There is nothing quite like Salem in October. The entire month is dedicated to the supernatural history of the city, and there is few things compare to celebrating with true believers.
Salem's “Haunted Happenings” are planned throughout the month of October. Special events include the play "Cry Innocent," the Salem open market, as well as various tours. Visitors can also attend the Haunted Happenings Carnival, or learn about the history of the witch trials in the Salem Witch Museum. A full calendar of events can be found here.
Though the event calendar can be helpful when planning a trip to Salem, it's possible to arrive without a plan. The city is packed with must-see landmarks and activities. The Salem Open Market runs in Derby Square and on Essex Street all day. There are plenty of stalls offering cider and snacks, as well as Halloween-themed trinkets, clothing, and face painters. Street entertainers pop up out of nowhere, showing off their talents as moving statues, dancers, and circus performers. Pause for a minute, or ten, and be entertained for the price of a tip.
One activity however, is a necessity: the city of Salem has perfected the art of the haunted house. If you love to get scared, or even if you don't, a trip to Salem is incomplete without a visit to a haunted house. Pro Tip: be sure to repeat, rather loudly, one of the names of someone in your party. Sometimes those hiding inside will use the name to scare you even more. (I'd like to take this moment to apologize to my sister for using this trick to torment her twice.) Once you've been sufficiently scared, you can grab a snack from one of the many food carts or trucks.
If you're more interested in the occult, psychics, mediums, and palm readers can be found on nearly every street; just be sure to pick the right one. Regardless of your beliefs (or lack thereof), getting your palm read, or your aura photographed can be a fun experience you're not likely to forget (Just make sure you're aware of the risks involved.)
A trip to Salem is the best way to get into the Halloween spirit, and transportation is not as difficult as one might think. Take the 450 bus from South Station or Haymarket, or the high speed ferry from Long Wharf in Boston. For more transportation information, click here.
Whether you are a believer in the supernatural, a member of the occult, or just really excited to have another holiday with an excuse to celebrate, a day trip to Salem for the Haunted Happenings is an absolute must.
Photos courtesy of Julia Keefe / Gavel Media.