An occult October in Salem

Essex+Street+is+swamped+with+locals+and+tourists+as+they+celebrate+Halloween+and+indulge+in+Salems+Haunted+Happenings.

Keely Menyhart

Essex Street is swamped with locals and tourists as they celebrate Halloween and indulge in Salem’s Haunted Happenings.

Halloween in Salem is the worst kept secret in New England due to its haunting history, namely the infamous Salem Witch Trials.

Come the first of October, the quaint streets are filled with people from all over, dressed in their favorite costumes, and the town takes advantage of its attractions and highlights all things spooky leading up to Halloween.

There are many famous historical attractions to visit in the city, like the Witch Museum and even the grave sites where the victims of the witch trials are all buried. However, there is more than history that defines the town. 

With lines wrapped around the block at every shop that claims to be the best place for witchcraft, people eagerly wait to have their palms read, get spooky tattoos and even receive a tarot card reading. During October, the best option for visitors in search of a reading seems to be the event that takes place in the Witch City Mall that gives everyone a chance to be told about their future by “real psychics.” 

Along with the shops that line all of Main Street, on the weekends there are booths of people selling food and witchy merchandise called the “Haunted Happenings Marketplace” that gives patrons a chance to support Salem small businesses. The marketplace gives tourists an opportunity to venture into the more creative side of the town rather than buying the stereotypical t-shirts found in any gift shop. 

Not only are there shopping opportunities, but there are also people in intricate costumes littering the street for quick and easy photo shoots. These performers amplify the Halloween feeling, making the Salem experience even more unforgettable. 

For those looking for a more slow paced and historical trip to Salem, the Peabody Essex Museum is the perfect place. The self-guided Salem witch trials tour starts inside the museum and takes you through exhibits on all three floors of the museum showing real documents and items from 1692-1693. This tour also takes visitors on a walk outside of the museum and all around town to sites like the Witch House and the Witchcraft Victims Memorial. 

The more visitors adventure through the city and take a second to look through the crowded streets and shoulder to shoulder traffic, the more likely they are to find some of the hidden haunts of the city while learning more details behind one of the most famous historical accounts of unjust prosecutions in United States history.

The town is welcoming of visitors of all ages, being extremely family friendly while keeping older crowds entertained with scary sights and the spooky spirit. With each and every street having something new, thrilling and exciting for every visitor to indulge in there is no chance that anyone will get bored walking through the haunted streets. 

Follow Keely on Twitter @MenyhartKeely.