Salem, Massachusetts in October: The City’s 10 Best Halloween Activities

Oct.29.2021

Halloween is celebrated in many countries, but it was in America that it became the most favorite holiday after Christmas, which is celebrated by the whole country. And the capital of Halloween is, of course, Salem, Massachusetts, which turns into an endless carnival in October with a variety of themed entertainment and unique costumes that you could hardly see anywhere else.

One of the earliest settlements in New England, Salem was founded by fishermen in 1626. The inhabitants of the town were famous for their Puritans customs, which led to one of the most famous lawsuits in America – the “witch hunt”. Being extremely religious and poorly educated people, the Puritans considered any disasters to be the intrigues of the devil – be it crop failures, epidemics, armed clashes with Indian tribes. For witchcraft and serving the devil in 1641 in the New World the death penalty was legislated. Of course, by today everything has changed significantly, but there are many places left in the city that remind us of these difficult times. Today we want to tell you about the most interesting things to do in Salem on Halloween weekend.

Top 10 Things to Do in Salem

Salem Witch Museum

Salem Witch Museum

Don’t know what to see in Salem, MA in autumn? How about a little witchcraft? At the Salem Witch Museum, get insight into the complex and evolving perception of witches. This must-see in Salem tells you about the history of witches in an informative and slightly intimidating manner.

You can find out all about the sad stories and details of the witch trials, as well as the events that led to them. This one of the top attractions in MA can tell you what life was like in Salem at that time. Be sure to check out the cozy gift shop, where you can find everything from crazy Halloween costumes to interesting handicrafts.

Peabody Essex Museum

Peabody Essex Museum

Another equally popular tourist place in Salem is ideal for exploring world history. It houses a huge collection of natural treasures and artifacts that are more than two hundred years old!

See fascinating exhibitions of American, Indian, African, Asian, and oceanic art, including photographs from 1840 (when photography was invented!). If you have not yet decided where to go in Salem, Massachusetts, then be sure to drop by here to explore many interesting artifacts and natural treasures!

Halloween Cruises

Among the best things to do in Salem, we could not but highlight the fascinating Halloween Cruises. Take a fun cruise through the legendary waters of Salem and experience the area’s interesting history. Choose from a 2-hour Lighthouse & Foliage tour or a 90-minute recreational cruise that includes creepy photo sessions, fortune-telling, and horror stories. On each cruise, you can find a grill and a full bar with a wide selection of delicious themed drinks. They also offer a Boo Halloween cruise! S, which is ideal for large and fun companies. These offers from Mahi Cruises are seasonal and available in certain months, depending on which you choose.

Salem Witch House

Salem Witch House

Salem House of Witches, one of the main Massachusetts attractions, is the story of the Salem witch trials. This witch tourist attraction once was the property of Jonathan Corwin, who served as a judge at the witchcraft trial in 1692. This is one of the few surviving buildings in the city that is directly related to the trials of witches. You can take a tour of this eerie tourist attraction or visit it yourself. Be sure to check out the nearby gift shop for a couple of interesting items.

Old Burying Point Cemetery and Witch Trials Memorial

Old Burying Point Cemetery and Witch Trials Memorial

For spooky things to do in Salem, MA, be sure to check out Old Burying Point, the oldest cemetery in Salem and one of the oldest in the United States. It has been open since 1637 and is the final resting place of many famous residents of this city. And next to it on Liberty Street is the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, which pays tribute to the twenty victims of witchcraft trials. Granite benches tell you about each victim and their plight. These places are perhaps the perfect place for the adventurous hiker looking to plunge into Salem’s macabre past.

Bewitched After Dark

Be sure to put this on your list of things to do in Salem, MA, for Halloween! Bewitched After Dark can offer curious tourists historical walking tours both day and night. You can learn about the city’s colonial history, the hysteria in 1962, and the brutal witch trials. Bewitched After Dark is considered one of the best tours in Salem, and we recommend that you see it for yourself! This 2-hour tour can perfectly brighten up your unforgettable weekend in Salem.

Take a Candlelit Ghost Tour

Take a Candlelit Ghost Tour

Looking for fun things to do in Salem in October? Be sure to take the spooky ghost tour! It’s no surprise that Salem, with its ghostly history, is one of the most popular cities in America during Halloween. In general, New England is full of places shrouded in creepy stories and rumors of ghosts. This is a great option for those who have not yet come up with what to do in Salem. Imagine: armed with tiny lanterns, you follow your guide through some of the city’s most creepy locations (such as the old Salem prison), trying to unravel its eerie mysteries!

The House of Seven Gables

The House of Seven Gables

Among the Massachusetts points of interest, the House of Seven Gables (known as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion) is perhaps the oldest mansion in New England. Entry to this place is free, and you also have the option of taking a 40-minute guided tour and exploring this fascinating place in more detail. But keep in mind that the number of people is limited, so do not miss your chance and buy tickets in advance!

Gallows Hill

One of the best things to do in Salem, MA, is to visit Gallows Hill. Here everyone can find something interesting for themselves: a tour of the Ghosts & Legends trolleybus, a spooky haunted museum with abandoned exhibits and lost objects, as well as exciting shows. Be sure to check out these vibrant Salem events, for which people flock from all over Massachusetts. But keep in mind that not all local attractions are suitable for children.

Salem Haunted Happenings

Salem Haunted Happenings

Of course, we could not forget about the main events of 2021 in Salem, Massachusetts, namely the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade. We recommend that you check the Haunted Happenings’ calendar to keep up with all the Salem upcoming events that are popular this time of year. The fun in Salem lasts all October: it starts on the 1st and ends on October 31st. There is something to do here: noisy parties, exciting shows, and live music. Be sure to visit the Salem Psychics Fair and Witch Market! These are some of the main mass events in Salem in the fall. Halloween is a family holiday, therefore, dozens of excursions and games are organized for children, and at the parade, everyone would be dressed in costumes, including dogs.

It’s easy to get into this holiday fun: Salem is located 20 kilometers from Boston, from where, on the occasion of the holidays, trains run twice as often. The town is small, there are 10 times more tourists than residents, so hotels run out in a month, and on the 31st, endless traffic jams are expected, so it’s better to arrive at least a day in advance. For the same reason, you need to sign up for tours and excursions in advance. You can find answers to all questions about the Salem Festival, Halloween celebrations, and the schedule of all events on the festival’s official website.

Now that we have learned about the best sites to see in Salem, Massachusetts, let’s find out where it is better to stay if you decide to visit this city shrouded in mystical legends.

Where to Stay

The Hawthorne Hotel

The Hawthorne Hotel

Established in 1925 in Salem, MA, the Hawthorn Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in America. Some guests suspect that there are real ghosts here! And if you and if you want an adrenaline rush, then choose number 325. They say that people who stay in this room felt someone’s touch when there was no one in the room. Others heard children’s screams or laughing when there were no families with children nearby. If you are crazy enough to survive your nightmares in reality, then hurry up to book this mystical room!

The Salem Inn

The Salem Inn

The Salem Inn’s owners are adamant that ghosts don’t exist, but their guests and staff have a slightly different opinion. This is one of the most visited hotels in Salem, thanks in part to rumors of the paranormal that is allegedly happening here. It is believed that as many as 3 ghosts live here: a woman (the employees even gave her the name Katerina), a child who loves to run up the stairs, and even a ghostly cat! And room 17, according to the guests, is considered one of the most active places in terms of paranormal activity. Whether it is fiction or reality, we recommend that you see it for yourself!

The Hotel Salem

And if you are tired of ghosts and creepy stories (which the beautiful city of Salem is so rich in) and want to relax in a comfortable and cozy room, then be sure to take a closer look at Hotel Salem. Located in the heart of downtown on Essex Street, it is the perfect base for exploring Boston’s North Shore. The Hotel Salem is just a short drive from a variety of shops and main attractions. The hotel also has a beautiful terrace overlooking the street, where you can enjoy delicious food. And the kind and friendly staff would do everything to make your holiday in Salem perfect.

We told you about the best places to visit in Salem, Massachusetts during Halloween. Tourism in Salem is insanely popular at this time. However, you can plunge into the mystical atmosphere even after Halloween, especially since before the holiday prices for hotels are rising, as if the local witches had bewitched them. Despite the mystical atmosphere, Salem is not scary at all, and you can and should come here with the whole family, as there are many places to go, even with small children! They may surely enjoy walking down the main street and taking pictures for free with actors disguised as superheroes, the Adams family, and monster cartoon characters. Some museums dedicated to trials of witches are also considered child-friendly.

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