Salem Massachusetts. Home to Nathaniel Hawthorne and the House of 7 Gables, Jack Welch and Mary Lou Lord, Nathaniel Bowditch and Elias Derby, Salem has been a destination city long before there was such a thing as family vacation. With a rich history in the East India Trade and Seafaring, one can almost stop at that when researching the city’s history. But if there’s one thing Salem is known for all around the world that would have to be the Witch Trials of 1692. With over 150 people imprisoned and 20 executions, it was a bad time to be different, let alone be labeled a witch.
Fast forward some 270 years, and Salem now has a new outlook on witches (as well as SpongeBob, Ghostbusters, ninjas, goblins, Lil Wayne, etc), and has slowly become the destination of choice for everything Halloween. With notable landmarks and museums chronicling these times, Salem has developed a cult following for everything witchy. With places like the Witch House (home of Judge Jonathan Corwin who sentenced the gallows), Witch Dungeon, Witch Museum, and the Bewitched statue (Samantha Stevens never looked so good), Salem is a one stop shop for people looking to celebrate Halloween not only on the 31st, but throughout the month of October. With old graveyards, historic houses, and a lively downtown, Salem has turned Halloween into a month long party dubbed "Haunted Happenings" which kicked off in the 90’s. Salem is accessible via the commuter rail as well as by water via the Salem Ferry. With the Halloween falling on a Sunday and very cooperative weather, this year’s attendance is expected to be the highest ever in the Witch City.
For those of you planning a visit, let us give you some info on what to see and where to wet your whistle if you feel the urge for an icy cold Gansett. Remember; if you plan on making Salem a night out, be sure to arrive early. With long lines, and bars refusing entry after 10pm, it’s best to arrive early and secure a spot.
- Murphy’s (located at 300 Derby St, a few blocks down from the Salem Wax Museum)
- In a Pigs Eye (located at 148 Derby St, a few blocks down from the House of 7 Gables)
- Old Spot (located at 121 Essex St, around the corner from the Salem Witch Museum)
- O’Neill’s (located at 120 Washington St, next to the "Bewitched")
- Great Escape (located inside the "Old Salem Jail" at 50 St. Peter St)
For more information on "Haunted Happenings", please visit www.hauntedhappenings.org