Our tour of the historic Commons (New England phrase for a central town park used historically in common with towns people) goes over its history, the tunnels around it, and its ghost stories. In 1801 the Commons was transformed from the town swamp that watered the animals to the public park that we know it as today. The five ponds and the river leading to the sea were filled in by leveling the hills on the property. At least that was what most people thought. Truth be told, most of the dirt from digging the tunnels around the Commons filled them in. Who did it? The descendants of the first National Guard Unit in the country. Why? Because, Thomas Jefferson imposed new duties on imports and commanded local militias to help collect them. So a defunct militia was called into duty that would be in the pocket of the wealthy before a legit one could be formed. Take this tour and find out who paid them to dig the tunnels around the Commons. It will surprise you! Also you will see homes that were frequented by Longfellow, Lowell, and President Monroe which were connected by tunnels. You will hear the tale of America's first elephant, the Stoned Elephant. See two tunnel entrances we can look inside and hear a few ghost stories along the way. Take this tour at night and stroll under Victorian lamps under trees planted by Olmsted. May be you might even see the phantom band on the gazebo...
You will learn about:
- The history of the Common.
- The birth of our nation's first National Guard unit and how they filled in 5 ponds in the Commons just to hide the dirt from digging the tunnels.
- Salem Common Improvement Fund and how it hid the secrets of the tunnels.
- The Stoned Elephant, America's first elephant!
- Learn what industrial buildings used to be around the Commons and how its nature changed.
- The American architectural style that was utilized to hide the tunnels entering the buildings around the Common.
- How Presidents George Washington, John Quincy Adams, and James Monroe walked in the tunnels!
- The famous murder of Joseph White.
Hear Ghost Stories:
- Christmas at the Melba.
- The Ghost Band on the Common.
- Skulls & Bones; meet the opium dealer who used to own the property that their Crypt is built on.
- Photos of the secret tunnels.
- Sealed tunnel entrances. We will lift their covers and let you look inside.
- Photos of the Common through the years.
- Plus filming locations from Hocus Pocus!
The tour is 80 minutes long and shows you numerous photos of how it has changed over the years plus images of the tunnels around it on our tablet. Plus we show you two tunnel entrances we still can open and peer into! Your guide is the author of the book Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and a local Salem psychic and medium. Just remember all of the tours in Salem are above ground, we just dig up the dirty underbelly of Salem! For tickets, Click Here!
Friday Through Monday at 8PM.
Thursday at 3PM.
Tour Lasts 80 Minutes.
Contact: Info@salemtunneltour.com or 978-578-9238