October in Salem

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Halloween for some parts of the country is not just about spooks and specters. One such place is Salem, Massachusetts, also known as Witch City. Salem’s infamous history is no secret to anyone, but instead of hiding the past in shame, the town honors the memory of the women and men who were wrongfully executed. Salem gives tours and lectures on the mass hysteria that once swept through the tiny village claiming the lives of so many innocent victims. The Witch History Museum is a good place for visitors to start. The Salem Witch Dungeon Museum does daily reenactments. For Salem, celebrating the month of October kicks off the first weekend of the month with the Halloween Parade. There are costume parties and masquerade balls throughout the month.

Salem has been the location for many movies, including popular Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus and Adam Sandler’s recent Halloween spoof Hubie Halloween. Visitors can tour all of the filming locations for the film, including Old Town Hall and the featured homes. The famous novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables, is based on a home that still stands. The House of Seven Gables is now a museum that visitors can tour daily. Some of the costume parties that will be going on this weekend in Salem include the Vampire Ball at the famous Hawthorne Hotel. The Hawthorne Hotel was once the filming location of episodes of the TV series Bewitched. The Hawthorne hotel was also where the cast and crew stayed during the filming. Other events include a Haunted SpeakEasy masquerade that will be held at the Old Town Hall. This party is immersive and requires guests to dress in a period costume or black tie.

Other events include Victorian-themed afternoon luncheons with tea leaf readings. Tours of all kinds can be found throughout the weekend ranging from history to after-hour events at some museums. Haunted Marketplace is another family-friendly event throughout the month each weekend, held in the historic Salem Commons. The haunted Marketplace is a street fair and craft show held each weekend of October that includes activities for kids such as face painting, costume contests, and pumpkin carving. There are several ghost hunting tours, secenances, and tarot card readings for guests interested in the paranormal. Salem also hosts a scavenger hunt throughout the weekend of Halloween. There are also horror movie screenings throughout the month, including classics like the original Dracula and Frankenstein.

October is such a popular month for Salem; anyone wanting to visit during this time should make hotel reservations months in advance. This year to help stop the spread of Covid, masks are required for anything indoors, and all events with more than 100 guests require visitors to show proof of rapid virus testing within 72 hours before events along with proof of vaccinations to attend these events.

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