A Trip Aboard the USS Salem

A place John and I have always wanted to go is to the USS Salem.  After our side trip to Plymouth’s Burial Hill we saw a sign for the USS Salem and decided to check it out, if only to see the outside of it.  When we drove up to it I was amazed at the sheer size of it.  A truly gigantic machine!  We drove toward a small booth that had a port-a-potty beside it – a very welcome sight.  After a short “break” we went around to the front of the booth and were pleasantly surprised to find the ship was open and we could go aboard for a self-guided tour for only $8.00 each…SOLD!!!  $16.00 later, we started up the long gangplank with map and cameras in hand.

The USS Salem has a reputation for being haunted and fellow MGH team mates have shared stories with us from a previous overnight meet-up.  Even though we were there during the day I was still super excited to explore my first “Heavy Cruiser”.  I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the ship as we began to walk around the deck.  There were numerous gun turrets that were open and able to be entered.  I tried to imagine being on the ocean, rolling with the waves, and trying to move around the deck and narrow staircases leading above and below.  Once we fully explored every open nook and cranny on the deck level we decided to go below.  Two long hallways ran the length of the ship connected by short walkways and dotted by hatches to below decks.  As we neared the back half of the ship, the air began to feel oppressive and very heavy, almost like you had to push it aside to walk.  A feeling of foreboding crept over us that got stronger as we approached the next few doorways.  These doorways opened to rooms that could best be described as surgical suites that were all set up in displays to show what it looked like when the ship was operational.  We also came upon a hospital ward with many bunks and a dentist’s chair, complete with instruments and dentures.  Once we moved past this section of doors, the air got lighter and it became easier to walk; the sense of foreboding passing.  I remembered hearing stories and seeing video from MGH’s previous visit and the eerie happenings in that particular area.

John and I finished touring the open areas of the ship, which included the upper deck and two below.  The only encounter we had was the foreboding feeling and the heaviness of the air in that one area of the ship.  We enjoyed our walk around the USS Salem and would love to explore it after dark.  Won’t you come with us?

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