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Photographer: Kelbert McFarland Photography


The Ropes Mansion (Allison's Hocus Pocus House)

Now that Labor Day week is ending, I am ready for fall. Today in history (1628) the Purtians settled in Salem, which I visited the year before last fall with my sister and sister-in-law. I love Hocus Pocus enough to stalk the film locations so I will do a few posts on this over time and some on our own ancestors in Salem too. I will start with a virtual tour (from House Beautiful) of The Ropes Mansion, Allison's house in the movie, because we were actually not allowed inside due to it being too close to closing time when we arrived for the tour. We were able to tour the Colonial Revival Gardens which were beautiful and it was a perfect day for it. We will have to go back!

In the movie, the house is fully decorated for Halloween and there is a colonial themed party going on inside. Danny and Max say: "Check out this house!" "Ehh. Rich people. They'll probably make us drink cider and bob for apples..." before going up to Trick-or-treat. They are right about the house- it was built for rich people, specifically a Major, Samuel Barnard. The Barnards had been in the Massachusetts Bay Colony since the beginning, and before that in England were part of the peerage in Northampton. The house was built in the 1720s and remained in the Barnard family until the Ropes purchased it in the later 18th century and it stayed in the Ropes family until the 20th century when it opened to the public- the Peabody Essex Museum owns the house to this day. Judge Nathaniel Ropes was a wealthy merchant in Salem.

Here in this photo I took of the house, you can see that the architecture has remained mostly true to the 18th century.

This is Libby and me in front of the Georgian style door before we were told the last group to go in for the tour would be the last for the day. However, as I mentioned, we went back to the gardens which were designed to match the house in 1912. Below is a postcard of the gardens.

Next is my own picture from a similar angle, showing both the gardens and the house.

And then another view where you can see First Church, one of America's oldest churches, which dates back to 1629.

Now for a look inside the house, here is a shot from the movie.

This is Allison in her colonial costume on the staircase. You will recognize that the wallcoverings have not changed much.

In the above from The Salem News, a dining area is shown and includes a fireplace with delft tiles. We also see accessories including a gilt mirror and framed portrait as well as a porcelain bowl on a pedestal.

There are three pantries in the Ropes Mansion. This pantry here reminds me of my in-laws' butlers pantry. I got back from visiting them for Labor Day weekend at their historic house in New York 2 days ago and they have added colonial shelving and a large collection of pewter inside the pantry. We have a few pewter pieces coming up for sale in the shop if anyone else wants to implement this look.

This is the Elizabeth Ropes room, furnished in 18th century style, with original 19th c. beds. Too bad we didn't get to see it as Allison's 90s girl bedroom in the movie! She probably would have wanted to add an inflatable chair in the next few years.

The house contains nine bedrooms, but we liked this one the most. Another view of the room shows a collection of silhouettes, our signature! And a perfect way to end this post! Check out the Streets of Salem blog for further information where we found this image.