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!
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.