“Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, like a hell-broth boil and bubble!” (William Shakespeare)
The season of ghoulish antics and hocus pocus will soon arrive at the Andover Historical Society. The second annual Bewitched in Andover: A Series of Eerie Events will take place throughout the month of October offering a wide variety of spirited and Halloween-themed events for all ages.
Andover was deeply involved in the infamous Salem witch trials and has long embraced New England’s autumn traditions. So it is fitting that the Historical Society draws attention to the Colonial Era and the traditions that have evolved over the years.
On October 11th, Enders Robinson, author of books on science and technology as well as The Devil Discovered-Salem Witchcraft, 1692 and Salem Witchcraft and Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables, and descendent of a convicted witch, will present The Witches of Andover. His 7:00 p.m. lecture centers on Samuel Wardwell and Andover’s involvement in the witch trials. Samuel Wardwell was accused of witchcraft in 1692 and brought to trial in Salem. During his court examination, he confessed to being a witch by submitting a long and detailed story of his indiscretions in order to save his life. Although he understood the risk, his conscience and personal courage led him to recant the story and claim innocence. He was hanged on September 22, 1692. Are there any witches in your ancestry? $5 for Society members, $10 for non-members. Purchase tickets
In collaboration with the North Andover Historical Society, Ghosts of the Past: A Tour of First Burial Ground offers you the opportunity to visit the final resting place of some of those who were involved during the witch trials. Although Andover and North Andover split in 1855, the original settlement of Andover was located near the North Andover commons. Take a tour with the Director of the North Andover Historical Society, Carol Majahad, to learn about this interesting period of Andover’s past and who is buried in the cemetery, including some of the accused and their accusers. The tour is October 21st, 4-5 p.m. at the North Andover Burial Ground. See you there! Free for Society members (North Andover & Andover), $10 for non-members. Reserve tickets.
To excite your taste buds and enrich your witch trial knowledge, Dr. Emerson Baker of Salem State University will visit the Historical Society on October 26th for an evening lecture all about Trials and Taverns in New England. Dr. Baker will discuss the bewitched and debauched Quaker tavern central in his book, The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England. Throughout the summer of 1682, a stone-throwing demon would supernaturally assault the New Hampshire tavern. Similar events occurred in Salem just ten years later. Taverns provided the location for gatherings and even trials. Dr. Baker will also explore the nuances of early tavern culture. What were the preferred alcoholic beverages and tavern games during the Salem witch trials? Come join us for a drink and find out. $15 for Society members, $25 for non-members. Purchase tickets
Halloween is meant for little spooks, too! Children are invited to attend Wicked History Kids Afternoon on October 16th. Learn about Andover’s eerie connection to the witch trials and the history of Halloween while participating in games and wicked cool crafts! $10 per child. Purchase tickets
Finally, on October 30th, toddlers are invited to attend Pumpkin Patch Story Hour. Participants will listen to Halloween stories, make pumpkin crafts, and dance to the Monster Mash. Halloween costumes are required to attend this fun and fanciful event! $10 per Society member family; $12 for non-member family. Purchase tickets.
Grab your magic wand, your witch hat and your broomstick and visit the Andover Historical Society this Halloween season. To make your reservations, please click the ticket links above or call the Society at 978-475-2236. Happy Halloween!