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Ohio University Fall East Green
Ohio University Fall East Green
Hannah Moskowitz

Salem Massachusetts: Fact vs. Fiction

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

As someone who’s spent most of her life exploring Salem, Massachusetts, I thought this would be the perfect time to explain one of my favorite towns. This small seaside town becomes a major tourist spot for one month each year, but during every other, it’s a normal town with a college, grocery stores, and people other than witches. I always get a ton of questions about what Salem is really like, so today we’ll be exploring some of the biggest misconceptions. 

Fiction: Salem is full of witches.

Fact: Not everyone who lives in Salem is a witch, but there are a lot of people who practice a modern version of a pagan religion called Wicca. Growing up my neighbors were Wiccan’s and practiced regularly, but it’s nothing like the movie witches we know and love! 

Fiction: Salem shows accurate depictions of the witch trials.

Fact: Although it’s fun to go to the witch museum and various tourist spots in Salem, not everything is extremely accurate. It was only a few years ago when the town found out where the accused were hung. A major portion of the town during October is quite commercial, and focuses more on Halloween than the trials themselves, although the town does have a beautiful memorial for the accused. 

Fiction: The best time to visit Salem is in October. 

Fact: While it’s really fun to experience the craziness of Salem in October, I prefer going in the off-seasons, such as in the summer or January! It’s still just as spooky, all the museums and tours are still up and running, you just won’t have to fight through a crowd or wait hours to take a photo in front of the Hocus Pocus site. 

Fiction: The only things to do in Salem are witch museums and monuments.

Fact: Salem is such an exciting town, not only because of the rich history. There are amazing spots for everyday fun. From touring the Far from the Tree Cider tasting room to eating at the many restaurants and rooftop bars that often have live bands, you can find something for everyone. One of my favorite things is the booze cruise that takes you around the area! 

Fiction: Salem history only includes the witch trials.

Fact: Salem was not only the spot of the witch trials but was also well known for their trade ports, and was a major spot for the spice trade. Pumpkin spice anyone?

Emily serves as Associate of Campus Community & Marketing here at Her Campus. She graduated from Pace University in 2020 with a degree in Communications. Emily served as a Campus Correspondent at Pace University, was a former intern for Her Campus' InfluenceHer Collective and was a part of Campus Trendsetters. In her spare time you can find her crafting, going to art museums and listening to Taylor Swift.