For all the work that’s been done inside, it’s the outside of the doll house that got started first, and it set the theme for a Salem Haunted House. If you stare at a doll house long enough (assuming you care to do so), after awhile everything you come across starts to be evaluated as a potential addition to the house. Salem is as good as it gets for this sort of thing. Much is spooky, much is miniaturized. And much is symbolic, such as the Ruby Slippers for Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Fairies, owls, bats, pirates and a myriad of witches, with references to mystical tales and familiar stories, are everywhere. In Salem, it’s not if you can find something for a doll house, it’s how to sort it all out and get the items, and thoughts, arranged with meaning.
The Front Porch of the doll house is very Salem. In the upper balcony there is “The Crazy Cat Lady”, with a cadre of her favorite felines. A couple of the cats occasionally take on other aspects, such as the one that looks more like a seal, and one that seems particularly focused on its own incarnation as the Devil Cat.
Greeting doll house visitors on the main porch is a Day of the Dead “Catrina”, a high society figure of the calacas – whimsical skeleton figures that represent death. They are a popular favorite transported to Salem from Mexico, and the dolls can be found in many of the Salem stores. Not the least bit somber, these figures can be anything from a symbol of mockery and humor, to a cherished connection with the dead.
Other objects that surround the Haunted House are: a miniaturized Salem Common, complete with fence; a serene Koi Pond, with Buddha; a Carousel Horse & music box reminiscent of the Salem Willows Carousel; sci-fi creatures; a (Silence of the Lambs) moth, and more. The whole set of this Haunted House is designed for young child through adult. It can be played with (a few of the objects anyway), or thought about, at the whim of the visitor. Visitors are encouraged to interact and offer comments.