11 Things To Do on Your Trip to Salem

Going to school in Boston means that a trip to Salem, Massachusetts around Halloween is an absolute necessity.  Home to the Salem Witch Trials, the town is filled with mystery and horror that the townsfolk have capitalized on.

If you happened to fall asleep on this day in your high school history class, let me give you a brief summary of the town. In 1692, three teenage girls started to act very abnormally and were believed to have been cursed by witches. Three women were initially accused of being the witches in question.  In the coming year, almost 200 people were accused of being witches, and 20 people were executed in the witch trials. A few years later people started to figure out that what they did was wrong, and they compensated the convicted families (too late for any real good). In the 1970’s, a psychologist theorized that a fungus called ergot caused the girls’ mysterious symptoms.

Years later, people are still obsessed with the horror that transpired in Salem. People continuously visit to see the historical landmarks of a time where women were persecuted and the merchant trade flourished. Personally, I think the majority of people come to look at some of the interesting characters that show up that time of year.

Interested in visiting the spooky town of Salem now? Here is my list of things you should definitely consider when making the trip!

1. Salem Haunted Happenings

Photo credit: Salem Chamber of Commerce

The entire month of October, Salem has its haunted happening across the town. The entire month, there is a bazaar in the main street that has a large variety of vendors and photo opportunities.  There are also many planned events you can attend such as Howl-o-Ween Costume Pet Parade, Salem Horror Festival, and The Annual Salem Chamber Grand Parade. Prepare yourself to be eternally spooked by the events!

2. Visit the Shops

Photo credit: Destination Main Streets

I promise you that every shop you go into will surprise you. Many of the shops boast they sell real witch products such as crystals and herbs, while others can get you that cheap witch shirt you suddenly started wanting. Some of the shops will definitely creep you out, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go in!

3. Take a Tour

Photo credit: Salem Wax Museum

If you want to spend a little extra money and are positive you’ll make the commuter rail back into the city, you could always take a tour! It is one of the best ways to learn about the history of Salem on a whole new level. Personally, I think the night tours look the creepiest, so why not do it in one of the most haunted towns in America?

4. Sample Cider at Far From the Tree Craft Hard Cider

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

If you are 21 and over, you can take a quick pit stop to sample some cider! I heard from a local that it is a great place to go during your visit! Since I will be turning 21, I know that’s where I’ll go next!

5. Visit the Witch House

Photo credit: Salem Witch House

One of the oldest houses in Salem and was home to the Judge of the witch trials. You do have to pay to go in, but personally I found taking a picture outside the front wreath is nice in itself!

6. Take a Stroll on the Salem Heritage Trail

Photo credit: this mare eats oats

Follow the scary red line around town and stop at many of the historical sites along the way! I suggest reading up on each stop when you get there, so you can do your own free tour!

8. Try Something Classic at Ye Olde Pepper Company

Photo credit: TasteBUds

Stop by America’s oldest candy company and try their famous gibraltars! Fun tidbit, if you wait in line to get in, they usually give you a sample of candy while you are waiting! I suggest going for the chocolates or the peppermints, but there is definitely something for everyone!

8. Picnic at Salem CommonPhoto credit: Salem Common

I personally think this is one of the most calm areas of Salem. It is a nice place to sit and just escape the crowds for a little bit. Since there isn’t anything “witchy” about it, the commons tend to remain crowd free throughout the season.

9. Eat some ice cream at Captain Dusty’s Ice CreamPhoto credit: Foodio54

In my three years of going to school in Boston, I have found that the city is extremely lacking in good ice cream. Great gelato, but not great homemade ice cream! Captain Dusty’s became a wonderful respite and honestly has some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. It may be cold, but take the risk. It’s worth it!

10. Relax at the National ParkPhoto credit: National Park Service

For the most part, the park is completely free to explore and walk around! The park service is wonderful and will answer any questions, so try and stop to pick their brains about the history! This park is one of the major visiting sites that has absolutely nothing to do with witches, and it can be very refreshing. I found that I loved sitting by the ocean, because it felt good after being surrounded by city buildings!

11. Remember those lost at Witch Trials Memorial and visit the Cemetery

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

At the memorial, each little bench represents one of the twenty people executed during the trials. People tend to leave flowers at each site to show their respects.  Right next to the memorial is one of the oldest cemeteries in the town, and it is interesting to see how far back they go. My only pet peeve is how disrespectful people are. You most likely will see people will sit down on the memorials or eat their lunches off of the gravestones…

So now you are prepared for your first visit in Salem! Whether you release your inner witch or just sit down and eat all day, Salem definitely will grant your every need. So hop on the commuter or grab your broomstick for a day to remember! Happy Halloween!