Gettin' Spooky in Salem!

One of the first things you’ll learn about me is that I love Halloween. I love the autumn air, carving pumpkins, and watching scary movies. I’m also a costume fanatic who goes insane pulling together the perfect look, and a lover of the absolute chaotic energy surrounding a holiday dedicated to getting spooky. 

That said, not a soul should be surprised in discovering that I didn’t press snooze on the alarm clock blaring on my desk this past Saturday. Not a single ten-minute nap (not this time!) I had a costume to put on, a train to catch, and the town of Salem to explore!

My roommate, fellow Her Campus contributor and Halloween-enthusiast Olivia and I started off the first “Halloweekend” the way we know best: playing “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter and bringing to life our favorite literary wizards. Clad in robes with wands in hand, we headed to Kenmore with our heads held high to begin our journey.

The looks we received were hilarious—we agreed that if our lives had been a movie, the camera would have been in front of us, the initially confident duo. It would watch us walk, then cut to the confused expressions of people walking by and cut back to us with embarrassed smiles and pink cheeks.

We were too eager: Luna Lovegood and Hermione Granger arrived at North Station an hour early.

The train into Salem was packed, with not a single seat available—we sat on the ground, literally “crisscross applesauce” in the aisle. A lot of people got off to wait for the next train, but we were determined. 

If you’re curious, the Commuter Rail has $10 weekend passes with unlimited rides for the weekend! We used that to travel around; it ended up being cheaper than just buying a ticket to Salem and back. 

Watching Olivia and me in Salem must’ve been like watching a kid in a candy store (or, in the name of our costumes, a kid in Honeydukes.) We went into every store imaginable, buying spell kits, wands, crystals, and even a house plant. We walked arm-in-arm like the Sanderson Sisters, recited The Crucible so many times that I’m now convinced that I’ve seen Goody Proctor with the devil, and drank warm apple cider in a cafe covered in portraits modeled after Tarot Cards. 

Everyone was dressed to the nines; walking through the main square looked like a scene straight out of Halloweentown. We saw an entire family of different Spiderman characters, many a Beetlejuice, and a corpse bride to die for—what more could you possibly want out of a Halloweekend day-trip? Ghouls, ghosts, goblins, and monsters seemed to live in perfect harmony—the number of selfies taken with strangers in a costume wasn’t something I was expecting. 

Something else I wasn’t expecting? A little girl dressed in Gryffindor robes (I’d guess she was probably 8 or 9 years old) stopped us to show me that she had “my” (Luna’s) wand. It was beyond adorable, but part of the joy in it was her mother, who was clearly annoyed by her daughter skipping around happily, giving us the evil eye. I’d like to think it was from us being living proof that “iTs nOt a pHaSe mOm!” 

It was a gorgeous area filled to the brink with life and buzzing energy; if you have the opportunity to go this month it’s absolutely worth it. And I will give some credit where credit is due—our favorite shop was one called HausWitch. I’d honestly guess we spent a solid two hours in there, and then we came back. Twice. The women working there were wonderful and we bought some fun spells to try on our own! Plus, there’s just something magical about a store that smells so good and is playing ABBA when you walk in. 

The moral of my story: take the commuter rail over the weekends and explore areas you haven’t yet! You never know what you’re going to find or what memories you’re going to make.

I hope everyone enjoyed their first Halloweekend and has an even better Halloweekend Part 2 this week (since clearly no one knows when we should actually celebrate.) Have fun, be safe, and wear the heck out of whatever costume suits your fancy!


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