Salem Haunted Happenings for Teens & Tweens

Carnival

The Derby Street Carnival features a variety of midway rides and games, from thrilling attractions to rides the whole family can enjoy together. In addition, the carnival hosts a number of classic snack vendors, and games of chance where guests have the opportunity to win some big prizes! Admission to the carnival is free, but tickets must be purchased for the rides. Single tickets are $1.50, and 20 tickets may be purchased for $25. Rides generally take between 3 and 5 tickets. The full schedule of dates for the Derby Street Carnival may be viewed on our event calendar.

For classic fair snacks, the Salem Common Food Court offers grab-and-go treats. The food court is open with vendors along Salem Common from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm through October 31.

On the Water

Mahi Mahi’s Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise allows guests to take in the seasonal views of Salem, Beverly, Marblehead, and the Misery Island, while relaxing on an open air deck or heated cabin with Halloween party music. The cruise also features Mahi’s grill with clam chowder, hot cocoa, and soft drinks, along with complimentary tarot card readings. Tickets for the Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise are $25 for adults and $15 for kids ages 4-12, and may be purchased in advance on Mahi Mahi’s website.

New for 2017, Essex Heritage hosts Eerie Stories on Salem Sound, an evening of storytelling on the Salem Sound, where your crew will entertain you with history and folklore from Salem’s dark past! Tickets ($20 for adults and $15 for kids ages 4-12) are available online.

Movie Nights

Saturdays at 6:00 pm, Magic 106.7 hosts outdoor movie nights on Salem Common. Catch ParaNorman on October 21, and Hocus Pocus on October 28, and watch the movie right where many of the scenes were filmed. Be sure to grab some hot chocolate or cider, and dress for the weather to make the most of this event!

Haunted Houses

For the thrill seekers in your family, be sure to check out Salem’s haunted house attractions, Frankenstein’s Castle, and the Haunted Witch Village. At Frankenstein’s Castle, become fully immersed in the classic horror story as you walk through dark hallways where a mad scientist has created a terrifying monster. The Salem Witch Village, is Salem’s longest running haunted attraction, and features all kinds of Halloween ghouls, goblins, and monsters, waiting to frighten those who dare to enter. Both attractions are $9 individually but may be purchased as part of a combination ticket with other attractions in the Witch Village. See the Salem Wax Museum website for complete information.

Theatrical Performances
The Salem Haunted Magic Show’s 2017 production, “HYSTERIA: Phobias!” combines thrilling Halloween scares with mind reading, dark comedy, illusions, audience participation, and more. While not too scary for the whole family, the show does offer enough scares to keep the audience guessing, along with unbelievable stunts that will have you wondering, “How did they do that?!” Tickets cost $20-42 based on seating and package options and may be purchased in advance at TheSalemMagicShow.com.

Select evenings in October, the House of the Seven Gables hosts two nighttime performances, Legacy of the Hanging Judge and Spirits of the Gables. Fans of Nathaniel Hawthorne will be intrigued as his characters haunt the historic home in Spirits of the Gables, and as Hawthorne’s great-great grandfather recalls his role in the Salem Witch Trials. Tickets are $15 for a single performance, or $28 for both, and may be purchased at 7Gables.org.

 

What could make an interactive crime mystery show during Haunted Happenings even better? What about dining with an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet while working to solve the mystery? The Haunted Dinner Theater’s presentation of “Be Witched” is an entertaining theatrical performance focusing on solving a crime based on the hit TV sitcom. The event’s location alternates between Finz Seafood and Grill, and the Hawthorne Hotel, and it is highly recommended that tickets be purchased in advance ($59.95 for adults, $39.95 for kids) through the Haunted Dinner Theater’s website.

The Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre offers experiences for every member of the family. Teens in particular will enjoy the Lost Museum, an interactive walk-through attraction through a recently discovered series of rooms below the museum that were thought to be to time. With spirits from Salem’s past and other supernatural forces hidden beneath the building, guests must work together in an attempt to escape from the museum! Tickets for the Lost Museum are $15.

While at the Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre, be sure to pick up tickets for the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience. This live performance combines audience participation, with scares, special effects, and bits of Salem history. Tickets for just the Witchcraft and Ghost experience are $11 and may be purchased as part of a combination ticket with the Lost Museum or other events at the Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre. See the museum’s website for complete ticket information.

Live Music

For live music without the age restriction and cover fees that come with the bar scene, the Salem Halloween Fountain Stage on Essex Street is the place to be. The stage will be home to numerous kinds of live music during October weekends, and the event even features a silent disco during Halloween weekend.

Witch Trials History
What trip to Salem would be complete without learning something new about the Salem Witch Trials? For information on the history of the Salem Witch Trials, consider visiting the following sites:

The Salem Witch Museum, features two very different exhibits on the history of the Witch Trials. The first is a presentation on the trials themselves that was compiled using historical documents to tell an accurate story using life-size sets. The second exhibit focuses on how perceptions of witchcraft have changed over time, offering information on the stereotypes witches face, why witch hunts have happened in various parts of history, and where the images of witches that we commonly see today were invented. Tickets for the Salem Witch Museum may be purchased on site for $11.

For a different side of the story, visit the Witch Dungeon Museum, which showcases the conditions that those accused of witchcraft were forced to deal with while imprisoned and awaiting their trials. In addition to a guided tour of the dungeon, this experience includes a live reenactment of one of the trials. Tickets for the Witch Dungeon Museum are $9, and may be purchased on-site and/or as a combination ticket with the Witch History Museum and the New England Pirate Museum.

Cry Innocent is the most interactive way to learn about the Salem Witch Trials. For the full experience, arrive early and watch as Bridget Bishop is arrested on the streets of Salem, before taking a seat and witnessing the trial first hand. In this experience, audience members are able to become fully involved in the trial, as they examine the evidence and vote for an outcome. Tickets for Cry may be purchased in advance on CryInnocentSalem.com or as part of a combination ticket with the Spirit of Salem film.

21+ Salem Haunted Happenings

With live music, Halloween balls, and a local cidery, distillery, and brewery in town, Salem has a lot to offer the 21+ crowd this October. Read on to discover some of this year’s Haunted Happenings 21+ events, or start planning now for next year!

Live Performances

Looking to kick back with some live music this October? A number of restaurants and bars around Salem offer live music on most weekend evenings. Gulu-Gulu Café, located at 247 Essex Street, hosts local musical acts and supports Salem artists while serving up a wide selection of hard to find craft beer. At Gulu-Gulu the entertainment isn’t limited to weekends either as Wednesdays are open mic nights!

Just around the corner from Gulu-Gulu on Washington Street are Opus Underground and KOTO Asian Grill. Opus Underground, at 87 Washington Street, features karaoke on Tuesdays, live music on Thursdays, Friday night dance parties, and cover bands on Saturdays. Across the street at 90 Washington Street, KOTO hosts live music weekly and is home to events like the DARQ Gala VI and the annual Zombie Prom.

For a more relaxed live music scene, check out the acoustic music series at Far From the Tree Cider at 108 Jackson Street. Can’t make it on a Saturday? Far From the Tree has other special events planned for other days of the week including cider talks, new cider releases, trivia nights, movie nights, and more.

During this year’s Haunted Happenings festivities, Salem State University’s theatre department is showcasing a production of “The House of Macbeth,” an interactive and immersive theatre event hosted by Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, and Shakespeare’s weird sisters. Admission is free but reservations are recommended and may be made at SalemStateTickets.com.

On the Water

Mahi Mahi’s Boo’s Cruise sets sail out of the Pickering Wharf Marine select weekend nights during Haunted Happenings! Grab a costume and hop aboard for a party on the water featuring a full bar, DJ, and fresh eats from the grill, along with hot beverages including Mahi’s famous Grandma’s Spiked Cider. Tickets for the cruise are $25, and we recommend purchasing them in advance through MahiCruises.com.

Samples & Tastings

For a weeknight excursion into Pickering Wharf, stop by the Regatta Pub at the Salem Waterfront Hotel. Each week, the pub hosts Wicked Wine Down Wednesdays, where a new selection of “wickedly spooky” wines will be available in the pub. During the weekends, visit the Regatta Pub for a Sunday brunch complete with a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar as part of Wicked Bloody Mary Sundays.

For samples in a more theatrical setting, plan on attending Tales and Ales at the Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre. This presentation includes chilling stories of ghosts and madness recounted by Arthur Hennessey in a dark and eerie theatre. Arrive early for samples of three different local ales prior to the performance! Tickets are $24 and may be purchased in advance through GallowsHillSalem.com.

Festivals & Beer Gardens

For the largest festival on the North Shore celebrating wine, mead, craft beer, and cider, head over to the 11th Annual Salem Harvest Fest. Event takes place Saturday, October 21 at the Knights of Columbus just off the Common (94 Washington Street) and features product samples, complimentary snacks, live music, and a souvenir Harvest Fest glass for each ticket holder. Tickets to Harvest Fest are $30 when purchased in advance through SalemHarvestFest.com or $35 at the door.

On Halloween night, Alt 92.9 sponsors a beer garden and music at the intersection of Federal Street and Washington Street. Stop by between 2:00 pm and 10:00 pm to surround yourself with the action of Halloween in Salem while enjoying a festive beer garden.

Halloween Balls and Parties

For the ultimate 21+ Halloween event, start planning early and purchase advance tickets to one of the many balls hosted in Salem during Haunted Happenings. Rockafellas, located 231 Essex Street, is hosting themed balls throughout October: a Vampire Macabre on October 20, a Salsa Dance Party on October 25, a Super Heroes Ball on October 27, a Heaven and Hell Ball on October 28, and a  Monster Bash on Halloween,

Festival of the Dead hosts the annual Official Witches Ball, with this year’s theme being Signs of the Zodiac! The event includes a magical evening complete with a laser light show, DJ, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar complimentary psychic readings, photo room, live performances by Dragon Ritual Drummers and Hadiya, prizes for best costumes, and more! Tickets are $150, and may be purchased in advance at FestivaloftheDead.com.

Laurie Cabot and the Kent Hermetic Temple present the Original Witches’ Costume Ball on October 28. Celebrate the Witches New Year while the veil between worlds is at its thinnest with a night of witchy fun & majick, featuring DJ Marz, a full catering spread, cash bar, and more. Tickets and information available online.

The Salem Waterfront Hotel hosts two festival parties with the annual Wicked Night on the Wharf, a costume ball on October 28 and Twilight on the Waterfront featuring Lisa Love Experience on Halloween night.

The Hawthorne Hotel, located right on the Common hosts their very popular annual Halloween Party, this year themed towards Hollywood Horror. This 27th annual celebration may be sold out for this year, but it’s never too early to start planning your next trip to Salem during Haunted Happenings! Each year this party takes over three floors of the hotel with live music, DJs, dancing, psychics, food stations, and a costume contest with cash prizes. Tickets for next year’s party will be on sale in early June at HawthorneHotel.com/Halloween.

Salem Haunted Happenings for Kids & Families

Finding kid-friendly activities during Salem Haunted Happenings doesn’t need to be a nightmare—with carnivals, harbor cruises, story-times, and of course trick or treating, there are plenty of fun things to do with kids this October!

Wicked Wednesdays
New for 2017, Salem Haunted Happenings includes Wicked Wednesdays that will be chock full of programming for kids. Bring the family for mid-week entertainment, musicians, family-friendly walking tours, and interactive events geared for the 12 and under crowd. Each Wednesday is different and offers new and unique opportunities to enjoy kid-friendly activities downtown this month.

 

Carnivals
For classic midway rides and games, bring the whole family down to the Derby Street Carnival! With family rides, kiddie rides, and thrill rides, and midway games of skill and luck, the carnival has something for everyone. This carnival takes place throughout the month of October at 289 Derby Street. See our event calendar for the full listing of dates. There is no admission fee to visit the carnival, however tickets must be purchased for rides. Single tickets are $1.50 each, and 20 tickets may be purchased for $25. Rides generally take between 3 and 5 tickets.

The SCNA Kids Carnival, which takes place select dates in October on Salem Common, is a special carnival just for kids and families! Sponsored by the Salem Common Neighborhood Association, this event features family and kiddie rides, along with photo ops, Halloween treats, special children’s activities and more! Tickets for this carnival are $3 each, or $15 total for a wristband worth unlimited rides. For the full listing of carnival dates, see our event calendar.

 

Witches & Wizards
Weekends in October, Artemisia Botanicals and the Witches Education League host Ask a Witch & Make a Wand. For a $1 donation to a local charity, guests of all ages can craft their own wands and ask questions to practicing witches to learn more about modern witchcraft in Salem.

Sundays in October, the Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre is visited by Professor Wunder, a friendly wizard who brings his school of magic to children and families visiting Salem. Professor Wunder’s School of Magic is a live, interactive stage show that allows kids to experience the magic of Salem without the scares. Tickets for the show are $10 for guests ages 5 and up, and free for children under 5, and the museum suggests purchasing them in advance on the Gallows Hill website.

Each Saturday, Magic 106.7 hosts a family movie night at 6:00 pm on the Common with films like CasperParaNorman, and Hocus Pocus. To make the most out of this family-friendly classic movie experience, be sure to arrive early as other entertainment will be available on the Common starting at 2:00 pm.

 

On the Water
If you’re looking to take to the water with the kids, be sure to check out Mahi Mahi’s Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise. This cruise is filled to the brim with family-friendly fun including story-telling, Halloween party music, complimentary tarot card readings, photo ops, and a full bar for the adults and face-painting for the kids. Tickets are $25 for adults and $19 for kids ages 3-12. Tickets may be purchased in advance on Mahi Mahi’s website.

Sea Shuttle also offers a seasonal water tour on select days this October. This experience includes a tour of the Salem Sound coastal areas aboard the 45′ catamaran Endeavor. Snacks and beverages may be purchased aboard, and tickets ($25 for adults, and $18 for kids) may be purchased in advanced through Sea Shuttle’s website. Visit Sea Shuttle during Wicked Wednesdays, and learn about ocean life during the interactive Sea Creatures Great and Small events.

 

For the Whole Family
Looking for the ultimate Halloween dinner experience? Check out Haunted Dinner Theater’s latest production, “Be Witched!” This interactive crime-solving dinner show features audience participation, family-friendly entertainment, and more all based on the classic TV sitcom. An all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet covers the dinner portion of the show, which takes place at alternating locations (Finz Seafood and Grill, and the Hawthorne Hotel). For the complete schedule of dates and to purchase tickets ($59.95 for adults, and $39.95 for kids ages 8-12) visit the Haunted Dinner Theater’s website.

For spookier family-fun, get your tickets for the Salem Haunted Magic Show‘s latest performance, HYSTERIA: Phobias! Suitable for kids ages seven and up, this event features inconceivable magic,
bizarre demonstrations of mind reading, wild comedy, and interactive audience participation! Tickets are $20-42 and may be purchased online in advance.

 

Trick-or-Treating
The shops on Pickering Wharf will host “Trick or Treat on the Wharf” on October 22 between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. This annual event allows kids and families to get some trick or treating in during their visit to Salem while visiting the merchants on the waterfront.

On Halloween the Phillips House Museum will host Tricks, Treats, and Treasures! This event not only includes trick or treating and other interactive activities, but kids can also meet pirates and take part in sea shanties! This free event takes place from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Salem Witch Trials FAQs

Q: Did the Salem Witch Trials happen in modern-day Salem or Danvers?
A: The Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692 happened throughout the region, with accused and accusers coming from Salem, Ipswich, Gloucester, Andover, Methuen, and other communities. Salem Village is now the town of Danvers, and some of the sites associated with the trials and hysteria are in Danvers. Salem Town, modern-day Salem, is where the trials actually took place, as well as the hangings and the pressing of Giles Corey.

Q: How was the practice of witchcraft viewed in 17th century New England?
A: Under British law, the basis for Massachusetts Bay Colony legal structure in the 17th century, those who were accused of consorting with the devil were considered felons, having committed a crime against their government. The punishment for such a crime was hanging.

 

Q: What was the difference between the “afflicted” and the “accused”?
A: The “afflicted” were those supposedly “possessed” and “tormented”; it was they who accused or “cried out” the names of those who were supposedly possessing them.

Q: Were only women accused of practicing witchcraft?
A: Men were accused as well. Five men were convicted and hanged, and one man, Giles Corey, was pressed to death for refusing to cooperate with the court.

Q: Were the accused “swum” to determine if they were witches?
A: Not in Salem. The practice of swimming a witch was used in Europe, and in Connecticut, but not in Salem.

Q: Were any of the victims burned at the stake?
A: Not in Salem. Burning at the stake was punishment for heresy, a crime against the church, in Europe. Witchcraft was a felony in the colonies, a crime against the government.

Q: Where are the victims buried?
A: This question remains unanswered. It is believed that the bodies were cut down and dropped unceremoniously into a crevice on the side of Gallows Hill. Tradition has it that several families came to Gallows Hill to claim their relatives and buried their bodies privately.

 

Q: Is anyone buried in the Charter Street Cemetery who was connected to the Salem Witch Trials?
A: Magistrate John Hathorne: interrogator and member or the Court of Oyer and Terminer, and great-great-grandfather to Nathaniel Hawthorne (who added the “W” to his last name).

Bartholomew Gedney: a member of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, and physician who was present during several examinations.

Mary Corey: Giles Corey’s second wife who died eight years before the Salem Witch Trials. Giles Corey was pressed to death in 1692 for refusing to stand trial and his third wife, Martha, was hanged three days later.

Reverend Nicholas Noyes: minister of Salem during the Witch Trials, he is likely buried in an unmarked grave. He eventually repented his treatment of the accused, and tradition follows that he suffered an internal hemorrhage and died choking on his own blood in 1717 (fulfilling a 1692 prophecy by Sarah Good that “God will give you blood to drink”).

Q: How is the Salem Witch Trials Memorial designed?
A: The memorial is surrounded on three sides by a handcrafted granite drywall. Inscribed in the stone threshold entering the memorial are the victims’ protests of innocence. These protests are interrupted mid-sentence by the wall, symbolizing society’s indifference to oppression. Five locust trees, the last to flower and the first to lose their leaves, represent the stark injustice of the trials. At the rear of the memorial, visitors view the tombstones of the adjacent cemetery a reminder of all who stood in mute witness to the hysteria.

FAQs courtesy of the Salem Witch Museum and Salem Award Foundation

Ride Around Salem Haunted Happenings with Zagster’s “Wicked Bikes”

Salem’s bike share program is getting a wicked twist during this year’s month-long Haunted Happenings Festival! Zagster and the City of Salem are working to expand the program with additional stations and bikes, which will include four “Wicked Bikes” that have been designed exclusively for October in Salem.

The Wicked Bikes include design features like a cauldron in place of the typical basket, a broomstick at the rear rack, wood grain graphics, spooky spokes, and motion-activated lights set to work while the wheels are turning. Visit downtown Salem during the Annual Haunted Happenings Grand Parade this Thursday, October 5 to see the bikes make their first appearance.

Riders who use the bikes during October have the opportunity to receive an additional $3 in ride credits by taking photos with them and using #wickedbikes. Double credits go to riders who are in costume! Each rider using the hashtag will also be entered into a drawing to win prizes like a bike accessory package from Salem Cycle (valued at more than $50), and $50 restaurant gift certificates to Kokeshi or Bambolina. The photo that has the most likes by the end of the month will also receive a Zagster t-shirt and candy-filled water bottle.

The temporary stations available during October will be located at the intersection of North and Orne Streets in North Salem, at the Salem State University School of Social Work Building at 287 Lafayette Street, and downtown by the Hawthorne Hotel and Visitor Center.

Start trick-or-treating early! Visit the Salem Ferry terminal on Blaney Street between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on October 21 and 28, to trick-or-treat with Zagster representatives and learn more about Salem’s newest bike share program.

Zagster launched in Salem in May 2017, and since then the program has added stations to Salem State University’s Central Campus, Congress Street, and the Salem Willows. So far about 750 members have taken over 1,300 rides which have helped to replace hundreds of car rides from Salem’s roads.

The Salem Zagster Bike Share is funded by the City of Salem and sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Salem State University.

For contest rules and more information about the Wicked Bikes, visit bike.zagster.com/wickedbike.

Salem.org