Scary in Salem (Digital Woodcut with Special Effects) Originally uploaded by randubnick
It's October 31, the weather is gorgeous, and Salem is expecting 12,000 Halloween revelers tonight. Around here, it's hard not to get caught up in the fun of Halloween, even if you are just a spectator, like me. So today I used Painter IX to create this digital woodcut from a photo that I posted here October 4. This is a view of the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. I took the original photo in the morning, so to change the mood, I used Painter IX to turn it into a digital woodcut, then adjusted the brightness, the colors, and the lighting to create an evening scene. It looks like a haunted house, just scary enough to be fun. But despite all the fun of Halloween, around here there also are lots of reminders of the Salem Witch Trials. (Some of those events actually took place here in Beverly!) Well, it is the story that frightens me, not the location, because it could happen anywhere. (There is nothing scary about Salem today, unless you count getting stuck in the Halloween traffic.) But back then, it was a short path from accusation to execution, and it is still alarming to think how labels can lead to real harm. Such a scary story! But that was centuries ago! Surely, that kind of thing can't happen today. . . .