Saturday, July 29, 2006

Salem Statue Slanderer Sues

Richard Sorell is suing the police department in Salem, Massachusetts, for violating his civil rights. He was arrested last year while protesting the unveiling of the less-than-historically-significant statue honoring the lead character of Bewitched.

Sorell, a local tour guide, was upset that a statue of Elizabeth Montgomery perched on a broom was erected so close to where innocent people were condemned to death during the Salem Witch Trials.

Sorell brought a homemade sign to the statue's unveiling in June 2005 that read "Elizabeth Who? Is she from Salem?" When he realized his sign couldn't be seen by television cameras, Sorell tried to move closer to the front of the crowd and was arrested after police said he nearly knocked over a 71-year-old woman. [Link]
I'm descended from two of the Salem "witches," and my research shows that neither of them wore sleeveless dresses.


I visited Salem and kept looking for the real story in spite of the touristy sensationalism. The statue seems to be a case of Salem and its merchants continuing to mine tourist dollars. Good for Sorrell. That statue deserved a protest.


I don't mind the Mary Richards statue in Minneapolis, or the Andy and Opie statue in Raleigh, but Salem already has enough witch-related tourist traps. These people seem to forget that those accused and executed all those years ago weren't really witches.

Randy Seaver


Who are your witchy ancestors? My only one is Rebecca (Towne) Nurse.

Have you visited the Nurse homestead in Danvers? It's done pretty well.

Cheers -- Randy


I descend from Rebecca's sister Mary (Towne) Easty, and from Sarah Wildes. I haven't been down to Salem in quite a few years, but I'll definitely have to put the Nurse homestead on my long, long, long list of places to visit.

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