Is Gettysburg So Different?
Editorial, Salem News, 5/15/2017
For those who haven't seen it yet, my lecture on www.ROPESEND.org has been causing quite a stir in the "Witch City." During the first half of the 13-minute video, I discuss the various ways in which the infamous Salem Witch Trials have been commercialized. During the second, I propose a rather controversial idea: to reenact a witch hanging on June 10th, 2017, 325 years after Bridget Bishop was first hanged on Gallows Hill.
The backlash was expected. Nearly everyone from locals to Wiccans to the very descendants of the witch trial victims have come out against it – and understandably so. I agree with nearly all of their comments accusing this performance for being reprehensible.
That's the point.
It's a stark reminder for a city that has forgotten the gruesome realities of the Salem Witch Trials. If people still found the 1692 hangings reprehensible, there would not be a statue of a pop culture witch smiling in the center of town. If people were truly appalled by the executions, there would not be a cartoon witch flying across the top left corner of this newspaper. If people really treated the murder of 20 innocent people with the gravitas it deserves, there would not be so many fright sights, ghost tours, haunted houses, faux historic museums, or Wiccan and Souvenir shops that make light of it.
This is not a performance I want to do; it is a performance that needs to be done given the current state of Salem's "witch kitsch" tourist industry. Unlike other establishments in town, this reenactment is not meant for profit or entertainment. It is meant to make a very powerful statement; one that challenges the audience, provokes thought, and questions the status quo. Its very suggestion has already sparked fierce discussions online.
Virtually all of the comments I have read simply demand that it stop. Very few, if any, actually address, or even consider the impetus for such an idea, let alone offer an alternative solution to the problem. Everyone seems so outraged at the thought of this happening, they fail to notice all the offensive things that already exist downtown. I am still waiting to read a convincing argument as to why this reenactment should not proceed.
The more thoughtful comments agreed that the witch kitsch is out of hand, but disagreed with the extreme measure by which I have chosen to confront it. They suggested a more educational approach, although I would argue that such academic measures have failed in the past to elicit change. Sometimes an outrageous spectacle is the only way to bring attention to an absurd situation. I wonder if anyone would have even bothered watching my lecture had I not hanged myself mid way through...
And then there are those comments that simply attack my character, rather than focus on the issues I have presented. Just visit Geoff Millar's "Keep it Klassy" Facebook page to find a modern day witch hunt, with adults making childish insults or attempting to tarnish my reputation. Bickering with these keyboard warriors is not worth my time, however, especially when I am not hiding or ashamed of any of my past art series.
Despite the backlash, I'm very glad to learn that so many people are committed to protecting the witch trial victims from inappropriate exploitation. That is why I'm formally starting a petition at www.ropesend.org/bewitched-statue to remove the Bewitched Statue from Lappin Park. I'm confident that those who passionately opposed this reenactment will also support the removal of one of Americas most insensitive sculptures. Perhaps if I receive enough signatures, I'll be convinced that a witch hanging reenactment isn't necessary after all.
Andrew Carr, Salem
Good video. Pretty scary when the ladder fell. Not surprised people wouldn't like it. It's kind of unclear (and by "kind of", I mean "not at all") how you are exploiting the situation. The definition of exploitation is "the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work." Not sure how you could be any fairer or how you're benefiting.
Generally, the entire Salem "witch kitsch" scene has been ridiculous for years, but these people are heavily invested in ignoring the point that you're trying to make. Obviously, you're fighting an uphill battle. - Nathan Buchek
As a descendant of someone who died during the trials I ask that you don't do this. - Jodi Rogers Bellavigna
There are gentler ways to honor the victims of this tragedy. You could focus on their lives, their friends, their talents and contributions, not on their gruesome end. Please reconsider. Thank you. -Alicia Mascolo Diozzi
This is ghoulish. Why would you want to reenact the murder of people? Has anyone reenacted the hanging of the Lincoln conspirators, or the Molly McGuirers? How about all others that were innocently hung. I can't imagine how you envisioned such an ugly thing. The families of those hung will surely be upset by this. As for me, I have two relatives that were accused but released. I can imagine how those two would view this monstrosity. -Laurie L MacTaggart
As a direct descendant of Margaret Scott who was murdered Sept 22, 1692 I ask you to please reconsider this Do something to honor those who were accused instead. -
Have you completely lost your mind? What is the thought process that could possibly lead you to this disrespectful conclusion? -Judith Coughlin
I sincerely hope that your hanging yourself for public entertainment does not go horribly wrong....-Bonnie Michalowski
Shameful. -Jamie Diana
I am a tour guide in Salem. I discuss the Witch Trials on my tours. It is not comedy, nor is it taken lightly. The people on my tours go home with a deeper understanding of this painful and tragic historic event. -
Lemaris Berry Sinatra
Andrew Carr, you're an idiot if you think the witches of Salem want anything to do with this! What the hell is wrong with you? -Jamie Diana
You're so absurd. This is absurd. And very awesome. And very Andrew Carr. - Emma Van Wickler
I support this 100%. - Frances Whisnant
As a direct descendant of Bridget herself, I am utterly offended and beyond disgusted about this! I agree with you, to an extent about the town... you wish for the dead to Rest In Peace but on the same token, you wish to reenact how my ancestor died ESPECIALLY on her anniversary?! What the hell is wrong with you? I am begging you to stop this. I don't care what I have to do: I will petition against you and gather up all the family to fight this. You are not only disrespecting Bridget's name as well as OUR family, you're also making a mockery of how she died. Don't do it. -Freya Bishop
You (and your father) clearly have no idea that, by Witches being in Salem, they are counteracting the false narrative of Witches that was propagated during those fateful trials. In 1692, a definition of Witchcraft that meant "devil-worshipper" was further foisted onto the world much as it had been in Europe. We were never devil-worshippers, not then and not now, and continued research by academia has shown that we were a tribal people and close to the earth, not the arbiters of evil that we were branded in Salem. Witches aren't in Salem simply for the opportunity to sell pewter trinkets. Few of us are getting rich off of owning Witch shops. We are there because our heart is there, because we are correcting an historical inaccuracy. It is not enough to say that the Puritans were innocent of Witchcraft. It must also be said that they weren't accused of Witchcraft either, but rather diabolism. The Puritans wrongly used the word Witchcraft in their accusations and we are there to state that wrong. Moreover, I am frankly tired of getting asked why Witches live in Salem if the people accused in 1692 weren't Witches. Did Jesus walk on water in Virginia Beach? Is there a Temple Mount in Brooklyn that I've never seen? Did Mohammad make a pilgrimage to one of the Burger Kings in Dearborn Michigan that we've never heard of? Why should any religious people have to apologize for choosing to settling in a specific place, especially when that place provides us the opportunity to right an historical wrong? We honor the victims of 1692, not because they were Witches (though, who really knows who was and who wasn't?), but because they fell under the sword of the patriarchy's false narrative of Women's power that had raged for centuries leading up to the culmination of fear and terror in Salem. I will not apologize for owning shops in Salem. What you are doing is truly a disrespect to those innocent victims and the comments by the descending of those victims on this GoFundMe page illustrates that quite clearly. -Christian Day
Please don't do this. Unfortunately, there are still witch hunts today, with other names. As well, there are many ways to work AGAINST witch hunts in the 21st century. Working for peace or equality or tolerance in any form would honor those who died because some folks were full of fear and/or hate and/or greed. -Elaine WIntman
Ghoulish and overly theatrical. -Rebecca Oberzan
So, you want four thousand dollars for a student that insults a huge religious tradition in this town? The witches of Salem do not own shops because they're getting wealthy from it. They are doing it to dispel mistruths about modern day religious traditions of witchcraft that have a strong historical basis in this country, and New England in particular. It doesn't matter that most likely the victims of 1691 weren't witches. Modern-day witches have made Salem what it is today and is the reason why so many people support with by visiting and learning more. This performance and the intent behind it is disgusting, reprehensible, and tasteless. Not only will I not donate to this, but I will be sure to let my entire network know to avoid this. For shame. -David Salisbury
I think you need some historical facts regarding witchcraft trials. Here is one during the Holy Inquistion people were burned alive for witchcraft, sodomy, and heresy. Being burned alive was nothing compared to the torture victims endured at the hands of the clergy trying to save their souls by destroying their bodies. A woman would sometimes be hoisted up to the top of the ceiling then dropped repeatedly. Her underarm hair would be set on fire. Her breasts would be ripped open. Her feet would be crushed. In Salem, they inflicted torture on people as well with the charge of witchcraft. Like the pressing of Giles Corey. Innocent families were tortured and split up by land grabbing behavior carried out in the name of saving souls. Then there is you who is basically making a mockery of the pain inflicted on innocent people. Who apparently has little understanding of what went along with the charges of witchcraft and heresy in those days. You should be ashamed of your ignorance for making light of this topic! -Daniel English
As part of the Witchcraft community in Salem I must oppose this. Legally, I can not stop you. But there are other ways to honor the victims. All this will do is create a ruckus and further perpetuate the negative and false images we Witches have had to endure for centuries. We know what happened to those innocent people and remember them solemnly. Such tragedies exemplify the importance of free religious practice today. -Eddie Goodwin
Take this down NOW! This is extremely offensive. -Michael Hill
NO!!! This is highly reprehensible, and horribly disrespectful! -Gypsy Dawn Rose Antra
As the ninth great granddaughter of Susannah North Martin, I oppose this. -Mary Prada
This is so incredibly offensive and turns my stomach. "Many locals are at their rope's end." ?!?!? How heartless are you??? "...to remind people of what actually occurred...to shock some reality back into a city..." Seriously??? What are you doing, threatening to bring back the Witch Trials because "many locals" are annoyed that people have shops in Salem? Do you realize that all those innocent people that were mercilessly tortured and murdered just to appease ignorant people's fears are being honored at every moment by the their descendants and Witches who choose to live in Salem *because* they are free to do so without the persecution that the ancestors endured? Have you thought about how ugly and malignant it is to want to raise up the energies of hatred and the violent vision of a hanging - and you're intending on using the date of death of one of the victims to showcase your disgusting spectacle? If those ancestors were witches or not won't make a difference - they now all have the strength of being in Spirit, and you just might find out how they feel about your attempt to disrupt and berate their families and those who hold them in their hearts with respect and love. -Roxy Riou
As the direct descendant and family member of more than 18 of the executed and accused victims, accusers and adjudicators of this horrific and gruesome event I am absolutely APPALLED that you would even consider such a disgusting, insensitive "reinactment" with zero regard for the descendants and families. This is nothing but a petty "vengence" on your part and you need to stop this mockery and exploitation of our ancestors.
-Sharon Anthony Connors
The crowd drawn to such a reprehensible reenactment will be the same kind of ghouls who watched the heartless spectacle the first time. It would be better to go lay roses on the graves. Please reconsider. -Kathy-Ann Becker
I find as a descendant of Susanna Martin of Salisbury MA your take on Salem has points but your planned publicity stunt is not educational but a self promoting stunt a millennial looking to go viral I would also like to be the first to warn you of showing my business insignia and logo and claim that my tour is totally inaccurate which is designed to hurt my business in a legally slanderous tone will be in touch if you think you are educated in the New England era in focus then come out every day lead lecture or a tour put your expertise out there to do the victims justice help change the culture of Salem I would challenge you to a historical debate on puritan New England any time you like I will be happy to lead a group against your stunt because your organizing a stunt
The crowd drawn to such a reprehensible reenactment will be the same kind of ghouls who watched the heartless spectacle the first time. It would be better to go lay roses on the graves. Please reconsider. -Salem Night Tour - Kathy-Ann Becker
Appalling and grossly off point. I strongly believe that those men and women who suffered in 1692 should be commemorated and given due respect. All this money could be spent on restoring the memorial sites, placing flowers there or some other noble homage that doesn't focus around needless theatrics which do not seek to venerate the fallen, but to further exploit them. This seems to be about personal agenda rather than the "education" of comers by. Most of the verbiage in the video was "witch hunty" in tone and delivery. "Let's commemorate innocent victims of the past witch hunts by verbally smashing modern day witches and starting a new one" is not clear thinking. I would hope you would seriously reconsider this. It is poor taste and the money could be used far more constructively should proper homage/education be the TRUE intention of this endeavor. Perhaps some introspection and reflection is better time spent. -Rico Deleo
My maiden name is Howe. As in Elizabeth Howe of Salem, Massachusetts, Bay Colony. I am wholly uncertain in what way you think such a gross and uncouth reenactment of their trauma and deaths honor our ancestors, but I've yet to note a descendent who isn't enormously offended and disgusted by your proposition. This is disquieting at best, and exploitation at worst. Please leave our ancestors to rest in peace. -Melissa Pomeranz
this is shameful...should we also re-enact the trail of tears, christians being thrown to the lions, nazi gas chambers, or any of the other atrocities committed in the name of "lawful religion"? -Honey Hogue-cherry
To preface (my apologies for the length)....I don't believe in getting in the way of art, protest, free speech, civil disagreement and debate, etc. because I firmly believe in protecting the rights that our Constitution guarantees us as free citizens of this country, but I do ask that perhaps you might reconsider. As one of the central co-creators of the original Salem Witch Village from 1996, our aim was not to "cash in" on what you call "Witch-Kitsch" but to strike a balance between educating visitors who were curious about the tragic historical events of 1692 and presenting the truth & some history about modern day Witchcraft. Our central goal was to educate by differentiating the two, as the general public's only understanding of Witchcraft is what they've been fed by mainstream pop-culture and faerie tales. We created it to be respectful to the victims, educational about the real Witchcraft community as well presenting a cautionary "tale" about what can happen when politics and religion combine with fallible and fearful human beings. It's been a very long time since my involvement so I cannot vouch for what the attraction presents today but speaking from the original group that created it (for no payment, btw) I can't help but feel somewhat "offended" by some of the claims you make in your presentation. Some things you have mentioned are markedly pointed at specific individuals and I find it difficult to see how your intended event and what some of the other the attractions do, are so different in method? Save for the obvious that yours is pretty over-the-top graphic, (which I understand your reasoning for doing so) and pitched as "authentic" to garner more respect for what happened in 1692. But then you point out the various other attractions that bank on the public's interest in horror (as they associate it with "Witchcraft") - which your event would *also* do by attracting those same people looking to see some grim spectacle - as another poster mentioned - thereby feeding the blood-hungry train wreck oglers. How would that garner any long term solemn respect for those horrendous deaths? Having discovered that Sara Wilds is my 9x great-grandmother direct, it has given me greater pause to think. If she were, say, a victim of the gas chambers at Dachau or Auschwitiz, would I be interested in seeing a re-enactment of her death? Not really. (I also understand why you perpetuate the analogy of Salem and Auschwitz but it's not the same situation.) And although I respect your *right* to do such a thing, I don't think that other descendants would be too keen on it either (as also evidenced here in the comments) and I would not blame them for expressing their distaste for *your* particular performance piece that can also be construed as rather "insensitive". I understand your motive, the people that I worked with when we created the Witch Village shared some of your very legitimate frustrations, but we wanted to present the facts from both sides in whole so that visitors would leave knowing that those executed were INNOCENT & not "guilty" of anything the public perceives as "Witchcraft" and hopefully they would have a more respectful perspective. Personally, I think your video presentation here provided more impact than the inclusion of a theatrical hanging. So I am compelled to as you in closing, what is the *long-term* effect of what you are planning to do on *one* day as opposed to those businesses and attractions that operate 365 days a year and are consistent in their work and message? There are other ways you can get your message across loud and clear without resorting to the Houdini-esque style theater that makes you appear to be a hypocrite looking to attract attention, moreso than sincerely desiring to share a SERIOUS message. Would the PEM support your presentation? If not, why? Thank you for reading if you made it this far. -Mulysa Mayhem
You will not raise this money. A lot of people will make sure of that. You are ignorant and doing exactly what you claim to hate. Idiot. -Annie Burton
As a local tour guide, historian, and modern witch, I explain all of the confusion and misconceptions you mentioned in your video and more to tourists every day. If you would like to learn about how exactly Salem became the witch city and how modern witches ended up here just ask. You are making a lot of sophomoric assumptions and I the future you'll be embarrassed by this. -Thomas O'Brien Vallor
If you don't agree with what he's doing, then ignore him. He has a constitutional right to artistic expression. You self-proclaimed descendants act like you own the story rights. It's not as though any of you knew the victims personally. It's been over 300 years. Get over it already. Hail Satan. -J.M. Smig
Please take down this forsaken page. Not only are you hurting the descendents of the original victims but creating a mockery with this hanging that does nothing but misinforms the public and the children that come to Salem on field trips for either their history or english classes. If you wish to help the community there are far better ways than with this monstrosity. Please reconsider by not going through with this and return the money that has been donated to your cause. Please reconsider for the townsfolk of Salem. -Michael Wilson
Lmao....empty seats...he looks around anyways haha. -Adam Smith
This is a horrible and dangerous idea.-Enid Cherry Laganas
You know, in many parts of the world there are Witches and people that are simply being accused of Witchcraft that are being tortured, burned, and killed. If you really wanted to put your money where your mouth is, you could spend your time and energy to bring awareness to these barbaric practices. -Frank DuFriend
I am not going to touch on the obvious offensiveness of this planned event, or the history or the misrepresentation of Salem and the shop owners as so many have already eloquently done so. But honestly, you are simply doing this for the money and the notoriety. You are a Charlatan and a carnival barker and are simply looking to make money off of a horrific page in our country's early history. Save your bullshit, we can all see through your transparent scam. Your website is very apt, as you are at the end of your rope with this endeavor. In case I have been a bit too subtle, YOU SUCK! -Faith McCann
While I commend this young man for his intention, the action he is proposing is wholly appalling & unnecessary. I agree with what he is saying, having visited this town myself and witnessed the ugly part of tourism there. I wrote to the town council and not one response from 7 emails, I understand all they see is money in the coffers but it is at the expense of those who were victims of a horrific time in our history, including my 9th G-Grandmother Susannah North Martin. The entire community who experienced terrifying accusations and became a part of the hysteria that started in Europe and England with King James I book on how to recognize a witch.....the history should be taught. The reasons for accusations here in colonial America and the political/religious mess that created the atmosphere of mistrust, hatred, opportunities and malfeasance at the hands of those who should have protected the citizens. Yes, tell the story, be bold and passionate about teaching and remembering but NO to actually portraying the hanging Mr. Carr. We do not need that jolt. Period. The descendants have made their voices heard, we do not want this, and no one needs this.-Susan Burgess Hoffman
Your evil Carr ancestors who were instigators and false accusers would be proud. While I agree with every word in the video about the fake "witches" in Salem (like Christian Day) and others who cash in on the crimes against my great-grandmother, your plan is disingenuous and inconsistent with your narrative. Rather, it capitalizes on the unjust persecution and suffering of my ancestors in the same way the fake "witches" and witch-kitch industry do. -Sara Meder Giachetti
As a local I understand where you are coming from but there are people here who care about the truth and do respect the victims of 1692 ... not all tours are the same and to lump everyone into this "Witch kitch" negative spin is insulting ... I think it is ironic that you have such a loathing of people capitalizing off the tragic events of 1692 when you are to do the same thing! As you can see from your overwhelming donations no one supports your plan to send a shock to the system and wake Salem up! We are quite awake and see you for what you are. Someone trying to make a name for his self with shock value ... if you truly care about your home town, you would see how truly disrespectful this video is to all of us who call Salem home! -Jeff Page
Did this ever happen or did being 3980 short cause an inconvenient delay? -Norom Amai
So you plan to charge money to reenact the horror of innocent people being killed as protest to people profiting off the historic incidences of people being killed? When you wake up in the morning, do you taste the hypocrisy clinging to your gums, or do you wash it away with strong alcohol? - Steve Borrelli
Hannah Skahan Diozzi For what it's worth, I believe that Andrew is Attorney John Carr's son?
Keep it Klassy, Salem Yes. Dad thought Samantha was super tacky. I wonder about his opinion of this.
Kasel Amalia Do we really need to "SEE" that part of the witch trials.. ?? that is more than morbid to say the least... WTH is wrong with people ?
Lora Beck I think Kickstarter should be used. Not GoFundMe. This is for entertainment purposes, not for someone needing help with funeral costs, etc.
Sarah Thomas "Many locals" are apparently so disgusted with tacky commercialism they'll give a kid free money to stage a mock execution. Good luck friendo.
Donna Amelia Vinson Seger It's a bit extreme for me, but I agree with his premise and point. Salem seems so casually accepting of the exploitation of the victims of 1692.
Jared Cyr-Robinson yeah, I kinda agree. Also the Auschwitz/Colonel Klink reference was spot on
Sarah Bellino i'm in. it's about time we step up celebrating the good old days when people were properly punished for familiarity with the devil.
David Pelletier Don't fuck that up.
Denise Hall Lee He needs $4000??? Boy that's some expensive rope. Nothing in this city surprises me anymore....
Amanda Guest This is actually a pretty good Ted Talk
Alyssa G. A. Conary how is this not exploitation ? not a fan. there are many of us in Salem who care about trials history and have dedicated our careers and lives to spreading good historical information. this is about as disrespectful as it gets.
Rebecca Louise and he is also making money off of it..def also exploiting..good example of the pot calling the kettle black..
Ricky Wilks The tourists and the kitsch are what keep downtown Salem alive. Yes, the city thrives off the suffering and murder of those people, but local government's push-back against that event has made Salem the welcoming and diverse place it is now. This reenactment seems like some sort of pointless vanity project - but, that describes the genesis of pretty much all art, especially mine. If he gets the money, good for him. I'm not wasting my money on it though.
Joanne Kennedy This is just in poor taste.
Maggi Smith-Dalton I can't help but feel that, as much as I agree with the assessment of the tourist exploitation opinion, this is not the way to shine a light on it. Perhaps, a gentle suggestion: history does hold many sorry examples of what being executed unjustly "looked like." Andrew, perhaps turning talents towards that kind of documentary would be more effective? there are ways to do this educationally, if the right kind of approach is taken, with no appeal to pruient interest---which is exactly what such a documentary would fight against in present-day Salem.
Rebekah Murphy This is far more exploitative than any Haunted Happenings event.
Matt Ludwig "I'm going to criticize sensationalist nonsense with my OWN sensationalist nonsense!"
Jennifer Williams I think it's really ironic that someone complaining about witchy kitchy places making money off Salem's history is proposing that he should make money in such a ghoulish manner because it's somehow "better"? He's doing the same thing. Using sensationalism to ride off the backs of the dead. Anyone who watches this won't be watching for the sake of accurate history. Salem has, for a long time, been a place split down the middle when it comes to tourism. There's kitchy stuff, sensational stuff, historic stuff, and stuff that doesn't have to do with witches at all. It's up to the tourists to sift through it all and the people in charge to advertise. And I do believe that many tourists find the "good stuff". Speaking of, because it's tangentially related, the Witch House has a really great event coming up in June that benefits real people who are currently suffering. It is witch related but hey, no mock hangings! It's on June 9th at Pioneer Village: Salem 1630 and benefits Safe Child Africa. I don't work for any of these organizations. I just think the event is a really great idea for a good cause. Educational and it helps people in need.
Matt Ludwig Hear hear.
Jess Conger-Henry This feels like the first act of a kitschy murder mystery show where it turns out that the show was real and the leading actress actually gets hanged! Then a quirky detective and their straight laced assistant have to solve the murder.
Matt Ludwig I will fly up and be in this with you if you make this happen.
Chris Ricci This ignores the fact that the city has done an incredible amount of good when it comes to acknowledging the terrors of the past. Of course there are some shady and obnoxious folks that exploit things, but there's also a massive Wicca population in this city, and it's doing a boatload of good.
Like, it's not even up for debate. Of course places with bad history have shitty tourist aspects, but it's up to the city and the residents to show tourists and visitors what the city really is like, and I think that the citizens of Salem, members of the historic society, the major museums, and the people who curate things here are doing an awesome job of understanding the past, working hard to acknowledging it, and working hard to make things better. And that really needs to be taken into account here. Hell, every day during the fall (and even earlier) we have Cry Innocent on Essex street. There's a lot of notice when it comes to this.
Of course people are going to show up for "witchy" things like the Samantha statue or for the sake of Hocus Pocus, that's something that's difficult to stop because it's so engraved in the minds of folks. But, when it comes to providing a major platform of understanding and comprehension of what happened and how far we've come, Salem has done a stellar job.
Thomas O'Brien Vallor Completely unaware of how ironic and hypocritical he's being.
Rebecca Louise I find it ridiculous how he is saying the witches are exploiting the witch trials...basically just because they are witches? oh and they have witch shops? wow prejudice much
Victoria White Sumner Just horrible and wrong on so many levels.
find it ridiculous how he is saying the witches are exploiting the witch trials...basically just because they are witches? oh and they have witch shops? wow prejudice much
Rebecca Louise from what I've heard..his father has been against the witch community..me thinks theres a bit of bias going on
Robert B Kennedy We need a GoFundMe for street repairs more than this.
Thomas O'Brien Vallor Also it should be noted that another more well known performance artist from Brooklyn did an art film that was partially about the Salem witch trials and had a dramatic hanging scene preformed live in a theatre about one or two years ago.
ALSO the apparatus he's using for the hanging is amateur and literally anyone who's done a production of Jesus Christ Superstar will recognize it as the one they use during the scene with Judas.
For those and many other reasons it's not even artistically interesting or original.
Hannah Skahan Diozzi I don't know what everyone's so excited about here....just don't contribute to the $4000 and don't give him any more free publicity.
Diane Wolf Great googly moogly! This seems so wrong to me.
Meghan Turney Do people not know how hangings happen? Is this something that needs reenacting?
Helen Floyd As a Brit who has a serious academic interest in Salem and its history, I have visited Salem many times and though I hate the tacky bits, it is a place with an incredibly rich history and it does not need a stunt like this.
Paisley Rojagato I'm not sure how this is not exploitative.
Benjamin Alexander I would go as far to say that his reenactment would encompass more than just the actual hanging, but the entire ordeal, culminating in a very dramatic and emotionally charged climax of a simulated (hopefully) hanging. I also think its absurd to have so many churches in a town that supposedly frowns upon its grim and gruesome past.
Sharon E Thompson Go fund it yourself.
Helen Corbett As a descendant of George Jacobs and the Towne family (Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Estey)...I would like to weigh in with a NO... the best way to honor the innocents who were killed in the hysteria is to TEACH every school child what happens when people are influenced by fear and superstition (and greed)... tell the story..no need to reenact an actual hanging to educate a new generation.
Ann Marie Brown I think that a reenactment would be a huge mistake. parents don't want to let their kids see that sort of thing.Also the actual place of most of this horrible history was what is now Danvers.
Tom Meehan I say we reenact it for real using Andrew Carr, teach him we dont need his exploitative dark magic in our city! The streets will run red with Carr blood! (actual blood, not like motor oil or gasoline aka "car blood". that's kind of a funny pun though, someone should make an emoji for that)
Keep it Klassy, Salem Um, no. Just no.
Maggi Smith-Dalton Tom...please rethink your post.Really over the line...maybe you should consider what your words say about you, regardless of the inappropriate project Andrew proposes.
Tom Meehan Andrew is my friend, I'm mocking all of the over the top responses to him in this post. Y'all need to chillax.
Angela Lordi As a part-time resident and business owner in Salem (not related to any of the attractions) ,I don't see it that way. The Witch Museum and the trial reenactments on the Old Town Hall, as well as the historical ghost tours, all give a pretty good historical account of how screwed up things were and none of them comes close to denying the innocence of the victims. Another class of attractions centers around Hallowe'en and includes pirates, goblins, monsters, and sure, a few witches in the literary sense. Such depictions of witches are not fair to wiccans, I agree, but the roots are more Shakespearean than they are drawn from the hangings. I do not see people having fun as an exploitation of the hangings at all.
Maria Cronin If he gets the funding, then whatever. You can't censor art. I know I won't be seeing it though.
Maria Cronin Although the first and only comment there is kinda disturbing. "This is gonna be so hot"
Matt Sullivan Let's hope he reenacts it in himself. What trash.
Roger Joly If you are going to reenact something from that era do the trials. Reenacting the hangings is in bad taste and has no educational value. Everyone knows what happens when you slip a rope around someone's neck then drop them. The trials would be a go education on why we have a separation of church and state.
Keep it Klassy, Salem Up to $10! Only $3,990 to go...
Keep it Klassy, Salem The artist is super respectful...
Rebekah Murphy Holy shit.
Thomas O'Brien Vallor I don't care what you think about modern witchcraft - this crosses the line to bigotry.
Jennifer Williams Runaway slave lynching...
Jess Conger-Henry What a douche
Rebekah Murphy Witch hangings, slave lynchings, and Nazi concentration camps are his fun photography themes...
Denise Hall Lee As an aside did you know they let this guy teach an art elective at Collins Middle School 3 years ago. Clearly they do not do a basic google search of the people they let teach our kids....
Robert B Kennedy Not qualified for teaching art in the art world unless that RISD degree was an MFA.
Denise Hall Lee My point being we've seen teachers get fired in other places for posting provocative photos online and this guy posts this crap and SPS says "come on in".
Rebekah Murphy Not necessarily true. I know adjunct professors of art (at colleges, not k-12 schools) that have a BFA + excellent real world experience. But that is changing and most will be required to have an MFA soon.
Keep it Klassy, Salem There's also his porn a day paintings ...
Keep it Klassy, Salem I guess at least that's art.
Rebekah Murphy He's not a bad painter, but he seems VERY angry and jaded for someone so young.
Sarah Thomas Your arbiter of good taste, Salem.
Robert B Kennedy I like how a skit about the witch hunts seems to be sparking another witch hunt.