Sometimes our guests in Salem can be pretty strange. Most people come to town to learn the history of the Witch Trials, others come to simply to enjoy our many attractions and restaurants. Some are spiritual seekers arriving to delve into the mysteries of modern day witchcraft. Salem has something for everyone and is a great vacation destination! But on occasion we get visitors with a taste for something unexpected. Last summer we had a guest who was out for blood.
Salem’s dark history can attract some interesting visitors as I discovered last summer while promoting the Spellbound Tours Voodoo, Vampires, and Ghosts tour. It was a slow day on Essex Street and I was outside of The Magic Parlor getting visitors interested in idea of taking our tour. A pretty, normal looking woman was walking up the street checking out the shops, I approached her to hand her a flyer and explain what Spellbound Tours was all about.
She took the flyer with only the mildest of interest. I explained how on the tour we visit actual locations from the infamous Witch Trials of 1692, and we discuss modern paranormal investigation techniques. She listened politely as I described the ghost stories and how Tituaba the slave woman may have actually been a Voodoo practitioner. But when I mentioned we talk about the vampire legends and folklore, as well as modern day vampire cases she all but ran inside the shop to buy herself a ticket! She assured me she would be at the Visitor Center right on time.
The lady arrived at the bell at quarter to eight and joined the group. She, like everyone else, seemed to enjoy the history and the ghost stories, but when it came to the vampire content she sit stalk still, listening in rapt attention.
After the tour concluded I took questions and showed some of our ghost photographs to the crowd. Our group eventually dispersed. Except for the one lady. She awkwardly lingered, asking question after question, all of which pertained to the drinking of human blood. About the psychology of human vampires. After fifteen minutes of this I said I had to depart. She asked if I would join her for dinner at the Hawthorne. She said she it was her treat. I agreed.
After a little while she relaxed, became more comfortable. Started talking about herself, about how she was in Salem for work and while ghosts were interesting it was the vampire content that got her excited. I laughed and told her that lots of people were fascinated by the subject. She told me she was intrigued because she identified with them, and had no idea that there were other people out there who drank blood! She revealed the reason she had asked me to dine with her was because she was looking for a donor!
I informed her that I was not in the business of running a vampire dating service, and that I was not going to help her find any victims! She countered by telling me she did not want just any victims, she wanted MY blood! My answer was a firm “I am flattered, but no”. We sat in silence a few minutes then continued the meal, resumed the conversation and pretended the subject of blood drinking had never been broached. She picked up the check, I thanked her for the dinner, she thanked me for the tour and we parted ways into the night. I never saw the vampire woman again.
As I walked home that night through the dark streets of Salem I looked over my shoulder just about the entire way.