Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Monsters Be Nice! Family fun at the Salem Wax Museum

My boys and I stopped by the Haunted Neighborhood at the Salem Wax Museum on Sunday.  I admit, I was looking for the Kettle Corn (she was at the Fryeburg Fair and will be arriving this week) and cinnamon buns (present and accounted for!), but my 4th grader thought Frankenstein's Laboratory looked much more interesting than the food vendors. 

So, we got in line.  The staff advised us that if things got too frightful, just say, "Monsters be nice!" and the monsters would let us be.  We had to wait about 10 minutes, and while in line I was able to talk a lovely couple from Connecticut.  Empty-nesters, they were in Salem doing as many Haunted Happenings as possible.  They had just emerged from the Haunted Witch Village (adjacent to Frankenstein's Laboratory, combo tickets are available) and they said it was a great scare!

Frankenstein's Laboratory was a great maze of black lights, smoke machines, and monsters.  It was very scary for my son, who did use "Monsters Be Nice!" before we reached the end, and they did listen to him and back off, which I appreciated.  

After the haunted house, all three of us went into the Salem Wax Museum, which is an historical museum that presents scenes from Salem history.  It is self guided and fully lit, which gave me the opportunity to interpret the scenes for my 1st grade in a way that I felt was appropriate.  Scenes include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Giles Corey (standing up, not lying beneath the weight of the stones), Roger Conant, who founded Salem, some of Salem's pirate hooligans, and scenes from the Salem Witch Trials.  
Giles Corey, who was pressed to death during the Salem Witch Trials

After we brushed up on our history at the Salem Wax Museum, we went downstairs into the Souvenir Factory, which is one of our favorite stops in Salem.  Not only do they have a Salem Penny Machine, but there is an opportunity to make grave rubbings (free), practice knot tying (free), stand in a jail cell (free), make spin art ($2), make a wax hand ($8.95), build a Salem bear (for a fee), and do sand art (for a fee).

Making grave rubbings

Trying out the jail cell.
Spin Art (remember, "less is more" when applying paint!)

We left the Salem Wax Museum with unique souvenirs in our hands, a bit of Salem history under our hats, and a chill up our spine.  It was a great stop for the family!

For more information on the Salem Wax Museum and the Haunted Neighborhood, visit  Combination tickets are available for the Wax Museum, Witch Village, Haunted Witch Village, Frankenstein's Laboratory, Spellcasting, and their evening walking tour. 

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