Sophia Peabody’s home next to Charter Street Burying Ground, resting place of Judge Hathorne, Salem, MA
Sophia suffered severe headaches as a result of childhood mercury treatments. She underwent routine mesmerizing sessions, a popular cure for many ailments. Spirits sometimes came to her when mesmerized, and as a spiritualist and medium, she was able to contact and communicate with spirits. She knew if she could reach Sarah and persuade her to forgive Judge Hathorne, Nathaniel would be free of his lifelong burden.
The House of the Seven Gables, Salem, MA, built in 1668
Sophia urged Nathaniel to write a novel about the house, knowing it would be cathartic for him. While they lived in Lenox, Nathaniel finished writing The House of the Seven Gables. The Gothic novel explored all his fears and trepidations about the curse. He told Sophia, “Writing it, and especially reading it aloud to you lifted a tremendous burden off my shoulders. I felt it physically leave me. I carried this inside me since my youth and couldn’t bring it out to face it. And I have you, and only you, to thank.”
Grave of Judge Hathorne, Charter Street Burial Ground, Salem, MA
The Wayside, the only home the Hawthornes ever owned, in Concord, MA
Nathaniel added that room at the top for his writing studio