Made famous by the 17th-century witch trials, Salem is inextricably linked to all things witchcraft. With such a spooky history, we are revealing five ways to celebrate Halloween in ‘witch city’.
Halloween in Salem is a bucket list-must for anyone interested in all things spooky and seasonal.
Known for its ‘witch hysteria’ in the late 1600s, this Massachusetts town is today referenced throughout pop culture regarding Halloween.
With many haunted happenings and ghoulish ghost tours taking place across the city, there is no better time than Halloween to discover the dark history of this famous city.
So, if you’re wondering what there is to do at Halloween in Salem, read on. Here are our top five favourite Halloween-themed activities and spooky events to help you celebrate like a witch.
5. Visit the Salem Witch House – one of the most haunted houses in America
Known worldwide for the famous Salem Witch Trials of 1692, when at least 19 people were hanged in Gallows Hill Park, paying a visit to the famous Salem Witch House is a must-visit around Halloween in Salem.
Once owned by Jonathan Corwin, a judge in the witchcraft trials and the site of a family tragedy, the Essex Street house is today known as one of the most haunted houses in New England.
Today, the Witch House is the only building that remains standing with direct links to the trials of 1692.
Address: 310 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
4. Visit the Salem Witch Museum – learn all about the history of witchcraft
A museum dedicated to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the Salem Witch Museum is the perfect place to learn all there is to know about this tragic event.
With actual documents from the trials and in-depth exhibits providing useful information, this is one of the oldest museums dedicated to the history of witchcraft.
Located in an old gothic church, the Salem Witch Museum even has animated mannequins that reenact the tragic tale of what went on leading up to the notorious trials.
Address: 19 1/2 N Washington Square, Salem, MA 01970, United States
3. Visit the Peabody Essex Museum – lots of spooky events to experience
At Halloween in Salem, you can expect a whole host of spooky events at the famous Peabody Essex Museum. This museum, dedicated to sci-fi and horror, is world-renowned.
You can even head out on their walking tour, which visits the Ropes Mansion, known as the house from Hocus Pocus, making it a popular spot among Disney fans.
So, make sure to bring your comfortable walking shoes to experience this ghostly walking tour.
Address: 161 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
2. Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Costume Ball – an unforgettable event
A classy hotel known for its beautiful period decor, the Hawthorne Hotel is a great place to stay at any time of the year.
However, come Halloween, the hotel hosts its famous Halloween Costume Ball, which is an event you won’t forget.
With exciting events taking place across three floors, including live music and a costume contest, this is the place to be this Halloween.
If you really want to treat yourself, then book a spooky stay for you and your family at this famous hotel for the Halloween period.
Address: 18 Washington Square W, Salem, MA 01970, United States
1. Salem Haunted Happenings – the largest Halloween celebration in the world
Welcoming almost half a million visitors to the city every year, Salem Haunted Happenings is the largest Halloween celebration in the world. With spooky parties and parades, ghostly walking tours, and other special events, the event calendar is full to the brim.
Haunted Happenings takes place all throughout the month of October, offering visitors to the area plenty of chance to immerse themselves in the annual events.
Highlights include the Salem Psychic Faire and Witches’ Market, after-hours ghost tours, and the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade.
With so much to discover for all ages, from family movie screenings to psychic readings, this frightening festival is undoubtedly one of the best ways to celebrate Halloween in Salem.
Just make sure to check out whether you need tickets for events online before attending to avoid disappointment.
Address: 81 Washington St Suite 204, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Take on a Hocus Pocus self-guided tour: If you’re a fan of the Disney classic Hocus Pocus, then you’re going to want to check out some of the amazing filming locations featured in the movie.
Explore the magical shops: Leaning into the spooky history of the city, there are plenty of ‘witch shops’ located all around the centre.
So, why not go on a spooky shopping trip and pick up all your witchy goods just in time for Halloween? Some of the most popular are The Coven’s Cottage and Crow Haven Corner.
Pay your respects at the Witch Trials Memorial: The Salem Witch Trials are among the most horrific events in American history.
Innocent people lost their lives due to allegations of witchcraft. While you’re here, it’s important to pay your respects at the Witch Trials Memorial.
FAQs about Halloween in Salem
What happens on Halloween in Salem?
There are plenty of exciting events taking place across Salem at Halloween, including the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade, the Hawthorne Hotel Costume Ball, and much more.
Is Salem on Halloween worth it?
Yes, there is no better time to visit Salem than Halloween!
Can you tour the Hocus Pocus house?
The Mansion seen in the movie is owned by the Peabody Essex Museum. However, it is not accessible to the public. The gardens located in the rear of the property are free to visit and open to the public.