(listen) Me In The End.mp3
I sheepishly answer, "Okay."
After cleaning up, I stop at the motel desk to get my bearings. Helping myself to some much needed black coffee, and a Danish roll in hand, I start a conversation with the manager. I tell him that I am researching a book about "Myths, Folklore and Witchcaft." He responds, "You came to the right place to do that." He suggests a good place to go for a hearty brunch and some local folklore. Then he tells me to talk to the people who own the restaurant, because there are a lot of scary stories revolving around the place. "Legend has it that the restaurant was built on the ground where they once burned witches at the stake," is his final comment to me.
Thanking him, I head to the restaurant with a number of thoughts crowding my brain. Something makes me nervous; I keep looking over my shoulder to see if I am being followed. After eating a nice variety of food at their smorgasboard, the owner came over and asks if everything is fine. I compliment him on the selections and I begin talking with him, telling him what I am doing in Salem. He tells me a lot of stories about the strange happenings that surround the restaurant and the town. Every once in awhile, especially during the cold nights of winter, he and his family, who live upstairs, hear women screaming and pleading for mercy. "Always after the painful shrieks, we smell smoke, but when we go down into the restaurant, everything is always all right, just a few glasses and plates smashed on the floor, and a few tables overturned," he adds. I then broach the subject of Pamela Davis and when I do his whole demeanor changes, and he becomes visibly shaken. He then cautions me and tells me to be very careful, and with that hurries away.
One last sip of my drink and I get up to pay my bill at the cash register, I ask the cashier about finding information on Pamela Davis and when I do, her friendly manner also changes, and she becomes frightened. She looks around and whispers nervously, "Go back to where you came from for your own good." I tell her that I can't do that, and I won't be deterred from finding out what I came here for. I ask her for directions to the library. She answers very softly, "The Steven's Library is on Main Street in North Andover," and then she quickly walks away.
I open my laptop and do a search for directions and write the street names on a paper napkin that was lying on the floor, and head for the library. To say that I am spooked would be an understatement. But I have to follow up on my hunches and find out more about the portrait and the tales that go with it. I look through the stacks of books on witchcraft, making notes that I might need for later use. After hours of searching through the old newspapers on micro film, I give a start as I sit staring at the portrait of Pamela Davis looking back at me from the newspaper. With a cold clammy feeling running throughout my body, I read the story about the portrait, which was given to the Gunthner Museum. The portrait was donated in 1979 by a Miss Anna Davis, a distant relative and a resident of Salem. I make a bee line for the librarian and find out that, yes, a Ms. Anna Davis is still alive, and lives in Salem on Essex Street in the oldest house in town.
Following the librarian's directions, I find the Victorian house and ring the bell. After what seems like an eternity, the door opens and an elderly lady is looking up at me. I give her my name and explain to her that I have seen the portrait and a little bit about trying to track down any information on Pamela Davis. At that point the startled Ms. Davis becomes frightened and closes the door on me, but then a second later she reopens it, motions me to come in, and locks the door. In the Sitting Room, she shares with me "The Tales of Pamula."
"You've seen her, haven't you?" she asks in a frightened voice.
"I believe so," I reply. Then I begin to explain how I have seen her at a club in Boston, watching her performance, and the story she has shared with me. "Such a sweet child, she was and is, but cursed for eternity," she said. I try to inject a comment, but am immediately hushed and put into my place. "Have you come here to hear yourself speak or do you want to sit still and learn, boy," she asks. At that point I fold my hands on my lap and stare at the old worn out Oriental rug on the floor. She continues, "You have come for the truth and by God you will have it!" She pounds her cane on the floor for emphasis. "I don't have much time left and somebody needs to know the story before I meet my maker." "Are you up to the challenge boy?" she asks.
I nod slowly and softly say, "Yes."
It seemed that Pamela
Davis was a sweet child full of love for life. She was gifted with a voice that soothed
the eternal soul, one that seemed to bewitch all that heard her, especially men. Because
of that, the women of Salem were jealous of her, and started spreading rumors about Pamela
being a witch. In those days women were not allowed to be in taverns, but because her
father Nathaniel owned his tavern, he allowed it. Soon she was offered many engagements
throughout the area and was well paid for her performances. Pamela became a local
celebrity, and was off entertaining officials in Boston, New York, and Washington. But
back in Old Salem Village, the local women were jealous of her popularity and felt that
with her being a woman, she had no right to be out in the world on her own like that.
Shameful woman, they thought. They started spreading vicious lies about her and saying she
was a witch. They told so many stories to everyone, that the town fathers had Pamela
arrested, stripped her of her beautiful clothes, made her wear rags, did not allow her to
bathe, and jailed her in a cold damp cell for six weeks. They gave her such meager food,
that she became undernourished, and eventually, frail and ill. Soon after, she was tried
and condemned to death.
During the time of the storm, while her hands and legs were tied with a rope, and a noose tightly around her neck, Pamela with all her strength started shouting for help. The heavy rain from the storm had put out the fire, and the haywagon that she was standing on didn't burn. However the force of the wind was too much for the frail woman and she was nearly thrown from the wagon. In all probability she should have died. Panic stricken and with the last of her strength, she shouted with all her might for help. Her voice, though weakened was still loud enough and powerful, and finally was heard by a man, who happened by on horseback. The stranger heard her pleas for help. He untied her and they both mounted his horse and galloped to the shelter of the woods, where they wouldn't be found.
She wreaked havoc on the village and the people who tried to kill her. Her only sin was the innocent seduction of her music and nothing else. But now those who had hurt her would be made to pay. Those lives that she spared would serve her in ways that would bewitch others. She, like the "Man" who saved her, had become immortal, a creature of the night. She would make the ignorant townspeople pay for their ways of betrayal.
"There is much more to tell you, but I am so tired." " Can you come back tomorrow afternoon?" she asks me.
"Yes, of course I will, but how can I help?"
"When you learn
more about my dear Pamula, you'll know what you must do, child." She escorts me to
the door and says goodbye. With the sound of the door closing, I head back to my motel
room. I know who and what Pamula is, but now I am no closer to my answers than I was
before. Perhaps the old lady will give me the knowledge I need. With all this swirling
around in my head, I close the drapes, turn off the lights and try to go to sleep.