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!
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.
Taking in the Sights: Hocus Pocus, Bewitched, and more!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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
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!
Top Tips for Visiting Salem on Halloween:
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.
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!
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.
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!
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?