Saturday, March 04, 2006

Statue in Salem a lure for fans enchanted by 'Bewitched' show

via The Boston Globe

SALEM -- ''Bewitched" fans are headed to Witch City in June for their annual convention, where they'll gather at the bronze statue of Samantha Stephens erected in Lappin Park last year by the TV Land cable network.

Only about 25 diehard fans are expected to visit Salem June 24-30 to celebrate the 1960s show starring Elizabeth Montgomery, which filmed a few episodes here in 1970.

Still, fans from as far as Florida and British Columbia will be toting cameras, wearing favorite ''Bewitched" T-shirts, and carrying dolls, lunch boxes, and other collectibles, organizer Mark Simpson said. ''We're just really big 'Bewitched' fans," said Simpson, who runs the website, where people can register for the convention. ''The magic of that show is just amazing . . . It's really not something I can explain."

Simpson, an accounting clerk from Tacoma, said the group plans to rent a big-screen television to watch the episodes filmed in Salem and visit the historic sites where the show was shot. ''Salem has its own magic," said Simpson, who grew up in Maine. ''I think a lot of people will come."

The group, which regularly meets online, considered attending the unveiling last June of the Bewitched statue, which drew thousands. Instead, the group gathered in Los Angeles to celebrate the premiere of the ''Bewitched" movie starring Nicole Kidman.

The fans traipsed around the facade of the original ''Bewitched" home on a Warner Brothers back lot. Casey Rogers, the actress who played Louise Tate, signed autographs. But there was one disappointment.

''Mrs. Kravitz wasn't home," Simpson said, referring to Samantha Stephens's nosy neighbor.

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