When it comes to Halloween in America, no one does it quite like Salem. With a history steeped in witchcraft, stories about ghosts and witches are the norm in the historic Massachusetts city but come October, the whole town seems to get in on the act when it comes to celebrating Halloween.
Check out this list of reasons why Salem should definitely be on your October travel list.
October doesn’t just bring spooky decorations and haunted houses. It’s a time of year when Mother Nature is at her finest during the annual changing of the leaves. October is a great time of year to visit Salem, not to mention New England in general due to the vibrant hues of the foliage as leaves change to brilliant shades of orange, red and purple before dropping for winter. The overall effect is a warm, nostalgic feeling that is quintessential fall.
This is a great place to begin your Halloween trip to this historic city. Sneak in a quick lesson about the history of witchcraft in the area complete with an animatronic re-enactment of the famous witch trials of 1692; stop in the gift shop for some witchy souvenirs. The museum is open daily, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. with extended hours in October (open until midnight on select dates). Adult tickets are $13 while children get in for $10.
Explore Salem’s haunted history with a walking tour that explores the city’s witchcraft roots and takes you around town to visit locations that played a significant role in the city’s troubled past. Day tours focus on the historic significance of the sites while night tours have an added spook factor, focusing on the many reasons Salem is known as one of the most haunted cities in America. If you prefer a self-guided tour, take the Salem Heritage Trail at your own pace. Simply find the red line that winds through Salem — you can’t miss it — and enjoy the walk as it takes you to all of Salem’s important sites.
Ghost Stories on the Water
Eerie Stories on Salem Sound is taking place Saturdays and Sundays all month long. Ticket holders board the Naumkeag for a boat tour of the city’s historic harbor accompanied by ghost stories about Salem and its haunted history. Tickets for the event start at $18 and tours last approximately one hour. Be sure to bring your jackets along as it can get pretty chilly out on the water.
End With a Bang
If you’ve never celebrated Halloween with fireworks, you haven’t been to Salem on Oct. 31. After the family has its fill of witches, ghosts, candy and costumes, head downtown for the city’s official closing ceremonies of the year’s festivities. The free show starts at 10:15 p.m. and is a spectacular way to celebrate Halloween.
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