Cross It Off: Spending Halloween in Salem

Halloween is my favorite holiday and for years my friend Kristin and I

have been saying that we wanted to experience Halloween in the Halloween

capital, Salem, Massachusetts. This October our dreams became reality and I found

myself in absolute heaven exploring this town on the best day of the year.

Read all about how we spent Halloween and see what we dressed up as

(you can also see my past Halloween costumes here) below! 

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The House of the Seven Gables

Okay…this book lover has a confession. I have never read The House of

the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In fact, the only Hawthorne

book I have read is The Scarlet Letter. However, with that being

said, Kristin and I didn’t think a trip to Salem would be complete without

visiting the famous home that inspired the novel of the same name. If

you are someone who, like me, hasn’t read the book this tour is still an

interesting one. If you have read the book, well then you

will absolutely love getting to see the house. 

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Tickets: $20/person

Website

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Taking in the Sights: Hocus Pocus, Bewitched, and more!

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As many fans know Salem is where they filmed one of the greatest

Halloween movies of all time, Hocus Pocus! So while I was here I

had to make sure to stop and see as many filming locations from the

movie that I could. You can read more about our self-guided

journey and see the sites using this link!

Thelma and Louise in front of the Ropes Mansion aka Allison’s house

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Salem was also where they filmed the seventh season of the 1964 sitcom

Bewitched. To commemorate this TV show set in Salem a bronze statue of

Elizabeth Montgomery now stands at 235 Essex street. 

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While walking around the town we found ourselves at one point in Salem Common where there were food trucks and tons of booths set up that you could shop at. Definitely saw some pretty cool stuff!

Salem Witch House: 310 Essex Street

The only remaining house with direct ties to the Salem Witch trials is

this one. During the Salem witch trials this house was home to Judge

Jonathan Corwin who oversaw the pre-trial examinations of those

accused of witchcraft. You can complete a tour inside the house, however

when we were there tours were sold out. 

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Salem Witch House website

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Salem Witch Trials Memorial: 24 Liberty Street

The Salem witch trials were definitely one of many dark points in this

country’s history and this memorial serves as a reminder to us of all

the innocent lives lost by this hysteria as well as provides

us with a place to pay our respects. 

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Next to the memorial is the Pickman house which was built by sailor

Samuel Pickman in 1665. This house is one of the few buildings to still stand

on its original foundation. The building was restored in 1969 by Historic

Salem and today serves as a welcome center for visitors to

the Charter Street Cemetery next door. 

Pickman House (also said to be quite haunted!)

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The Charter Street Cemetery aka The Burying Point sits next to the memorial

and the Pickman house. Opened in 1637 it is the oldest cemetery in

Salem and among the oldest cemeteries in the country. It currently

houses many notable Salem residents including judges

that were involved in the witch trials.

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Wicked Labyrinth

I let Kristin choose our evening activity and she went with the Wicked

Labyrinth, an indoor event where you get to see over 1000 carved

pumpkins. This would be a great place to take your kids if you are

brave enough to bring them to Salem on Halloween (if not their season

starts in September so you can maybe avoid the crowds by going then).

It took us about 30-40 minutes to walk through the whole thing and I think

we had a pretty good time. It definitely was fun to see all the different

designs, but I don’t think I will go back again.

I thought this one was just fang-tastic.
Oh how purrrfect is this one!
While we were looking at the pumpkins Kristin came up with a fun little game where I said a number and whatever pumpkin that number came to is the tattoo I had to get. This is my pumpkin and I would legit get this as a tattoo. lol
They also had these ghosts putting on a little show while you walked around!

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Costumes! 

There were sooo many amazing costumes while I was here and everyone

was really nice about letting you take a photo with them if you wanted!

Of course there were some you had to pay to take a picture with as well.

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Oh the foot pop! Must have been love!
She’s a sim! I would play this game for hours when I was younger. 
Doug Dimmadome from The Fairly Oddparents
Pennywise and The Nun
Ronald McDonald and Wendy. Looks like the King had a rough day….
The Nun
Clown from American Horror Story
Ted and Alexis from Schitt’s Creek (and Squid Game in background!)

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Salem Ghost Tour! 

After saying goodbye to Kristin and her boyfriend Shane I set out on

my own to do a walking ghost tour through Salem with US Ghost

Adventures. This tour was rated the number one ghost tour in Salem and

after going on it I can 1000% see why. Check out my article here to read more about my tour!

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Halloween Fireworks

I made it back to my car after the ghost tour just in time to watch the fireworks show that started at 10:15pm Halloween night.

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Post-Halloween return trip:

Sadly Kristin flew back home to Kansas the day after Halloween and

I continued on my road trip, but I decided to make another stop at Salem

later in the week. It was so much less crowded this time around and I

was able to do a couple of the things I didn’t get to do on Halloween.

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Salem Witch Museum

On Halloween all tickets to the Salem Witch Museum were sold

out, but this time I was able to snag one for myself. I was expecting

the inside to be a walk through museum, but I was pleasantly surprised

to instead be met with a presentation that walked you through the events

of the witch trials. Definitely something I think you should experience at least once!

Tickets: Must be purchased same day and are $15/person

Website

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Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery

Being the horror movie aficionado I am, I really wanted to make a stop at

Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery to see their collection of famous horror

movie wax figures. I was sad to hear that I wasn’t allowed to take pictures

of or with any of the characters found inside, but it was still cool

to see each one and read all the information.

It’s Sam! 😍

Tickets: $13/person

Website

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FOOOOD:

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Lunch at The Village Tavern

Everything I read on Salem said you had to stop and eat at The Village

Tavern so Kristin and I stood in this insanely long line to grab ourselves

a seat. Inside was a pretty standard bar, but we were given a seat by the

window so we had a nice view of the outdoor seating area making

it the perfect spot to people watch. Lol 

Kristin ordered a cup of clam chowder and poutine while I ordered the baked mac and cheese. We both agreed the food was good, buuuut maybe not quite worth the price.

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Dinner at The Lobster Shanty

Krisitn and I chose this restaurant for one reason and one reason only, it was

featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Forever the Guy Fieri STAN I

wasn’t about to pass on this opportunity to cross another

of his DDD restaurants off the list. 

Again we did have to stand in line for at least an hour before we were able

to be seated, but I have to say the food was pretty delicious. I would even

say I enjoyed it more than the food at The Village Tavern! 

I ordered Pearl’s hot dog with pulled pork (and can confirm with the menu that Pearl does in fact make one great weiner lol), Kristin ordered the lobster roll which she said was certainly worth the $30, and her boyfriend Shane ordered the clam chowder saying it wasn’t the best he has ever had, but that it was still pretty tasty.

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Top Tips for Visiting Salem on Halloween:

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Plan Ahead

Halloween is one of the busiest days in Salem and so tickets for

museums and events go fast! Best to buy your tickets for everything

as early as possible if you want to ensure a spot.

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Get to Salem Early

You might have tickets to get into the museums and events, but that

won’t matter if you can’t find a place to park! We got to Salem about

9:30am and spent at least 30 minutes driving around looking for a

place to park before giving up and parking in the parking garage

(which was also almost already completely full) so just remember the early bird gets the worm!

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Be Prepared to Stand in Line

Everywhere we went there was a huge line and unfortunately none of

your tickets are “jump the line” passes! Just be prepared

to do a lot of standing around and waiting.

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Dress Up!

One of my favorite things about being in Salem on Halloween was seeing

all of the costumes and I kind of regret that Kristin and I didn’t do something

a little more elaborate and recognizable. If there is a costume you have been

wanting to give a go, this is your moment! Time to go all out!

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Visiting Salem on Halloween was definitely crazy, but also everything I

hoped it would be and more. I was in absolute heaven and I would go

back again in a heartbeat! Have you been to Salem on Halloween?

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