipping some chapters, mainly those where the author interviewed the citizens of Salem and got their opinions about the city, changes, Halloween, etc. I really didn't care what they had to say - we all have our opinions - an [...]


    8. Everything about this book just worked for me. Like Poe-Land the author's writing style was like sitting down with him and being entertained by his travel stories. Very engaging. The combination of history with modern day experience had perfect balance. Having visited Salem earlier this year I found his descriptions of the attractions to be spot-on. I enjoyed reading his encounters with the residents and visitors. Learned about some things I want to check out when I go back. An author I'd defini [...]


    9. The other thing is, everything in the entire world is founded on tragedy. Our country, every country. There's not a society on the planet that doesn't have ancient tragedies clawing at its back. The past is a giant corpse - right, Hawthorne? But life isn't a perpetual state of regret and mourning over those tragedies, it's taking those tragedies, giving them their due in proportion, learning from them (or not), working to prevent them from happening again (or not), and then we all party because [...]


    10. I absolutely devoured this book. It was an impulse grab for me, a book I checked out of the library on the simple basis of it having a really cool cover and an intriguing premise. "Occult Enthusiast" J. W. Ocker (the author) spends a month living in Salem, MA to report on just about every aspect of life in the city - but not just any month, of course - he visits in October, when the Witch City becomes Halloween central. I love Halloween. I'm interested in horror. And I adore Salem. I've visited [...]


    11. I was excited for this book as I’ve been to Salem many times and have read and watched a lot about the Salem Witch Trials, but this book was even better than I expected! It was funny and thought provoking. JW Ocker turned Salem into its own character and did a wonderful job telling the city’s story.


    12. This book was really helpful in finding sites associated with the Salem witch trials. I found the stone that marked the house of my 9th great grandmother who was hung as a witch among many other memorials.


    13. I took time to savor this book. Because it talks so much about a city I love and still at times considering moving to, and not just because of Halloween either. It honors the victims of the 1692 With Trials. It honors one of my favorite authors, Hawthrone. You meet Stevie the Vampire and the killer face from Halloween. We even got to quickly see that guy from the Sinister movies! You even get to meet the mayor and the cops too. It was in depth about the city itself and I loved that. There are so [...]



    14. Not a bad book on the history of Salem, including good chapters on Hawthorne, judges for the witch trials, maritime history, etc but none of this was all that well linked to the book's premise, which I thought was visiting and experiencing this center of the Halloween universe during October. Instead of a travel book, parts of it read more like an inquisition of the town's tourism decisions and museums. Rather than interviewing interesting people who come year after year to the festivities, we g [...]


    15. It made me yearn to live in Salem, more so than I already do but it also let me live vicariously through the author, which was nice. He describes everything in such detail that I could easily picture where he was in the city. I learned so much about the city! The book is like part travel guide and part history, but on steroids. It's awesome, and Ocker's humor and wit is great too. If you love Salem or witches or Halloween or all of the above, definitely read this book.


    16. Jumbled, unorganized, and unfocused. Perhaps gave an honest look at Salem but didn't help sway me even more to want to visit, maybe even put a damper on things. Also, came across enough typos that they became noticeable. Reading things like this makes me think "if this guy can do this then I certainly can" because it's nothing of note. Just blog ramblings come to life in a book format.


    17. I love books in the historical tourism genre. Tony Horowitz and Sarah Vowell delight me. So I thought I would like this book. And I loved it! It's funny, it's entertaining, it's educational, and it's thoughtful. If you've ever been to Salem (and wondered why a city should celebrate the murder of 20 innocents over 300 years ago), you should read this book.





    18. Attention fans of Halloween: here’s the book to put on your reading list for October of 2018! J.W. Ocker moved his young family to Salem, Massachusetts for the full month of October 2015. He then proceeded to immerse himself in all things Halloween for a full month and wrote of all he saw, experienced and thought about. He begins with the very real tragedy of the Salem witch trials and provides thoughtful background to the commemorative places he visits. But he also tackles head-on, the fact t [...]


    19. "A Season with the Witch” is definitely a worthwhile read; I enjoyed Ocker's style of writing and he had a lot of fascinating insights that I wish he shared more of! I don’t know a lot about the history of the witch trials so I wished I’d read more historical books before reading this one, but he provided a lot of book titles that I’m hoping to read now and get more historical context. See my list, "Books mentioned in A Season With the Witch" /review/listI love how he talked about Salem [...]


    20. I have a ton in common with this author so it's not a surprise that I love the first book I've read by him. I was already somewhat familiar with him--his website has helped me to find some odd New England attractions. So, when I saw that he released a book about him moving his family to Salem (one of my favorite towns) for a Halloween season, I had to pick it up. The book didn't come into the library until after Halloween (and when I moved on to Xmas books), but I still devoured it quickly. Alth [...]


    21. This is my first nonfiction book (beyond memoirs) since law school. The author relocates his family to Salem for the month of October. His tactic towards experiencing Salem and attitude about the trip reminded me so much of my time in Williamsburg. I lived in a townhouse about two blocks from the Williamsburg colonial village for 6 1/2 weeks while attending classes on the William and Mary campus (which is adjacent-to and pretty much part of the colonial village). Like the author I basically grab [...]


    22. Author relates his fascination with the city of Salem and his many visits to the city. He includes many interviews with a wide assortment of people who live there or work there. It becomes obvious that this is the ultimate place to celebrate Halloween. The entire month of October is one long celebration there. One curious aspect of the story was why so many people who identify as modern witches have gathered in the city famous as being the place where people were put to death despite denying tha [...]


    23. I thought I was going to love this book, but it took all my willpower to finish it. The actual content was nothing like the premise. Halloween is given ONE (the last) chapter. So much time is spent on tedious names and details of Salem history. He also basically gives you a step by step though every single place he goes (made a left, turned right, stopped at the stop sign) which, I understand you want to paint a picture, but learn to edit. Some chapters seemed no having nothing to do with the pr [...]


    24. This was an interesting idea that worked well as a book. I'm a MA native who loved visiting Salem as a teen, so I can attest that this book speaks well to someone already well acquainted with the area. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the interview work and the deep digging Ocker did into some of the sites. The book definitely has the vibe of reading your friend's travel blog- Ocker writes in a conversational manner which I enjoyed, but might put off other readers. Overall, this is a good read for so [...]


    25. Overall, I thought this book was fun, but it wasn't what I wanted it to be. Not the fault of the author or the book, necessarily, just my experience with it. I think I would have enjoyed something that was either the history of Salem and how that ties into the current Halloween traditions of the city OR an overview of some of the draws to Salem in October. The mix of the two plus interviews with locals who are annoyed their city is busy in October is a little boring/frustrating. I live somewhere [...]


    26. A very interesting topic, a book that billed itself as an examination of a city and that offered some great insights what history is or could be in the eyes of multiple groups. Unfortunately the author's asides and personal stories dragged me out of the narrative to the point where I really couldn't bear to go back in. Would have loved a history of Salem (and this author can spin a great yarn), but unless you're as interested in the author as you are in the town I'd suggest you look for another [...]


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