I remember visiting Salem when I was a kid one summer. My family subscribed to various witch-related ventures, including a witch trial re-enactment in a sweltering old courthouse. My twelve-year old self fidgeting through that ordeal made Salem truly a place of punishment and torture. I vowed never to return, but here I was, fifteen years later.
My companions and I cruised through town, past the tourist traps and throngs of families, and up to the old jail, which stood starkly alone and empty. New development and landscaping pushed close all around, but the weedy corner lot was left untouched, like it was afflicted with some contagion. We were immediately attracted to the ancient cemetery behind the place, where rectangular slabs of stone quietly weathered away since 1801. The Salem Jail stood a mere 20 feet from the stones, separated by a tall chain link fence that had been cut open. It was an incredible sight to see; this remaining vestige of Salem's dark history, rotting away behind the dark tombstones and untouched by the hand of redevelopment.
There was a small courtyard in between the jail keeper's house and the prison, where a ventilation unit was located. A small gap presented itself, just barely large enough for me to drop into a basement; unfortunately I was the only one who could make it through. I proceeded to quickly run through this ancient prison; the amount of decay inside made it seem like the place was closed long before 1991...