'America's Spookiest City' Can Show Us the Future of Travel

Salem, Massachusetts is basically a cultural epicenter for the supernatural, spooky, and off-kilter.

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Salem is historically famous for being the location of the 17th century witch trials that led to the execution of 19 people. It's pop culture infamous from movies like Hocus Pocus. And in the tourism world, the northern Massachusetts city is basically a cultural epicenter for the supernatural, spooky, and off-kilter.

In this episode of the Thrillist Explorers podcast, I spend a day walking around Salem, meeting the city's citizens and rotating characters, to see how locals, businesses, and the extremely COVID-conscious local government handle the hordes of tourists that descend upon their town every autumn. 

After a yoga session with Daayani Yoga at the Satanic Temple in Salem (I promise this will make sense when you listen), we spend time with street performers, walk through the Salem Witch Board (a.k.a. Ouija) museum, and get our palm read at the Magic Parlor. We dig into the history of the witch trials with the interactive, acclaimed play Cry Innocentbefore hanging out with a real witch, Teri, at Artemisia Botanicals apothecary. And, we sit down with the Mayor of Salem, Kim Driscoll, to talk about how the city implemented measures to make sure Salem stayed open and safe this Halloween season. 

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Wil Fulton is a Senior Producer at Thrillist and a passionate doer of other stuff. For more info, you'll have to do a free background check.