Lappin Park is a lovely little green spot in the center of Salem, where the two main street, Essex and Washington, cross. And in the park there resides one of the most famous statues in all of Salem: Samantha, the nose-twitching witch (Elizabeth Montgomery) from the 1960s TV Land show, Bewitched.
This beautiful 9-foot bronze statue was erected in 2005 to celebrate how the show helped put Salem on the tourist map. It makes a fabulous spot for selfies, and is exquisitely rendered. Samantha is sitting on her broom, which is resting on a crescent moon. The statue was sculpted by StudioEIS in Brooklyn, NY, under the direction of brothers Elliott and Ivan Schwartz. It was commissioned by TV Land for $75,000 and installed in 2005, with much fanfare as well as the presence of some of the actors from the show.
The reason the Salem was chosen to be the location of the statue was to show appreciation of the filming of the first eight episodes of season 7 in mid-1970. There was a fire on the set in California, where Bewitched was normally filmed. The directors decided that Salem would be an excellent backdrop while the set was repaired.
The statue is not without its detractors. Some Salem residents find the presence of a TV witch to be an insult to the tragic history of Salem’s witch trials, as well as real Wiccan witches find it to be an affront to their beliefs.
However, I find the statue to be beautifully sculpted and a wonderful addition to Salem. So do the thousands of people who are photographed in front of, sitting on, and climbing on her.
~Jill Pabich, August 30, 2023