October 4, 2019: Down in the Crypts, Up in the Applebee's

I had the day off, and Lindsey and I had…such…plans. We were going to Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts—just me, her, and the baby (the other two kids were in school). We were going to eat Fall food on sticks and pet barn animals and spin through a dark ride and pretend we were ten years younger, newlyweds just starting out with our first baby and completely ignorant of the fact that you’re not supposed to take babies on dark rides.

Except that as we started driving toward Topsfield in the morning, one of us, or maybe both of us, I can’t remember, had the creeping sensation at the backs of our necks that the plan was too good. Too perfect. I did a quick search on my phone of the fair and learned that it didn’t open today until 1pm. That meant we couldn’t go, because we had to be home in time to get the kids from school. Although we considered stranding them.

We quickly made a Plan B without even slamming on the breaks: Hitting up a crypt in Boston.

On our Big Google Calendar o' Halloween Events, we had marked out Tales from the Crypt, a candlelight tour of the crypt under King’s Chapel, one of the most historic and oldest sites in Boston. We’d already ruled out doing the event because we just couldn’t make the slots, but the church does daily Bells and Bones tours, where they take you into the crypt (sans candlelight) and then up into the bell tower to see that massive piece of noisy metal. So we decided to do that. I just had to get over my disappointment at the day turning urban instead of rural, as well as being only two and a half miles from my office on my day off.

So we went to King’s Chapel, booked a spot on a tour, and then killed some time walking the Common and saying hi to the Edgar Allan Poe statue. He’s darkened a bit since his unveiling, his edges turning bronzy from, I assume, people touching him and his raven. But that wear and weathering has produced a pretty cool effect, honestly.

The Bells and Bones tour itself was fascinating, and involved a crypt turned into a bathroom, a vertiginous climb with a baby in my hands, and photos of bones, but I’ll have to break that out into its own article (here it is!).

Afterwards, we picked the kids up, and we all went out to Applebee’s, which is usually something we don’t do. However, they had monster-themed drinks, and there’s nothing better than capping off a day among the subterranean dead than with monster-themed drinks. I had the Dracula's Juice and my wife had the non-alcoholic Franken-slush (with its gummy brain garnish). Mostly, I just enjoyed eating in front of the table brochure.

Right now, I’m typing this with the Travel Channel’s Haunted Salem Live event playing in the background. They have every cast member from every ghost hunting show on the channel doing a live ghost investigation of Salem. They’re focusing on three sites, the Rockafellas restaurant, the Proctor House, and a house in Ipswich, none of which have any connections to the Witch Trials and, in fact, have fabricated histories that the show is really playing up, while doing some fabricating of its own. Even aside from that, the older I get, the less I can stomach the silliness and credulity of ghost hunting shows (although I dig them in the ideal).

Tomorrow, we rise at the crack of dawn and “head” to Sleepy Hollow, New York, for two days. You’re going to want to follow me on the socials this weekend.