Literary Salem

Salem is an inspiring town! Perhaps there is something in the water or maybe it’s Salem’s turbulent history. Whatever it is, Salem has inspired many to write and share their sense of this place with the world. Here is a short list of some of Salem’s most notable fiction.

The Scarlett Letter (1850) was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s first critical and popular success. The novel continues to be included in high school English and college literature curricula today. The romance of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale has been interpreted in film multiple times, including the major motion picture starring Demi Moore as Hester in 1995. Today you can visit the Custom House, where Hawthorne worked as a surveyor for the port of Salem from 1846 to 1849 at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site at 160 Derby Street.

Salem, MA, House of the Seven GablesHawthorne’s second novel, The House of the Seven Gables (1851) tells the legend of a curse pronounced on the Pyncheon family during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, and how the curse is manifested through the decay of the Pycheons’ seven-gabled mansion. You can explore the Turner-Ingersoll mansion that inspired the book at The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site at 115 Derby Street. In October, the characters from the novel come alive during dramatic performances of “Spirits at the Gables.”

Carry On Mr. Bowditch by Jen Lee Latham was published for younger readers (9-12 year olds) in 1955. Latham tells the story of Nathaniel Bowditch, who grew up to be one of the greatest navigators in history. The novel is a looking glass into Salem’s maritime heritage that is fascinating for all ages. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site has a walking tour of Nathaniel Bowditch’s Salem available at both the Visitor Center and the Orientation Center.

The Lace Reader (2008) by Brunonia Barry is a contemporary novel set in Salem that follows protagonist Towner Whitney on her journey home, through the streets of Salem and around the harbor islands. The novel is a journey through decades of Salem society, maritime history, and the modern witch community. A map of Towner’s Salem is available on Salem.org.

The Heretic’s Daughter (2008) was written by Kathleen Kent, a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier, who was accused and ultimately hanged as a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. The story is told from the point of view of Martha’s young daughter, Sarah, who survived the witchcraft hysteria that was overtaking her community and immediate family. Kent’s work of historical fiction not only describes how the witch trials took place, but also how powerful familial bonds can be even at the most destructive times in our history.

51hgv0gih5lThe Physic Book of Deliverance Dane (2009) by Katherine Howe is historical fiction with a new perspective on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Deliverance Dane was an accused witch, and her descendant Connie Goodwin is sorting out the story of her life while living in Marblehead in the early 1900s. This novel asks the question – what if the accused were really practicing witchcraft?

Map of True Places (2011) by Brunonia Barry follows Zee Finch, a psychotherapist from Boston, on a journey to rediscover herself when the life of one her patients puts things into a different perspective, and brings back memories of her family’s tragic past. Her search for answers brings her back to Salem, where she finds her father’s health failing and the need to create a new map for the next chapter in her life.

The Traitor’s Wife (2011), also by Kathleen Kent is a prequel to her earlier book, The Heretic’s Daughter. This story takes place before the Salem Witch trials, and rather focuses on the relationship and courtship of Martha Allen and Thomas Carrier. According to Kent’s family tradition’s Thomas was believed to have fought in the English Civil War, and may have been one of the executioners of King Charles I.

51x77p2ltqlConversion (2015) by Katherine Howe modernizes the Salem Witch Hysteria through an all-girls school in Danvers, Massachusetts. Girls in Howe’s story are overtaken by conditions similar to those experienced in 1692, and the story is told simultaneously through the points of view of Coleen, a modern student, and Ann Putnam in 1706.

How to Hang a Witch (2016) was written by Adriana Mather, a 12th-generation descendant of Cotton Mather, infamous for his role in the Salem Witch Trials. How to Hang a Witch follows the story of Samantha Mather, a descendant of Cotton Mather who is forced to move to Salem when her father falls into a coma and is treated in a Boston area hospital. Samantha endures bullying and abandonment by her classmates, some of which being descendants of the victims of the witch trials, while finding herself wrapped up in a centuries old curse that surrounds living descendants in Salem.

The Fifth Petal  (2017) is the latest work by Brunonia Barry. Following The Lace Reader, The Fifth Petal focuses on the mystery surrounding a suspicious death taking place in Salem on Halloween night. The death appears oddly similar to a string of past murders, and the chief of police believes they may be connected, perhaps even by a curse that may be haunting Salem residents with familial ties to the Salem Witch Trials.

Small Business Saturday 2016 in Salem, MA

sbs15tkssblue_copySalem, MA will celebrate Small Business Saturday with the support of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem Main Streets, and a number of local small businesses. On November 26, head downtown and get some of your holiday shopping done at local small businesses, where you’ll be able to support the community while stocking up on some freebies and using discounts that are exclusive to this shopping event.

Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 as a way of helping small businesses receive support from their communities during the holiday shopping season, when many consumers are shopping at larger chain stores. In recent years, Small Business Saturday has also become part of a larger movement against Black Friday, the holiday shopping event that tends to run earlier into Thanksgiving each year. By shopping during Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday, we are able to spend more time with our families on Thanksgiving while also supporting our community. For more information on the Shop Small movement, visit ShopSmall.com.

2015-12-05-16-21-16Many retail locations in Salem will be offering various discounts and promotions throughout Small Business Saturday. RJ Coins and Jewelry for instance is giving customers 20% off fine jewelry, and Salem Cycle is offering 10-50% off everything in the store. Other participating retailers include Bobbie Bush Photography, with a promotion for an additional 25% value to be added to gift certificates purchased on Saturday, Wicked Good Books, which is offering 20% off new and regularly priced items, and Witch City Consignment will be giving customers 10% off purchases of $10 or more. Be sure to check out the full list of retailers at Salem-Chamber.org/Small-Business-Saturday!

In addition to discounts and seasonal items, select retail locations are also providing samples of holiday treats for guests. Waite and Peirce, the House of the Seven Gables store, Kan.del, and Curtsy, will all host holiday treats, samples, or refreshments throughout Small Business Saturday.

Local fitness and beauty businesses will be joining in Small Business Saturday as well. Crossroads Strength and Conditioning will have three 1 hour personal training sessions for a 40% savings of $119, and small group training classes for 1 month 3 times a week for $99, a savings of $41. Laura Lanes Skin Care will give $10 off an 1 hour facial or massage, 15% off skin care products and $15 eyebrow waxing.

2015-12-05-15-53-57A number of restaurants in Salem have joined retailers in promoting Small Business Saturday. Caffe Graziani is offering 10% a single entrée person when patrons show a receipt from a participating small business. Caramel Patisserie is taking 10% off dessert purchases of four items or more (excluding macarons and bread). Gulu-Gulu Café, Flying Saucer Pizza Company, and the Village Tavern are each selling $25 gift cards for only $20, and Maria’s Sweet Somethings will be giving out samples of chocolate and offering 20% off select items. The Cheese Shop of Salem will be holding a beer tasting between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm, and guests wishing to purchase any of the beers from the tasting may do so with an additional 10% off.

For more information on Small Business Saturday in Salem, including a complete list of participating businesses, please visit http://www.salem-chamber.org/small-business-saturday.

“Shoes: Pleasure and Pain” at the Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum’s latest exhibition, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, is an exploration into over 300 pairs of shoes through their varied histories, cultural significance, and even the personal experiences of those who collect or wear them. The exhibition, which is making its U.S. debut at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), is organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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Salvatore Ferragamo, Rainbow sandal, 1938 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum.

Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, PEM’s James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Deputy Director, has enjoyed sharing her own passions for shoes while working as the coordinating curator for the exhibition. Hartigan’s personal stories which are displayed throughout the exhibit, begin with the moment when she first acknowledged the importance of shoes in her life, during a forest fire that threatened her childhood home: “My mother told my brother and me to grab two things to take in the car. What did I choose? My pink teddy bear and brand new pair of black patent leather Mary Janes.”

The exhibit is divided into different themes: Transformation, Status, Seduction, Creation, and Obsession. Each section features shoes that fit the theme, from a variety of time periods and owners, like David Beckham, Elton John, and Naomi Campbell. In addition many of the shoes were designed by such well-known names in the fashion industry such as Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo, and some of the shoes were even crafted locally in the towns of Lynn and Haverhill. Other local connections in the exhibit are the 110 pairs shoes added to the display from the PEM’s fashion collection, and the shoes in the Obsession gallery that belong to local collectors, Jimmy Raye, and Lillian Montalto Bohlen.

The opening day festival for Shoes: Pleasure and Pain takes place on Saturday, November 19th, and will feature a variety of shoe-themed events that are included with museum admission. Among the events are a sneaker museum pop-up exhibition, showcasing the contemporary culture surrounding sneakers, and a shoemaking demonstration where guests can see how shoes are made with artist Malika Green. The opening day festival is made possible by the Lowell Foundation, and the full schedule of events may be found on the PEM’s website.

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Sebastian Errazuriz, “The Golddigger,” “The Heartbreaker,” and “The Boss,” from the “12 Shoes for 12 Lovers” collection, 2013, 3D-printed acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene polymer, resin, and acrylic. Museum purchase, 2015, Peabody Essex Museum. © 2016 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Kathy Tarantola.

During the first two weeks of the exhibition, PEM is partnering with Dress for Success Boston through a shoe drive held at the museum to assist disadvantaged women with dressing professionally while attending job interviews. The organization allows women to work with volunteer stylists in selection the best outfits for interviews at no cost to them. Dress for Success asks that all donated shoes be appropriate for job interviews, with solid colors preferred and no open-toe, slingback, mule, or stiletto platform shoes may be accepted. Guests looking to donate shoes may bring them to the entrance of the museum where a volunteer will assist them.

The recent initiative in expanding the museum’s fashion collection is evident through Shoes: Pleasure and Pain. With an exhibit design that contrasts from the typical retail environment, guests are able to take away a greater knowledge and understanding about shoes, and fashion in general, serve not only as art but as creative forms of personal expression. Hartigan summarizes the theme of the exhibit in stating, “Shoes are about the personal creativity of the designer and the person who wears that shoe. It’s a partnership between two people who likely never meet. You can make something wonderful, but if someone doesn’t respond to it, there is something incomplete about the act. Creation is about communication.”

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain is on view from November 19, 2016 – March 12, 2017, and is included in museum admission. For complete information on the opening day festival and the Dress for Success donation program, please visit PEM.org.

The Salem City Seal

The Salem City Seal’s design is based on a very important aspect of Salem history, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

With a merchant dressed in colorful robes standing next to palm trees on an island, and a ship in the background under full sail, the seal is actually representative of Salem’s spice trade history. The merchant featured on the seal is not meant to portray a Salem merchant, but rather a local Sumatran, where the spice trade with Salem was first established. Below the imagery are the words “Divitis Indiae usque sinum,” which translates to “To the farthest port of the rich east.” Above sits a dove holding an olive branch, symbolizing Salem’s designation as the “City of Peace.” The seal also features two specific years: 1626 when the town of Salem was incorporated, and 1836 when the city was incorporated.

Salem’s spice trade began when Captain Jonathan Carnes became the first person to return to the United States with a bulk of cargo pepper from Sumatra. In 1793, Carnes learned that wild pepper may be available along the coast of Sumatra. In order to ensure that he would be the first to reach the spice, he kept this knowledge secret from most people in Salem with the exception of his uncle, Salem merchant Jonathan Peele, who helped him acquire a schooner quickly and would later help with selling the spices.

salemma_city-seal-proclamationCarnes returned from Sumatra with the pepper aboard his Schooner Rajah in 1797, following a series of unsuccessful attempts and shipwrecks in the years prior. The pepper was not only important to the people of Salem for the same reasons we use pepper today, but it was also highly sought after for its preservative qualities. Prior to modern preservatives, spices like pepper were especially helpful as meat preservative. It is estimated that the cargo of pepper that came to Salem aboard the Rajah was valued at about $125,000 (in 1797), meaning in today’s value the shipment would be worth about $1.5 million.

For approximately the next 50 years, the majority of the pepper used in many countries came through the port of Salem. By the early 19th century, Salem’s trade had helped the city become the wealthiest per capita in the United States. Though Salem’s trade with China and East Indian nations eventually came to include more than just pepper, with items like tea, silk, and porcelain, the Sumatran pepper voyages served as some of Salem’s first and most important ventures into international trade relations.

The seal was commissioned by the city to be designed by George Peabody in 1839. Peabody was a descendent of some of Salem’s greatest pepper merchants, and was himself a ship owner. Rather than depicting a scene of Salem, Peabody thought it fitting to draw a figure representative of a Sumatran merchant as a reference to where the pepper trade first began.

Since 1839, the seal has been used on official city documents and records. In addition, using the seal on anything other than documents pertaining to official City of Salem business is a violation of State law and Local Ordinances.  A solid bronze plaque of the seal is currently on display in the reception area by the mayor’s office at City Hall, and the City hopes to eventually display it on the exterior of the new City Hall Annex Building at 90 Washington Street.

Salem, MA Military History

“Salem has a rich military history that stretches all the way back to the Seventeenth Century, and continues on today. Salem’s designation in 2013 as the birthplace of the National Guard, and Salem’s privateer connections get most of the military heritage attention, but there is much more to this story.

Salem Common was “Ye Olde Training Field” when Captain John Endicott organized the first training day to drill settlers in 1630. In 1637 the first militia muster was organized by the Massachusetts Bay Colony Court.

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Cadet Band, ca: 1910, led by Jean Missud.

Today we know Winter Island for its beach, boat ramp, and beautiful lighthouse. Originally named for King William, the original fort dates back to 1643-1667. It was renamed for Salem’s Colonel Timothy Pickering in 1799, and became a Coast Guard Air Station in 1935.

Six weeks prior to the “shot heard around the world on Lexington Green,” British Colonel Alexander Leslie retreated from a gathering of angry citizens on Salem’s North Bridge. Leslie and the 64th regiment had been sent by the British governor general of Massachusetts, Thomas Gage, to seize Colonial cannons and gunpowder in Salem. Leslie’s Retreat is considered by many to have been the first armed resistance of the American Revolution.

Salem Privateers made a name for themselves during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Privateers were privately owned vessels that had government permission to capture enemy vessels during wartime, and during the Revolutionary War alone Salem sent out 158 privateers that captured 444 prizes (enemy ships), more than half the number taken by all the Colonies during the war. Today you can sail aboard a replica Salem Privateer, Schooner FAME, out of Pickering Wharf.

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Salem Coast Guard matchbook (front).

Include the Pickering House on Broad Street in your visit to       Salem, and you will be exploring the birthplace of Colonel Timothy Pickering, who was an officer in the Continental Army and   Quartermaster during the Revolutionary War. Pickering’s career went on to include Adjutant General of the Army, Secretary of State, and   Secretary of War. Pickering, who was known for his unwavering integrity, lack of prejudice, devotion to justice, and commitment to   service, is buried in the Broad Street Cemetery.

Glover’s Regiment claims Marblehead as its home, but Colonel John Glover was born on St. Peter’s Street in Salem. A good friend of General George Washington’s, Glover’s Regiment ferried Washington across the Delaware River, and Glover’s Schooner HANNAH was the first commissioned ship in the US Navy.

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Salem Coast Guard matchbook (back).

Salem mathematician and navigator Nathaniel Bowditch wrote “The New American Practical Navigator.” Known as “The Bowditch,” a copy of this book was been onboard Naval and Coast Guard vessels since the War of 1812.

Residents and visitors still remember when two US Naval Submarines were docked at Derby Wharf, used as training vessels during World War II.

Salem’s military connections continue today, most notably in newly-elected Congressman Seth Moulton, who served in the Marine Corps in the Iraq War.

Armory Park, adjacent to the Salem Regional Visitor Center, pays tribute to more than 365 years of military heritage in Essex County, and includes a timeline tracing the history of the citizen soldier and the Second Corps of Cadets.

Material for this feature was provided by Bonnie Hurd Smith, Nelson Dionne, Schooner FAME, and SethMoulton.com.

Photo Contest Picks for September and October

We have two Photo Contest “Pick of the Month” winners to share today!

Congratulations to Carrie Dichter  for winning our “Pick of the Month” for September!

Pickering Light by Carrie Dichter

Pickering Light by Carrie Dichter

Congratulations to Stephanie Williams for winning our “Pick of the Month” for October!

Retire Beckett House Salem MA

“Path to the Red Door” by Stephanie Williams

Do you have an excellent picture of Salem? Submit it to our Photo Contest, and you could win a great prize!

 

Downrig or Die!

Celebrate the “last dying gasp of the sailing season,” with Downrig or Die!, an annual program presented by the Salem Maritime National Historic Site in partnership with Schooner Fame and Essex Heritage.

salemma_schooner-fameOn November 5, 2016, take to the water on a discounted sail aboard a traditional schooner. Both the Schooner Fame and the Schooner Ardelle are offering discounted public sails as part of the Downrig or Die! Each sail departs from Pickering Wharf or Central Wharf and lasts for 90 minutes. The Schooner Fame will be setting sail at 1:00 pm, and the Schooner Ardelle at 2:00 pm. Discounted rates for the sails are $15 for adults, and $10 for seniors, military, and children ages between the ages of 2 and 12. Visit Schooner Fame’s website to purchase tickets in advance, and say farewell to the season from an authentic replica schooner!

Following the sails, visit the Salem Maritime National Historic Site to learn about Salem’s maritime history and maritime archaeology. During Shipwrecks and Salem Maritime! Maritime Archaeologist, Calvin Mires, and Park Ranger, Tom Landers will share their knowledge of Salem’s maritime history along with marine archaeology through a family-friendly program. Shipwrecks and Salem Maritime! will be taking place from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Derby Wharf.

Salem, MA, Salem Maritime National Historic SiteFrom 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, visit St. Joseph’s Hall for a series of educational talks about the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. During these sessions, receive updates on the FriendShip from Captain Jeremy Bumagin and First Mate/Rigger John Newman of the National Park Service. Additionally, Annie Harris, Executive Director of Essex Heritage will present information on the Bakers Island Light Station. After the Shipwrecks and Salem Maritime! program, Calvin Hires will be on hand to conclude the speaker series with a discussion of maritime archaeology.

In the evening, visit Victoria Station for a sail away party of sorts featuring raffles, local rum, appetizers, live music and more! The party lasts from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and is sure to be filled with good times and “schooner wisdom,” as the 2016 sailing season comes to a close.

Salem Haunted Happenings for Teens & Tweens

Derby Street 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.
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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.

Salem Common
Saturday October 29, at 6:00 pm, Magic 106.7 hosts an outdoor movie night on Salem Common featuring Hocus Pocus. What better place to watch this classic Halloween movie than from the Common where some of the scenes were actually filmed? Be sure to grab some hot chocolate or cider, and dress for the weather to make the most out 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.

Chambers of Terror is another frightful haunted house attraction, awaiting daring visitors during this Haunted Happenings season. Chambers of Terror features a variety of demons, ghouls, and other dark, Halloween creatures, who provide one of the most thrilling experiences in town. This site offers two experiences: The Terror Tour, a traditional walk through haunted house, and the Halloween Horror show, a live performance filled with intense scares. Tickets are $12, and may be purchased through ChambersofTerror.net.

 

Theatrical Performances
The Salem Haunted Magic Show’s 2016 production, “Hysteria Asylum,” 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 $20-40 based on seating and package options and may be purchased in advance at TheSalemMagicShow.com.Salem MA Spirits of the Gables

Select evenings in October, the House of the Seven Gables hosts two nighttime performances, the Legacy of the Hanging Judge and the 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 “Ghostbusted!” is an entertaining theatrical performance focusing on solving a crime using pieces of Salem’s history. The event’s location alternations 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.

lost-museum-poster-darkerThe 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. Music is free to enjoy, however the silent disco events are $10, and tickets should be purchased ahead of time from the Halloween Fountain Stage website to ensure enough headphones are available.

 

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.

dungeon-2For 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 Innocent are $14.50, and may be purchased in advance on CryInnocentSalem.com or as part of a combination ticket with the Spirit of Salem film.

Salem Haunted Happenings for Kids

Finding kid-friendly activities during 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!

 

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, 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 days in October on the 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! For the full listing of carnival dates, see our event calendar.

 

Witches & Wizards
salem-ma_professor-wundersSundays 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.

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

On October 29th, Magic 106.7 hosts a movie night at 6:00 pm on the Common featuring “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.

Life Alive is hosting a spooky story-time with a Witch theme on October 25, at 4:00 pm. Costumes are encouraged and hot chocolate will be available in addition to Live Alive’s full menu during this event.

 

On the Water
salem-ma_mahi-haunted-happenings-cruiseIf 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 $15 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.

A more historical maritime experience can be had aboard the Schooner Fame, a replica of an 1812 privateering ship. Sailing right out of Pickering Wharf, the Schooner Fame experience allows guests to see islands, forts, and lighthouse, aboard the historically accurate replica. Tickets ($35 for adults and $15 for kids) may be purchased at SchoonerFame.com.

 

For the Whole Family
salem-ma_ghostbustedLooking for the ultimate Halloween dinner experience? Check out Haunted Dinner Theater’s latest production, “Ghostbusted!” This interactive crime solving dinner show features audience participation, family-friendly entertainment, and a glimpse into Salem’s history. 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.

Another way to get the family together during this year’s Haunted Happenings is to head to Salem Common for a vintage baseball game, which is free to attend. Following 1864 rules, the Providence Grays will be taking on the Brooklyn Atlantics on October 22, at 11:00 am.

 

Trick or Treating
Spooky Treats, hosted by the Salem Waterfront Hotel, is a grab and go trick or treating event for the whole family. Put on a costume and stop by the hotel on October 22 between 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm, and October 23 between 11:30 am and 5:00 pm for some early trick or treating!

The shops on Pickering Wharf will host “Trick or Treat on the Wharf” on October 23 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 pirates and take part in sea shanties! This free event takes place from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

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 thesalemma_far-from-the-tree-9 corner from Gulu-Gulu on Washington Street are Opus Underground and Koto Japanese Sushi and 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 will be kicking off Halloween night with live music by dark wave synth pop band, Esoterik and rockabilly band, Whiskey Hill.

For a more relaxed live music scene, check out the acoustic music series at Far From the Tree Cider at 108 Jackson Street. Fall Saturday nights are well spent sipping on locally made cider with acoustic sounds from bands like Big Buildings, Rule of 3, and more. 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, and family-friendly cornhole tournaments!

During this year’s Haunted Happenings festivities, Salem State University’s theatre department is showcasing a production of “Master and Margarita, or The Devil Comes to Moscow,” which is intended for mature audiences only. The ninety-minute performance focuses on Mikhail Bulgakov’s surrealistic satire of Stalinist oppression using elements like puppetry, magic, live music, and a masquerade ball. Tickets are $10-15 and may be purchased through Salem State’s website.

 

On the Watersalem-ma_mahi-boos-cruise
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 $20, and we recommend purchasing them in advance through MahiCruises.com.

 

By Trolley
The newest addition to Salem’s 21+ scene is the Salem Spirits Trolley, which includes information on Salem’s spice trade history along with stops at a local distillery, cidery, and brewery. This experience lasts for about three hours, allowing plenty of time to learn about the spices that are used to make these beverages, and of course for tastings. Tour partners include Deacon Giles Distillery, Far From the Tree Cider, and Notch Brewery. Tickets for the trolley are $40, and may be purchased in advance on SalemSpiritsTrolley.com.

 

Samples & Tastings
For another way to try new and unique drinks this October, head to Sea Level Oyster Bar on Pickering Wharf. This waterfront restaurant and bar is offering a Seven Deadly Sins tasting menu, with food and drinks inspired by pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.

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.

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 3 different local ales prior to the performance! Tickets are $24 and may be purchased in advance through GallowsHillSalem.com.

 

Festivals & Beer Gar2015-10-31-19-34-28dens
For the largest festival on the North Shore celebrating wine, mead, craft beer, and cider, head over to Salem’s 10th Annual Harvest Fest! Event takes place Saturday, October 22 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, Radio 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, Proms, 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 having 3 different themed balls during the month of October: a Voodoo Ball on October 22, a Super Hero Ball on October 28, and a Heaven and Hell Ball on October 29. Advanced tickets may be purchased through RockafellasofSalem.com and are selling out quick!

A different kind of Halloween party is taking place on October 22 at Victoria Station in Pickering Wharf. If you’d prefer to show off your best zombie formalwear don’t miss the 8th Annual Zombie Prom! Like any respectable prom, this event includes photos upon arrival, giveaways and prizes, live music by DANDREW, and the crowning of Prom King and Queen!

Festival of the Dead hosts the annual Official Witches Ball, with this year’s theme being Over the Rainbow: the Magical World of Oz! 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.

Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Party, photo credit: Patrick CornelissenThe Hawthorne Hotel, located right on the Common hosts their very popular annual Halloween Party, this year themed towards the Seven Deadly Sins. This 26th 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. Packages for stays at the hotel and tickets to next year’s party go on sale in November at HawthorneHotel.com/Halloween.

No Car, No Problem: Getting Around Salem, MA

No car, no problem, we’ve got you covered! Coming from North Station in Boston, the MBTA Commuter Rail will take you right in the heart of Downtown Salem. Take the train to also visit other great North of Boston destinations like Rockport on the line. Enjoy a ride on the water from Boston’s Long Wharf to Salem with the Salem Ferry. Salem is a walkable city, but for those who enjoy bike riding, Salem Spins offers a hub downtown by the Hawthorne Hotel where you can rent a bike for free!

Salem Ferry, Salem, MA, Kate Fox

MBTA Commuter Rail
Coming from Boston, Salem is a short ride away from North Station via the Commuter Rail. Additionally, the Commuter Rail connects Salem to excellent cities north of Boston, like Rockport and Gloucester. Fares and schedules vary according to the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority), and the most up to date schedules may be found on the MBTA website, MBTA.com/Schedules. Once in Salem, the Commuter Rail Station is located right downtown, within walking distance to many shops, restaurants, accommodations, and attractions.

Salem Ferry
Another way to reach Salem from Boston is to hop aboard the Salem Ferry. In just under an hour, the ferry can take passengers between Salem and Boston, while offering scenic views of both cities. The ferry, Nathaniel Bowditch is equipped with enclosed and open air seating, tables, and restrooms, making the trip a quick and comfortable one. The ferry departs from Long Wharf in Boston, and docks in Salem at Blaney Street, both of which are within walking distance to many local attractions. The ferry runs seasonally and rates very so be sure to check out the Salem Ferry website, BostonHarborCruises.com/SalemFerry before planning a trip.

Walking Distances
Once in Salem, you’ll be pleased to find that most everything you’d want to do is within walking distance. Many Salem attractions are located within about a 20 minute walking distance from each other at the farthest points. A map of downtown Salem may be viewed at Salem.org/Plan/Map and may also be found in the Salem Visitor Guide.

Salem, MA Essex Street

Salem Spins
Another great way to see Salem is with Salem Spins, a free bike-sharing program provided by the City of Salem in partnership with Salem State University. To access a bike rental, visit the front desk of the Hawthorne Hotel or the Salem State Campus Police Station.

Driving to Salem?
If you are planning on driving into Salem, we recommend leaving the car parked for most of your visit. As such a walkable city, it will be easier to leave the car parked and walk or take the Salem Trolley to your destinations throughout your trip. For more information on parking and directions into Salem by car, please visit: Salem.org/Plan/Parking.

Salem.org