Not Oregon and certainly not the cigarette, but Salem, as in Massachusetts is my destination. Salem is a big tourist destination for the entire month of October for their Halloween festivities, and the witches. Witches you say, perhaps due to the Salem witch trials back in 1692. Even the cop cars here have witches as part of their logo. The local high school team carries the nickname of “The Witches.” And I would imagine that we have the Brits to blame for even thinking that witches exist.
- Salem Wax Museum of Witches & Seafarers Salem’s Original. Come Face to face with notable fgures of 1692 depicted by life like London made wax fgures.
- Salem Witch Village A mystical journey led by practicing witches separating the myths and reality of witchcraft in the ancient and modern world.
- Haunted Witch Village Salem’s largest Haunted House. After the Witches leave the Village the darker side of our maze comes alive and scares all who dare!
- Frankenstein’s Castle Voted Salem’s best Haunted House. Step into the dungeon and enter the notorious chambers of Dr. Frankenstein.
- The Candlelit Ghostly Tour A walking tour through the streets of Historic Salem’s most haunted houses. Learn the history and horror of the Witch City.
- Within the Witching Hour A live spell casting presentation by a practicing witch that takes you through all the steps of creating a magical circle for you to release your own spell.
- Graveyard Walking Tour Take a closer look at the second oldest cemetery in the country, The Charter Street Burying Point, and the legendary fgures who are buried there!
For a tour of some of the more famous sites of murders and executions, climb aboard Salem Trolley’s Tales and Tombstones, a nearly hour-long ride at dusk during which passengers will hear of haunted hotels, ancient curses and ghost ships. Tickets: $20, $15 for 60 and older; $10 for children 6 to 14. Reservations required: (978) 744-5469; salemtrolley.com.
But this is hardly the only way to explore the town; you can see it by boat, foot, even Segway. You must go, it is truly America at its fun-filled best!
On the Haunted Harbor cruise by Mahi Mahi Cruises and Charters, passengers will learn about pirates, haunted lighthouses and monsters during an hour-and-a-half tour on a heated boat with a bar and grill, through October. Tickets: $25; $15 for children: (978) 825-0001; mahicruises.com.
Meanwhile, Witch City Segway has Halloween tours on what it refers to as a “futuristic broomstick”: witchcitysegway.com. And Derby Square Tours offers two special walking tours in October, Witch Trial Trail and Terror Trail: derbysquaretours.com.
The House of the Seven Gables, once owned by a cousin of Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose visits to the property are said to have inspired his 1851 novel of the same name, has live performances throughout October, including one that aims to transport visitors to the witch trials. Performances last 35 minutes. Reservations recommended: (978) 744-0991; 7gables.org.
At the Salem Witch Museum, visitors can learn about the trials and take advantage of extended hours for “haunted happenings” (some until midnight) through October: (978) 744-1692; salemwitchmuseum.com.
On Halloween, there will be music and dancing on stages around town, and fireworks over the North River at 10 p.m. Check out more festivities, including costume parties, performances and events with self-described witches and paranormal experts, at hauntedhappenings.org, festivalofthedead.com and witchescottagesalem.com. There is a tropical storm, a polite name for a hurricane, named Sandy, headed to the eastern part of our country. I may or may not alter my plans once I get to Boston later today (Wednesday). Or IF I get to Boston.