Whether it’s the North Shore city’s vibrant music scene or exhibits at the Peabody Essex Museum, we’ve written a lot about Salem and all its magical charm and wonder. Actor Ed Helms was enraptured recently as well, and took to Conan on TBS to discuss Salem’s “picturesque” landscape, its people… and its affinity for its sordid history, most notably the Salem Witch Trails of 1692.
Helms tells Massachusetts native Conan O’Brien that he stayed in Salem while filming scenes for Ted Kennedy flick Chappaquiddick, and while he loved the experience, all the witchery felt odd.
“A lot of history in that town,” Helms tells O’Brien in the clip below. “Salem witch trails, they murdered some innocent girls, about 300 years ago, and I gotta say now they really made the best of it. It’s a lot of witchy-themed stores and pizzerias and it’s just all about witches. And who knew that tragedy plus time equals gift shops.”
But hey, that’s part of Salem’s culture. And O’Brien agrees Salem loves to market the whole witch thing.
“The whole town revels in it,” Helms adds. “But there’s a weird joy to it. Which I guess works for Halloween …I felt it was a little bit tweaked. But then again, the people were lovely, and I had a great time.”