The Halloween season is almost over. If you are like me though, Halloween is all year long. Luckily there is a place you can get your spooky on any day of the year. That place is Salem Massachusettes. Salem is famous for the Witch Trials of 1692. Today, Salem is a great place to visit for shopping, visiting museums, and learning some history. With tons of things to do, over 1 million people visit Salem a year with half of that number visiting in October alone. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when making plans, so I made a list highlighting things you should check out based on my most recent visit. I also have some tips that might make your visit go more smoothly.
1. Odd Meter Coffee Co
When we first got to Salem it was insanely crowded and we needed to fuel up for the day. We decided to visit Odd Meter Coffee Co and it did not disappoint. It was a cute cozy place and the line was not too long. They had many different fall choices but I decided to go with one called Oh My Gourd! It consisted of pumpkin, caramel, a double shot of espresso, and cold milk. It was pretty tasty and a great way to start the day. There are tons of other choices to check out and with reasonable prices I highly recommend it.
2. Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery
I’m a huge horror fan so when I heard there was a place that was dedicated to some of the most famous icons of horror, I knew I had to check it out. Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery has lifelike full-size replicas of many different horror characters along with tons of trivia to read about. The replicas were truly amazing. They don’t allow you to take pictures inside which is understandable because they don’t want the experience ruined for anyone else. You can take pictures in the gift shop though, where they sell a bunch of masks. shirts, and other horror-related merch. If you are a horror lover like me, this place is a must.
3. Blackcraft Salem
All around Salem there are so many places to shop for clothing and accessories. One of the places that really stuck out to me was Blackcraft Salem. This place has so many quality options for the whole family and even pets. The store has a gothic feel with a diverse selection throughout. The decor is truly sensational. The building used to be a bank and the giant safe doors can still be seen. From the high ceilings to the beautiful witch in the center, to all the great clothing options, Blackcraft Salem is definitely worth checking out.
4. Hocus Pocus Locations
Hocus Pocus was released in 1993 and has become a Halloween classic. The movie was filmed in Salem, Massachusettes and you can see a lot of locations from the film. We were able to see such places as the school, Alison’s house, and the town hall where the witches had their memorable dance sequence. There are even more places to see, especially if you’re a Hocus Pocus fan.
5. Take a Tour
There are so many different tour companies in Salem. After doing some research, we decided to go with Tours for Touring Tourists. The company offers three different tours. One is Steps Through 1692. It’s a historical tour all about the witch trials. Another tour is called Wandering Witches. This one is a Q&A tour with a real witch. The one we chose to do was called Salem’s Spooky Spectres.
This tour focused on visiting spooky locations and hearing stories of ghosts and murder. We wanted something more spooky that still had historical facts and this was the perfect tour. Dave was our tour guide and he was entertaining, knowledgeable, and welcoming. Sarah (pictured above) is the owner of the company and you could tell how passionate she was about her business. There are many tour companies to choose from but I for sure recommend this one.
- Always have a plan. Do not just show up on a whim. Plan your trip and book tickets for tours in advance.
- Coming to Salem during the Halloween season is fun but not necessary. Tours and shops are still open and there will be fewer people during other times of the year.
- If you just need to come in October for Halloween, do not look for parking. Most likely you will not find any and even if you did it would be expensive. Every weekend in October there’s a shuttle that is about 5 minutes from downtown Salem. It’s completely free. Just park in one of the shuttle lot locations and wait to be picked up. Information on the shuttle can be found here.
- Most restaurants, especially during October, do not take reservations so your best bet is trying to get on a waiting list once you arrive, or don’t wait till you are starving to eat.
- The most important tip is to have fun. Making plans can be stressful but just remember that there’s so much to see and enjoy. No matter what you choose to do, you’re bound to have a great time.
I had an amazing time and I truly cannot wait to return. Until next time Salem, stay spooky!