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 Hauntedillinois.com - Haunted Illinois visits Salem, the Witch City,  on Halloween for Haunted Happenings

I had always heard that Salem's Halloween celebration was unlike any other, so I decided to check it out for myself.  I had been to the Witch City a couple of times in the Spring and Summer, but never during the Halloween season.  After doing some online research, I found out that Halloween in Salem isn't just a one day thing; it is a month-long celebration.  Throughout the month of October, the city of Salem hosts a lot of fun events including parades, costume parties, themed dinners, historic museum tours, Witch Trial reenactments, haunted harbor cruises, and more.  While searching online, I found a number of valuable resources that helped me plan my visit.  The Destination Salem  site was able to answer a lot of the general questions I had about the city.  Salem Haunted Happenings had a long list of scheduled activities, as well as providing information about shopping, lodging and parking. The Festival of the Dead website was also a nice resource for event information.   If you are planning on visiting Salem, be sure to request a free Salem Visitor & Travel Guide by filling out the online form.  Links to helpful websites like these and more can be found on the last page of this online review.

Salem is a great vacation destination for a number of reasons.  For one, the New England area is rich in Early American history.  By visiting various historical sites, a lot can be learned about early settlements and the maritime era.  Salem is also a great place to go, if you are a fan of vintage architecture.  While you are there, be sure to make a stop at Chestnut Street.  As a part of the McIntire Historical District, this 80 foot-wide thoroughfare has some amazing structures that were built in the early 1800's.  

Salem is a very pedestrian-friendly city.  In fact, you can make it to most locations on foot.  Most of the tourist attractions in the city can be found by following the "red line", which is a red line painted on the sidewalk, which leads to many of the city's points of interest.  If you want to explore all that Salem has to offer, there can be a considerable amount of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. 

In the few times that I've visited the area, I've found that the best strategy is to not drive at all.  Stay at one of the hotels in the city. The Hawthorne Hotel, Salem Waterfront Hotel and The Salem Inn are all within walking distance of most of the main tourist attractions.  If you decide to stay in Salem, be sure to make your reservations early.  Hotels in the city and surrounding area are often booked solid, several months before the Halloween season.  If that is not an option and you have to drive, I would strongly suggest that you used one of the city's parking garages.  Curbside parking spaces can be very hard to find, especially in October, when the city is the most crowded.    

During my visit, I found Salem to be quite enjoyable and relaxing. While I was there, the people were friendly and the city seemed to have a very homey and welcoming feel. Also, the picturesque views from places like Salem Common, Derby Wharf and Salem Willows Park, made the atmosphere especially serene. With the beautiful colors of the autumn foliage and exhilarating chill in the air, I think that Fall is the best time of the year to visit Salem.  As an added benefit, if you visit in October, you will have the opportunity to participate in all of the fun Halloween-related events and activities, as well.   

When I arrived in Salem, a few days before Halloween, I noticed a few new things that I hadn't seen on my previous visits.  Set up for the Halloween celebration, there was a carnival along one of the main streets, with rides, games and concessions.  Throughout the city, there were also several kiosks that were selling food, clothing, jewelry, artwork and other items.   

For more information about some of the tourist attractions that were not covered in this online write-up (Witchcraft Victim's Memorial, Wadsworth Cemetery, Gallows Hill Park, etc), be sure to read my first Salem Review

Around Town in Salem

(Click on any of the pictures below to enlarge)

As it got closer to Halloween, there was more traffic.
Salem Witch Village - On this guided tour, you will discover the truth and facts surrounding the subject of Witchcraft. Confront the grim realities of the Medieval Hysteria, the terrifying Witch hunts of Salem in 1692, nonsensical superstition and horrifying torture.
Salem Witch Village
Candle Lit Ghostly Tours - This half-hour walk through the streets of Historic Salem takes you to many of our most haunted houses and locations. This tour discusses the history of the building as well as the different accounts of spirit activity. The tour guide will advise you on the best methods of ghost photography as well as the different types of spectral evidence that appears on people's home photography. Some highlights of our tour are the Joshua Ward House, the Howard St. Cemetery and Old Salem Prison and the Lyceum.
Candle Lit Ghostly Tours

Salem Wax Museum - Museum dedicated to Salem's darkest days (1690's), complete with interactive exhibits and wax figures.
Salem Wax Museum
The Red Line - Following the Red Line painted on the sidewalk in Salem would take you to most of the major tourist attractions in the city.
The Red Line
The Red Line - Following the Red Line painted on the sidewalk in Salem would take you to most of the major tourist attractions in the city.
The Red Line
Rockafellas of Salem
Rockafellas of Salem
Essex Street
Essex Street

Essex Street
Essex Street
Essex Street
Essex Street
City View Trolley Tours - CityView Trolley Tours is Boston, Cambridge & Salem's number one tour value with over 30 years in the sightseeing business. CityView offers: * On & Off Reboarding stops. * Open year round. * Sightseeing tours of Freedom Trail sites with no time wasted at hotels. Better frequency and less waiting at stops. * The most comfortable ride! Boston new trolley fleet with padded seats, full open-air view. * The most experienced and entertaining tour guides.
City View Trolley Tours
Essex Street
Essex Street
Bewitched in Salem
Bewitched in Salem






Salem 's 13 Ghosts - SALEM'S 13 GHOSTS is Salem's newest, most interesting, and original attraction. You will be given the most comfortable 3D glasses available. As you walk through, your eyes will feast on the best high tech 3D painting in New England. The colors pop and you wonder,
Salem 's 13 Ghosts


Count Orlock's Nightmare Gallery - This is a highly acclaimed monster museum during the week, with live moving monsters during the weekend.
Count Orlock's Nightmare Gallery
Salem Trolley Inc. - The Salem Trolley is the best way to see Salem and to experience the Witch City’s unique and colorful past.  Since 1982, Salem Trolley has set the standard for sightseeing tours and exceptional transportation north of Boston. 

The Salem Trolley provides visitors with a narrated one hour tour and all day shuttle service through beautiful and historic Salem. Explore Salem’s witchcraft trials of 1692 or travel beyond the witchcraft hysteria into the fascinating realm of Salem's literary and maritime history.
Salem Trolley Inc.
St. Marys Immaculate Conception Church - Founded in 1826, this church is the first Catholic parish outside of Boston.
St. Marys Immaculate Conception Church

Statue of Nathaniel Hawthorne - Nathaniel Hawthorne was a famous author, born in Salem in 1804.  Known for writing The Scarlet Letter.
Statue of Nathaniel Hawthorne
Salem Common
Salem Common
Salem Common
Salem Common
Salem Common
Salem Common
Salem Common
Salem Common
Hay Maze - There was a children's hay maze set up in Salem Common.
Hay Maze
Salem Witch Museum - Visitors are given a dramatic history lesson using stage sets with life-size figures, lighting and a narration - an overview of the Witch Trials of 1692.
Salem Witch Museum
Salem Common - Salem Common, the large, attractive park in the heart of the city, has been public land since Salem's early days. However, a portion of these eight acres was originally swampy area, with several ponds and small hills. The higher ground was used as pasture for goats and cows which were brought out to graze for the day and then returned to their owners at night by the town cowherd.
Salem Common
The Old Spot - Much like the Gloucestershire 'Old Spot' breed of pig we take our name from, we are fat, warm, friendly, known by all the locals and unapologetic for an occasional 'burp' out loud!
The Old Spot
Crow Haven Corner - Crow Haven Corner was the very first witch shop in Salem, Massachusetts.
Crow Haven Corner
The Fool's Mansion - The Fool's Mansion is a boutique dedicated to high quality Gothic and Renaissance clothing, accessories and local art.
The Fool's Mansion
Festival of the Dead - These costumed characters were handing out flyers for 'Festival of the Dead'.
Festival of the Dead
Museum Place Mall
Museum Place Mall
Life and Death Tours - Join us as we walk the streets of Salem and relive gory tales of suicide, murder, horrible accidents, and treachery of all kinds.  Learn the bloodstained history of Salem with no details left to the imagination.
Life and Death Tours










Fatima's Psychic Studio
Fatima's Psychic Studio
Aura Photography
Aura Photography


   

 

 

 


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