Jun 13, 2011 11:49 AM by Matt Stafford

Salem, steeped in witch tourism, rebrands beyond

SALEM, Mass. (AP) - Salem - the very name conjures witches. The Massachusetts city of 41,000 souls is so closely identified with its witch history that flying witch logos adorn police cars and Salem High School's mascot is a witch.

But town leaders have rebranded the image to downplay "witchy" things and emphasize other aspects such as museums, dining, and its rich maritime history.

Salem was the site of notorious witch hangings in 1692. The association with witches draws thousands of tourists to its month-long celebration of Halloween, called "Haunted Happenings."

Tourism officials say the city with its witch emphasis already draws about 1 million visitors a year who spend $70 million. They don't say what their target revenue is now.


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