A Season with the Witch by J.W. Ocker
The Countryman Press. 2016.
Ocker has a really cool profession which is to travel to lots of strange and incredible places and then write about them. You can find these observations regularly at his site OTIS - Odd Things I've Seen, and in his outstanding books, The New England Grimpendium, The New York Grimpendium, the Edgar Award winning Poe-Land, and his latest, A Season With the Witch.
A Season with the Witch is an exploration of Witch City - Salem, Massachusetts over the course of its month long Halloween festivities in 2015. Besides diving into the local culture and attractions whether they be connected to the Salem witch trials of 1692, its maritime history, it's literary history via Nathaniel Hawthorne, or its modern witch and Halloween cultures, Ocker seeks to connect the dots from Salem's infamous place in history via the witch trials and executions to its modern embracing of a more pop culture friendly witch and Halloween atmosphere. He does so remarkably well, interviewing some interesting people along the way from haunted attraction performers, restaurant owners, historians, curators, politicians, the chief of police, and of course, witches. He does so with humor and insight and also makes the reader feel like they are walking the streets of Salem alongside him. I highly recommend this, and his other books.