William Henry Harrison

My son died 2 weeks before my inauguration and I died a month after. You might believe I died from pneumonia a month after exposure to a snowstorm speech I had made. I was assassinated by Senators Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and his banker Stephen White of Salem for my refusal for banking a third national bank. I was poisoned by typhoid; the same as Polk and Taylor! The first to suffer Tecumseh’s Curse…

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and

Salem House Press


Illustrator of the Week: Jan Brett


Jan Brett (born December 1, 1949) is an American illustrator and writer of children’s picture books. She is known for colorful, detailed depictions of a wide variety of animals and human cultures ranging from Scandinavia to Africa. Her best-known titles include The MittenThe Hat, and Gingerbread Baby. She has adapted or retold numerous traditional stories such as the Gingerbread Man and Goldilocks and has illustrated some classics such as “The Owl and the Pussycat“.

Brett maintains a list of books online that may be complete for her original writings and adaptations. For almost every listing she identifies a specific setting such as Salzburg, Austria, for her first book as a writer, Fritz and the Beautiful Horses (1978), and Novgorod, Russia, for her recent adaptation Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella (2013).[4]


For more info:


How an Illustration is Made

The Salem Custom House and Hawkes House

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today I will share the process my illustrator Chris Dowgin uses while illustrating.

Below you will see three images of the process of his creation of the illustration of smuggling past the Customs agents on Derby Street. Chris starts the drawing in graphite and then scans it into the computer before painting. This allows him to do several versions of the painting and also gives him the ability to save the drawing if a cat knocks over the water jar on the painting…In the image below you will see the background drawn and painted.

On a separate piece of paper, he is able to draw the head at a much larger dimension and then add it to a body drawn much smaller on Photoshop. Both images get scanned in and then scaled to fit before they are added on to the background. The body does not take much detail, but faces do and seem easier to him on a larger scale.

Then helping Elias Hasket Derby, America’s first millionaire, are two other figures drawn much in the same way. The funny thing is that Tim Maguire possed for all the characters, actually looks like the real Elias Hasket Derby. These figures below were added to the cargo they are carrying and applied to the background also utilizing photoshop. After attempting several placements and scales of the figures, Chris had decided on this final composition. What do you think, tell us below?

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble,, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.


~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.



P.S.~ In Salem Derby would not have smuggled so openly; in fact, he would have used one of the three miles of tunnels in Salem. To learn more about this, read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City published by Salem House Press. Available at the same places above. If you do not see it, ask your favorite bookseller to order any of the books.



This was the location of the school in Hocus Pocus. In 1992 on the 300 year anniversary of the Witchcraft Hysteria Elie Wiesel dedicated the memorial and Disney filmed Hocus Pocus. In this building in the film, the three witches are burned in the incinerator. While filming, Disney did not think the Common had enough leaves and colors so they shipped massive dump trucks to the park. Today the steeple is missing on the building, along with most of the steeples in Salem. Also, my neighbor, Miss Fitzgerald was one of the original teachers in the school who died not too long ago at 99 years old. After knowing her for 15 years I realized she was retired longer than I was alive.

I hear this building is still open to the tunnels, now just to get in…

To hear more stories about the Salem Common book a tour on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the Historic Common today!
More Than Witches!!!

Lawn Chair Larry Walters

Welcome back to my blog about balloons, rocket ships, airplanes, space travel, Star Wars, sci-fi, and everything about flying! After I took my amazing flight, my friend told me about Lawn Chair Larry. He said he floated around with a bunch of balloons, a BB gun, a lawn chair, and a cooler. My friend also told me he got a honorable mention in the Darwin Awards on the account that he did not die.

Walters had always dreamed of flying but was unable to become a pilot in the United States Air Force because of his poor eyesight. He was my age when he got this idea. His intention was to attach a few helium-filled weather balloons to his lawn chair, cut the anchor, and then float above his backyard at a height of about 30 feet (9.1 m) for several hours. He planned to use a pellet gun to burst balloons to float gently to the ground.

In 1982, Walters purchased 45 eight-foot weather balloons and obtained some helium tanks. He used a forged requisition from his employer, FilmFair Studios, saying the balloons were for a TV commercial. Walters attached the balloons to his lawn chair, filled them, put on aparachute, and strapped himself into the chair in the backyard of a home at 1633 W. 7th St. inSan Pedro. He took his pellet gun, a CB radio, sandwiches, cold beer, and a camera. His friends cut the cord that tied his lawn chair to his Jeep and he zoomed to about 15,000 feet. At first, he did not dare shoot any balloons, fearing that he might unbalance the load and cause himself to spill out. He slowly drifted over Long Beach and crossed the primary approach corridor of Long Beach Airport. I had the same problem over Logan Airport outside of Boston…

He was in contact with REACT, a Citizen band radio monitoring organization, who recorded their conversation:

REACT: What information do you wish me to tell [the airport] at this time as to your location and your difficulty?
Larry: Ah, the difficulty is, ah, this was an unauthorized balloon launch, and, uh, I know I’m in a federal airspace, and, uh, I’m sure my ground crew has alerted the proper authority. But, uh, just call them and tell them I’m okay.

After 45 minutes in the sky, he shot several balloons, and then accidentally dropped his pellet gun overboard. He descended slowly until the balloons’ dangling cables got caught in a power line, causing a 20-minute blackout in a Long Beach neighborhood. Walters was able to climb to the ground.

I always had dreams in which I could fly by waving my feet. I would float up and slowly glide down. At times I would be afraid that I might hit the power lines, so I would flap my feet some more and hope I did it in time to raise over them. Oh boy, Larry actually hit them and lived…

In my amazing adventure, I have seen Larry flying above Beverly on his second flight. It was cool seeing him up there with the Hood Balloon above him. Something no one will ever see again, and I was there!


To find out more about me visit Salem House Press and buy my book on!

Vintage Salem Morning


Corner of Essex Street and St. Peters Street with Sign reading Ted Coles

This is the second location of Ted Cole’s Music shop. The first I believe was on the corner of Front and Central Street in a building replaced by a cherry dogwood tree and an air conditioner unit. Previously in the location above was an Eaton Pharmacy. Now the East India Mall and the fountain have closed off Saint Peter’s access to this corner. Can you name where Ted Cole’s final location was?

Send us your favorite vintage Salem photos to and we will post them and give you a shout out! Also if you have something to add to the photo from family histories, your readings, or your memories, please share them below in the comments section.

Come back every Wednesday morning to see another glimpse into Salem’s past.

I AM GEORGE PEABODY and I collapse Economies on Time!!!


George Peabody in Salem MA

George Peabody orchestrated several economic panics with the Rothschilds in England. His bank is now called JP Morgan which orchestrated the 2008 Financial Collapse.

I was awarded by Queen Victoria for helping the poor; by displacing over 10,000 people. I planned the 2008 economic collapse in 1837 which has been reoccurring every 20 years. My bank is now called JP Morgan Chase and we were fined for planning the collapse in 2013! This year we are involved in the collapse of the Puerto Rican government.

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and

Salem House Press