This museum features an assortment of houses that are either key in the life and literature of author, Nathaniel Hawthorne (see Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, MA) or examples of the period in which he lived. Most of the buildings have been moved from their original locations to preserve them.
The Nathaniel Hawthorne House
This is the home in which Nathaniel Hawthorne was born and where he lived during his early childhood.
The Counting House
It is supposedly within this building that Hawthorne got his idea for the novel, The Scarlet Letter.
The House of Seven Gables
This large home belonged to relatives of Nathaniel Hawthorne. The house was used as the title location in his novel, The House of the Seven Gables. The novel deals with a house cursed by a man who was framed and executed for witchcraft. Haunted by its past it brings tragedy to those within. The actual house has a secret passageway within its walls that visitors may pass through.
There are also two other structures on the property of historical value but with little link to Hawthorne.
During the Spring of 1970, the cast and crew of Bewitched filmed on location in both Salem (see Gloucester, Massachusetts). A plot crossing two episodes (The Salem Saga and Samantha's Hot Bedwarmer) dealt with a 17th century man who'd been turned into a bedwarmer. The scenes were filmed at the actual House of Seven Gables.
Samantha and Darrin take part in a guided tour of the House of Seven Gables, whereupon the bedwarmer begins to nudge and fly to Samantha. This leads to frequent conflicts with the tour guide who thinks that Samantha and Darrin are purposely monkeying with the antique. The warmer finally sails out of a window and into Sam's car as the tour guide makes a point of warmly thanking all of the museum's visitors except Darrin and Samantha.
Salem Haunted Happenings
During Salem's celebration of October, this attraction adds a few special events. There is a lantern tour. There is a theatrical staging of historical moments during the Salem Witch Trials. Lastly, there is the haunting of the home by actors dressed as spirits of the characters from Hawthorne's novel, The House of Seven Gables. They re-enact scenes from the novel in the various rooms.