Less than 20 miles northeast of Boston and four years older is the historic hamlet of Salem. Best known as the place where, in 1692, 20 innocent victims were hanged and stoned to death as witches, Salem flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries as its merchant vessels circled the globe. Arriving by boat is still the best way to visit Salem, especially during October, when parking lots overflow with Haunted House traffic. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
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