In this video follow Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin of the Salem Smugglers’ Tour as he brings you on the Lovecraft Tour of Salem. He will bring you to the locations behind Lovecraft’s most famous stories. For example, he will bring you to the Bentley-Crowninshield House. The house appears within The Thing on the Doorstep. Further, he will bring you to the old Charter Street Burying Ground. Inside the pages of Pickman’s Model, they mention the graveyard. Moreover, he will give you the real histories behind the locations and the people who lived in them. So watch this video and take the tour of Arkham, which we locals know as Salem MA! Lovecraft and Cthulhu would be so proud!
Enjoy reading over a cup of tea at Jolie Tea in Salem, MA. They are the first shop to sell these ARCs. What is even more amazing than their 200+ collection of fine teas, is that the building they are in is connected to the tunnels of Salem. Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield had his Merchant Bank in the building. He also was one of many politicians from Salem who was a director of the Second Bank of the United States Boston Branch. Crowninshield was one of many in Salem in 1811 that was bribed by the British to work to create the bank which would sell 70% of its shares to the British after the War of 1812. Across the Common you can also see Senator Nathaniel Silsbee’s house who also was bribed and became a director in the bank. In this building Sophia Peabody had lived for a period of time when Nathaniel Hawthorne lived down the street. Hawthorne’s uncle had a stagecoach company with offices in the building or next door.
As rich as the tea at Jolie is the history connected to the building. Looking over your tea cup you can see through the window the Salem Common that was developed to hide massive amounts of tunnel dirt in. It is the same location the first National Guard unit was formed on. Their descendants dug the tunnels and hid the dirt. Just to the left is the historic Hawthorne Hotel. On that property was originally the Franklin Building owned by Thomas Perkins.
Perkins had paid Charles Bulfinch to build the Bunker Hill Monument, Mass General Hospital, Perkins School for the Blind, and India Wharf. Bulfinch was the one who designed the homes connected to the tunnels in Salem and Boston and the idea of hiding tunnel dirt in rivers, ponds, and marshland. Bulfinch would be the one who built all of the tunnels in Washington D.C. Perkins is the drug dealer who started the Forbes family off to fortune by selling opium to China. His empire was sold to Sturgis Russell who’s cousin founded Skull & Bones. William Russell will purchase property off Perkins in New Haven, Conn. to build the crypt on.
Also the window seat looks out upon the parking lot which at one time was the location of the Bently-Crowninshield House featured in H.P. Lovecraft’s Thing on the Doorstep. The story details Daniel Upton’s account of the tragedy that befell Edward Derby. Edward Derby marries a woman who becomes possessed by her dead evil father who in time possess Derby’s body after he was pushed into his wife’s body when he was in Arkham Asylum. Left for dead the wife’s body limps to Upton’s doorstep informing him that it was in fact Derby who inhabits his wife’s decaying body as he becomes the thing on the doorstep. Arkham Asylum is the same asylum that the Batman universe uses. The Bently-Crowninshield House has since been removed to in front of the Hawthorne.
Now the window behind you over looks the holy parking lot. Once the location of a Jewish temple. So if you are ever chased by any of Salem’s vampires. A variety called psychic vampires. The type of person who can speak at you for an hour and drain your soul and time away. If you are ever confronted in Salem, MA, it is good to know where the consecrated land is…
Below are images of Benjamin Crowninshield, Thomas Perkins, Jolie Tea Building, Merchant Bank notes, and the tunnels….
So head over to Jolie Tea and experience some history from your window seat over one of the 200+ teas they offer. They also sell Howqua Tea named after the man that Perkins made the wealthiest man in the world by selling his opium to. Your welcome to read a store copy of Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City or its sequel Sub Rosa while at Jolie or buy a copy to bring home with you! They are both filled with the story of the tunnels in Salem and how her smugglers’ shaped American history…
Oh, Salem was named Arkham by H.P. Lovecraft. An area encompassing Salem to Ipswich. Inside these bounds is Arkham Asylum. In real life it is even scarier than what Bob Kane or Lovecraft could imagine.
Danvers State Hospital is where they invented the lobotomy. Its building are connected to a series of tunnels that had trains move food and laundry from building to building. Kirkbride in fact connected all of his asylums he built by such tunnels. In these tunnels patients would wander and doodle perverse or surreal illustrations on the wall. The film Session 9 was filmed within its confine. Next to it is a potter’s field in which the patients only received a number to mark their identities. Now it is luxury condos…
Before they were converted for the punishment of the wealthy, my friend Jonathan Archer took one of its towers down that housed the ward for the sexually insane and attached it to a new addition to his mansion.
Jonathan Archer is the descendant of Samuel Archer III who built the first commercial property in which the Parker Brothers sold their first Ouija board out of, Thomas Perkins (Opium dealing Boston Brahmin who is the predecessor to the Skulls and Bones) once owned, and one of the oldest secret societies in America had owned. The Salem Marine Society who pilfered artifacts from around the world through the tunnels attached to this building to their museums still retain a clubhouse on top of the building that stands in that location now. They sold it to Frank Poor who founded Sylvania.
The Hawthorne Hotel is built on a property that once held a building that burned down 6 times taking many lives. In its parking lot once stood the Crowninshield-Bently House which was featured in H.P. Lovecraft’s “Thing on the Doorstep”. Its other parking lot is holy ground for a Jewish Temple once stood there.
Further down the tunnel, this building connects to the second oldest jail in the country. A truly haunted penitentiary that has been converted over to luxury condos to abuse the wealthy once more. This is also attached to a potter’s field haunted by Giles Corey. Just beyond that is the location of the haunted Lyceum in which James Russel Lowell read Dante’s Inferno in English for the first time. A building attached to the nefarious George Peabody’s home on the common.