Nine Spooky Ways to Celebrate Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts
Hocus Pocus tours, scary trolley rides, and virtual fests.
Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts, looks a lot different this year. But the vibrant folklore surrounding its history and those falsely accused of witchcraft never gets old. Despite the absence of tried-and-true favorites like parades and street performers, Salem still has plenty to offer this month, both in-person and online, like a remote costume contest, a new exhibit about the Salem Witch Trials, a Tales and Tombstones Trolley, virtual house tours, and self-guided walks.
But whatever you do, safety first. The city of Salem has updated its safety protocols from now through Halloween. Read this updated message for information on additional business, alcohol and parking restrictions, along with a full listing of the city’s previous safety measures. Please wear a mask (it’s mandated), stay socially distant, and use plenty of hand sanitizer. Here are nine ways to safely celebrate Salem’s legacy.
Dress up to the eyes for this virtual costume contestGo all out in the comfort of your own home and win some green during this virtual Halloween At Home costume contest. The winner gets $500 and other prizes are provided by Netflix’s Hubie Halloween and the Salem Horror Festival 2020. The submissions window closes October 22 and the contest goes live October 24, with the winner announced at noon on Halloween.
Ride the Salem Trolley, if you dareThe Salem Trolley is the best way to take in as much of the Witch City as possible. Get a glimpse of the Salem Witch Museum, Old Burying Point Cemetery, House of the Seven Gables, Witch Dungeon Museum, and more. At night, it’s transformed into the Tales & Tombstones Trolley, which revisits long-ago murders and will basically scare your socks off. The trolley ride is COVID-friendly, but expect longer wait times.
Unravel myths about the trialThe Salem Witch Trials were rooted in hysteria. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft, and 25 died, all because several young women pointed the finger at others. The Myths and Misconceptions daytime walking tour debunks still-lingering common beliefs about that dark time. The one-hour tour stops at the Witch Trials Memorial and the 17th-century jail that held accused witches. Private tours only.
Visit all the film locations from Hocus PocusThe Hocus Pocus sequel has the green light. Why not revisit its on-location sites sprinkled throughout Salem? There’s Pioneer Village (“Salem Village”), Phipps Elementary School (Max & Allison’s school), Ropes Mansion (“Allison’s House”), or Old Town Hall—the site of the Halloween party. Visit this list to pick your poison.
Be there in spirit with copious virtual eventsSalem Haunted Happenings has organized plenty of online tours, among them, the Salem Witch Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, and The House of the Seven Gables so that you really don’t have to miss a thing. Festive house tours, an online marketplace, and a global Howl-O-Ween parade and costume contest for dogs can put you front and center without any scary side effects.
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