It’s October. Fall is in full swing, the weather is cooling down, and Halloween is just around the corner. You might be looking for a way to get into the Halloween spirit. Or maybe you are looking for something that will be fun for the whole family and educational at the same time. Well, there is a little town in Massachusetts, about thirty minutes outside of Boston, which has all of this and more!
Salem, Massachusetts is famous for the Witch Trials of 1692. It will always be remembered for that time of hysteria and paranoia. 1692 was a dark time in the history of the United States. It began a period that showed how far people will go out fear of the unknown; fear of what is different. Many people, mostly women, were executed because they were “proven” to be witches. The reality is, however, that there was no way to prove whether these people practiced witchcraft or not, and most of them were completely innocent. It may not be a great time in our country’s history, but it’s a time that should be remembered.
Today, Salem is a small town that celebrates its heritage. It has become a haven for those who practice Wicca and witchcraft. But, Salem has also stayed true to its history as well. While visiting you can’t miss the influence witches have on the town. However, it is easy to overlook this and be absorbed into the history that surrounds you.
Everywhere you turn in Salem there are signs of history. There are many old brick buildings, cemeteries, and museums to be seen. The most visited of these museums is the Salem Witch Museum. This museum brings to life the Witch Trials of 1692. It takes you through the history of the infamous trials. The Salem Witch Museum is located just up the road from the Visitor’s Center and is open year round.
Any time of year is a good time to visit Salem and fall into the history of the town. However, if you are looking for a way to get into the Halloween spirit, look no further than Salem in October. The month of October marks the time for Salem’s Haunted Happenings. Each day in the month marks different Halloween themed events. Any day during October people can be seen in full costume walking the streets. The month kicks off with Trick-or-Treating with the Mayor and then a Street Fair full of street performers and vendors with uniquely Salem items. Museums turn into haunted houses, and if you get lucky, you might even get to meet a horror movie icon. This year the crowds were drawn to Count Orlock’s Nightmare Gallery where the original Michael Meyers waited to greet them.
October is the busiest time of year for Salem. It is a lot of fun, but expect a lot of people as well. Plan ahead to pay for parking and to wait in line for the attractions and museums. If you want a time with fewer people, but still a chance to enjoy the Halloween fun, try going mid-week instead of on the weekend. The Haunted Happenings in Salem hold fun for the whole family, and should be experienced at some point. Not really into Halloween? Salem should still be experienced, just maybe wait until October is over to go!