The Samantha Statue is located in Lappin Park at the corner of Washington and Essex Streets in the heart of downtown Salem, Massachusetts.
The sculpture celebrates the nose-twitching witch, Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery) from the ABC fantasy comedy series BEWITCHED (1964-1972).
The 9-foot tall, 3,000 pound bronze statue is a likeness of actress Elizabeth (died of cancer in 1995) sitting side-saddle on a broomstick in front of a crescent moon as her skirt flutters behind in a breeze.
The statue was unveiled on Wednesday, June 15, 2005, by the folks from the nostalgia cable channel TV Land.
Larry W. Jones, president of TV Land, the cable television network said, “‘Bewitched’ is a timeless series…Today, we’re here to honor a character, an actress, and a show that remains close to our hearts.”
Among the 1500 in attendance at the ceremony were the show’s director William Asher, who was married to Montgomery, and actors from the original series, including Bernard Fox (who played Dr. Bombay), Kasey Rogers (Louise Tate), and Erin Murphy (Tabitha Stephens). Some fans in the crowd wore pointy witch hats and T-shirts with the show’s logo.
Not everyone in attendance was “enchanted” when the TV Land executives revealed the statue of Samantha the Witch amid a puff of smoke.
Some felt the timing of the TV LAND statue was just a crass promotional gimmick to coincide with the June 24th release of the movie remake “Bewitched” (2005) starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell.
“Hair of gold, eyes that twinkle,
A nose that neatly twitched,
Clever, charming and enchanting,
Samantha left us all Bewitched.”
Poem on a bronze star mounted near the base of the statue
Other critics felt that the erection of the statue in Salem, Massachusetts trivialized the tragic murder of 20 people who were put to death in 1692 after they were falsely accused of witchcraft. Some in the crowd carried signs and banners reading “Tragedy is not a Joking Subject” “Is There no limit to this schlock?”, “Shame” and “Elizabeth Who?
Mayor Stanley J. Usovicz Jr. accepted the statue on behalf of Salem. ”We do, in fact, have a great and rich history,” Usovicz said. “And there is more than enough room for contemporary art in modern culture.”
On the original BEWITCHED series (set in Westport, Connecticut), Samantha Stephens married a mortal named Darrin Stephens and promised to love, honor and “try” to keep her witch powers in check so she could lead a “normal” life.
As much as Sam tried, there were times when she just needed to fall back on her witchcraft to get her husband or herself out of trouble. As Sam would say “Witchcraft got me into this mess, I see no reason why witchcraft can’t get me out of it.”
NOTE: The life-sized BEWITCHED statue was created by Studio EIS, a three-dimensional design and sculpture studio in New York founded by brothers Ivan and Elliot Schwartz.
The same studio also created THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW statue which was unveiled in Raleigh, NC in October 2003 and the statue commemorating Bob Newhart’s role as Dr. Robert Hartley on ‘THE BOB NEWHART SHOW in July 2004.
The Bewitched Statue
Washington and Essex Streets