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A Season With The Witch

  • Peabody Essex Museum 161 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 United States (map)

You might think Salem’s weird, but the city’s weirder than you think. That’s what author J.W. Ocker discovered when he moved to the strangest city in the country during its strangest season for his book, A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem. It’s not a straight line between a bizarre 17th century tragedy and Salem’s place today as Witch City, Halloween Town, and constantly conflicted. Drawing from his own personal experiences, his research, and his interviews with everyone from street performers to the mayor to, yes, plenty of witches, J.W. Ocker tells the real story of how Salem got so freakin’ weird…and why he hopes it never changes.

Presented by J.W. Ocker


J.W. Ocker is the Edgar Award-winning author of strange travelogues Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe, A Season with the Witch, and the Grimpendium books. His latest book is Death and Douglas, a Halloween mystery novel about a boy, his funeral home, and the killer who keeps filling it. Ocker’s work has appeared in The Boston Globe, CNN, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and other places people stick writing. Visit him at

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