Disclaimer: This Salem Halloween blog post was originally written in October 2020 and was updated in January 2022 for relevancy.
Hey booos! Happy fall! Today’s post is going to cover how to enjoy a Salem Halloween in Massachusetts’ spookiest city. I’ve been to Salem dozens of times, since it’s located only 40 minutes from Boston. The last time I went I did a historic walking tour, saw the sights, and visited some of the Hocus Pocus filming locations. Keep reading for tips about what to see this Salem Halloween season!
Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Poster Store. Keep reading to learn more about this brand, and as always – all opinions written here are my own!
Have you heard of Poster Store? Poster Store is a Scandinavian-based poster, print, and frame brand! On their site, you can find posters and frames with a Scandinavian design that are both affordable and beautiful. Poster Store has a large poster selection of different themes and categories for all tastes and even releases a new collection weekly, so be sure to check back often. I ordered four prints from Poster Store and created my own gallery wall tailored to my space. The best part? All prints and posters are printed on sustainably produced, high-quality paper! If you’re interested in buying some art of your own, you can get 45% off posters with code abroad45. Thank you to Poster Store for sponsoring this blog post!
First, a little background. Salem, Massachusetts is known for being the Witch City. The Witch Trials occurred here in 1692. 25 people died. 19 were hung on Proctor’s Ledge, one man was pressed to death, and 5 others later died in jail. Most of the accused were women and most of the time no one really had proof that the accused were practicing witchcraft. I learned on my tour that this was common in this era and that several witches were burned at the stake across Europe before this ever even happened in Salem. Salem, however, really earned it’s claim to fame by embracing its history as Witch City.
Beginning with the film Hocus Pocus, followed by the TV show Bewitched and of course, The Crucible, Hollywood has played a major role in Salem’s rise to fame. The city also embraces Halloween year-round and has catered its city to tourists. For example, on the main road, Essex Street, you’ll find countless witch shops, spooky souvenirs, and even a store dedicated entirely to vampires.
Hocus Pocus Filming Locations
Let’s start with Hocus Pocus, because to be honest, this is why most people visit Salem, Massachusetts! There are three major filming locations I recommend visiting. The first is the Salem Common. This park is the backdrop for Max’s school in the film.
The second is 4 Ocean Ave. This is Max and Dani’s home in the film. It’s a private property, but fans are more than welcome to snag a photo from the street out front.
The final stop I recommend visiting is the Ropes Mansion. Not only is this home stunning, it’s where Allison lives in the film. You may not see the Sanderson sisters at any of these places, but they’re still cool!
What To See During Salem Halloween
Next, I recommend seeing the Witch House. No witches actually lived here, but this is the only building in all of Salem dating back to the time of the trials. Judge Jonathan Corwin lived here and it’s believed people came here to state their accusations.
Pro-tip: You have to buy tickets in advance to go inside. They’re only $9 and it’s really cool so I definitely recommend doing this!
If you’re looking to learn a bit more about the trials, pay a visit to the Salem Witch Museum. You’ll learn about the trials in-depth and even explore witchcraft today! If you’re visiting around Halloween, you’ll have to buy tickets online SAME DAY.
PS. They tend to sell out.
Looking for something more educational? Check out the Peabody-Essex Museum. It’s located right downtown and is the oldest continuously operated museum in the US!
Lastly, I HIGHLY recommend doing a tour! A walking tour around Salem, Massachusetts is a great way to learn about the history from a local. A lot of the witches’ families still live in the area, so the guides are extremely knowledgable about the facts. We opted for the 1692 Witch Craft Walk with Salem Historical Walking Tours and learned a ton! There’s also several ghost tours in the city if you prefer that.
Where To Stay In Salem, Massachusetts
Looking for a place to stay? Pay a visit to the historic Hawthorne Hotel, one of the most haunted hotels in the country. It’s beautiful, but you’re brave to stay here during a Salem Halloween.
Where To Eat In Salem, Massachusetts
Breakfast: The Ugly Mug. Super cute breakfast diner. Coffee is served in ugly mugs that people donate to the restaurant! If you find one you like, you can buy it!
Lunch: Craving Mexican? The Howling Wolf is a personal favorite.
Dinner: Rockefellas. Located right in Essex Square and known for its spooky drinks, Rockefellas is the perfect dinner option!
Drinks: Head on up to the rooftop at the Salem Hotel! Their cocktail menu is great and the views are even better.
That’s all for my Salem Halloween guide! I hope you enjoy your spooky day in Witch City! Want more New England day trip ideas for this fall? Check out my New England Bucket List and Leaf Peeping blog posts! Thank you again to Poster Store for sponsoring this blog post.
Like this post? Pin it to save it for later and share with others!