Visit Salem: Visit ‘Hocus Pocus’ filming locations, the Salem Witch Museum, and more.
As the leaves on the trees turn hues of yellow, orange and red, the onset of fall brings with it New England traditions such as apple picking, apple fairs, autumn and the autumn harvest.
Fall is also the perfect time to immerse yourself in the fun, fantasy and fear associated with Halloween, with perhaps no better place to do this than Salem – famous for the Salem witch trials in the 17th century – this which makes it a hub for anything that falls.
While Salem isn’t the only destination in Massachusetts ideal for celebrating this time of year, its unique history, attractions and fall activities greatly complement the season, in addition to the many attractions worth visiting all winter long. year.
See below for a list of some of the best this North Shore community has to offer while you make your fall plans.
Visit the salem witch museum
This museum examines “one of the most enduring and moving events” in US history, according to its website, the infamous Salem witch trials that took place in 1692.
The museum features 13 life-size stage sets, in addition to figures, lighting and narration intended to immerse museum visitors in the “web of lies and intrigue” of the Salem witch hunt, as well as only to examine the meaning of the word witch. and depictions of witches over time. Presentations are available every half hour.
The museum also has a mission “to be the voice of the innocent victims of the 1692 witch hunts” and to raise awareness of the root causes of the witch hunts and how they continue to affect human society.
The museum is normally open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but has special extended hours throughout October, according to its website.
Admission to the museum is $16.50 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $13.50 for children ages 3-14.
Remembering trial victims at a memorial
These two memorials offer visitors and locals alike a space to contemplate the innocent lives lost during the mass hysteria of the Salem witch trials.
At the Liberty Street site, a handcrafted granite wall surrounds the memorial on three sides with the victims’ protestations of innocence inscribed in stone, but cut off midway in a symbolic gesture to society’s indifference to their suffering and how their lives were cut short, according to Salem.org.
There are also six acacia trees planted on the site – trees that are the last to bloom and the first to lose their leaves, he added. The names and execution dates of the 20 deceased victims are displayed at the memorial, which is open from dawn to dusk.
Similarly, the Proctor’s Ledge Memorial, located on Pope Street, was built in 2016 to commemorate the location – confirmed by researchers – as the actual place of the victims’ hangings, according to the Salem Witch Museum.
The Proctor’s Ledge memorial is located in a residential area and there is no parking, so visitors are advised to park at Gallows Hill Park and access the site by descending the hill, he added .
Explore the house of seven gables
Famous from the 1851 novel of the same name by author Nathaniel Hawthorne, also the mind behind “The Scarlet Letter”, this 1668 house is told in the story.
The house, known as Turner-Ingersoll Mansion after notable former residents, was designated a National Historic District in 2007, according to its website.
Site visitors can take a 45-minute guided tour with a professional interpreter or a 30-minute personal audio tour of the historic sites. Ticket prices increase slightly in October – but children under five can enter for free as well as Salem residents with proof of residency.
Beginning this August, guests wishing to enter the Turner-Ingersoll mansion must wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status, the House of the Seven Gables said on its website, but face coverings are not required elsewhere in the field.
Take a boat tour of the Salem coast
With Salem being a coastal community, having sea legs can be a great way to see the city from a new perspective and learn more about it.
According to Tripadvisor, a Fame of Salem schooner tour is one of the most popular things to do in Massachusetts. This 1 hour and 45 minute tour takes a group of two dozen on an interactive sailing excursion in their replica of the historic privateer schooner.
“Ideal for families and anyone who gets bored easily, this adventure keeps you engaged by providing opportunities to help with tasks such as raising the sails and steering the boat,” Tripadvisor said. “In addition, the crew shares stories about the history of Salem and the role played by the privateers.”
The cruise takes passengers past the Salem Maritime History Site and into Salem Harbor, then the itinerary depends on the wind, with historic forts, lighthouses and beautiful waterfront homes in view whatever the weather. either management, Tripadvisor added.
Other more fall-focused tours, offered by Mahi Mahi Harbor Cruises & Events, include a 90-minute “Lighthouse + Foliage Cruise” exploring 14 miles of protected coastline and islands on the North Shore and the “Haunted Cruise “of 75 minutes. Cruise in the harbor of events.”
This latest cruise is adorned with a “haunted setting” and includes “spooky photo ops, complementary tarot card readings, face painting, and the perfect balance of party music and live storytelling,” according to Mahi Cruises. , whose tours take place on his double-decker boat the Hannah Glover departing from Pickering Wharf.
Channel “Hocus Pocus” on its filming locations
This cult classic movie that debuted in 1993 starred Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson witch sisters. Its sequel debuts this fall on September 30, making it a great time to be on the lookout for its various filming locations around the city.
“Hocus Pocus 2” wrapped filming in Salem earlier this year and already has a trailer available to give viewers a taste.
Places in town where visitors and residents can channel their inner Sanderson sister and get photo ops at the film’s site include the Salem Pioneer Village, Salem Common, The Ropes Mansion and Old Town Hall, among other sites, according to Salem.org.
Take a “History and Hauntings of Salem” guided walking tour
According to Tripadvisor, there are plenty of Salem tours out there, but “few are as compelling as this one” — citing it as one of their top things to do in Massachusetts for 2022.
The “History and Hauntings” tour is presented by Witch City Walking Tours and is led by a local historian who “brings to life” the town’s history at the time of day you choose, he added.
The travel guide recommended a nighttime tour led by lantern light for a “scarier” experience.
Witch City Walking Tours added that its tours invite visitors to learn more about the city’s 400-year history while strolling the city’s cobbled streets and admiring its colonial-era architecture.
Other tours featured by Witch City Walking Tours include a “Mysteries & Murders of Salem” tour, a “Merchants & Mansions of Salem” tour, as well as a “Hocus Pocus Movie Locations of Salem” tour.
Visit the Peabody Museum of Essex
No matter what time of year you come to Salem, this renowned museum is a great place to stop to appreciate the culture, history, and art.
The museum dates back to 1799 with the founding of the East India Marine Society – made up of captains and supercargoers who had sailed far and wide – and whose charter stipulated the creation of a “cabinet of natural and man-made curiosities” which would eventually become the museum, according to its website.
Today, the museum’s collection houses more than 1.8 million works and holds the distinction of “the oldest operating and collecting museum in the United States”, the Peabody Essex Museum added.
“Its collections of contemporary and historical American, Asian, Maritime, Oceanic, Native American and African art and culture, as well as its American and Chinese archives library and historic houses, are among the finest of their kind,” said the museum.
The museum is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. according to its website. It is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and older, $12 for students with ID, and free for Salem residents, teens, and children under 16 year.
Participate in the Day of the Dead
This series of annual events “explore macabre death customs, heretical stories and bizarre rituals” and are presented by two Salem wizards who are the “most important authorities on the spirit world”, according to its website. .
For this year, events in the series include a daily Salem Psychic Fair and Witches Market throughout October, which is free to enter and features paid psychic readings, real practicing witches and a “magical gift” store, according to its website.
The Psychic Fair and Witches’ Market also offer tarot card readings, palm readings, past life readings and spiritual mediumship, he added. From Thursday to Sunday in October, the festival also offers “Messages from the Spirit World: An Authentic Salem Seance” featuring psychic mediums to communicate with the dead.
Other late October activities include “The Official Salem Witches Halloween Ball” on Friday, October 28, “Mourning Tea,” a remembrance of the dead, on Sunday, October 30, and “The Salem Witches Magic Circle.” . at Halloween.