Was it the house that inspired the story? Quite likely so, but even if not, the link between the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion in Salem, Massachusetts and Nathaniel Hawthorne is well established. It was my first night in Salem, a tropical storm was just setting in, it was late and I had the place to myself. Standing outside the house, pondering the book, Hawthorne’s life and the horrors that had besieged this town in the past, I found a rhythm to my thoughts. It was a cadence played out by the sound of chains on steel, coming from boats moored in the harbor, accompanied by the occasional splash of waves against the hulls of the boats. It seemed an oddly timeless sound, in a timeless place, and I hear it still in my soul. It remains my most vivid memory of Salem.