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Halloween in Salem - Witches and Pirates and Ghosts Oh My!

One of the things that makes Halloween so much fun is being scared. Not Night of the Living Dead or the 6th Sense scary, more Like Scooby Doo Spooky. Nothing conjures up spooky images like Ghosts, Witches, and Vampires. These are classic spooky icons put them within a historical backdrop and you have the ultimate spooky setting.

With this in mind my daughter a I took the four hour drive up to Salem as part of our Halloween Celebrations.
Salem is a quaint New England waterfront village steeped in history. A history with witches and pirates. Some of the towns famous "haunts" are said to be well um..haunted among them the Hawthorne hotel (As seen back in 2007 on Ghost hunters.

Our trip consisted of visiting a few of the many museums and exhibits that are open year round. Including the Witch Museum, Witch History Museum, the Witch Dungeon, and the Pirate Museum (A nice way to break up the All things Witchy)

We also enjoyed a tour of Salem on one of the Red Trolleys. Our guides were informative and entertaining. The great thing about the Trolley tours is that you can buy a ticket for the day. This allows you can get on or off at any of the 13 stop points in Salem throughout the day. If you have small children (who may not have the attention span for a 45 minute trolley tour) You can use the trolley to get from place to place and learn about Salem while you ride in smaller 5-15 minute segments.

We had Lunch at Fountain Place on both days of our stay The waitress was really nice, the food was good, it was priced reasonably (12.00 for 1 adult and 1 child) and restaurant was decorated for Halloween. Fountain Place is directly across from where the 1st Salem Church was and the "Fountain" which is the site of a spring that dates back to the 1600's

The museums are probably too scary for really young children but my brave 5 year old seemed fine with everything and had a great time.
In general the museums are there to provide facts about the history of Salem and the 13 months of hysteria during which time the witch hunts that took place in New England in 1692.

The Witch History Museum – Starts with a brief history of the Events that took place in 1692. Q&A with the presenter followed by a walking tour through Exhibits narrative presentation in the basement of the museum. This was the least scary of the Exhibits but walk through is dark.

The Witch Dungeon - Begins with a presentation which talks about the conditions and treatment of those accused of being a witch followed by a re-enactment of the one of the trials, followed by a walk through of a re-created dungeon.This Exhibit is a bit more scary than the the witch History Museum.

Pirate Museum - Great tour (We showed up early and had a private tour so it was edited a bit for my 5 year old)
This tour tells the story of New England's many pirates including Notorious pirate captains, such as; Kidd, Blackbeard, Bellamy and Quelch Pirates make up a large part of Salem's colorful past. Many were said to have buried there treasure in the nearby Lynn Woods. And a ship carrying millions in Spanish gold was found of the coast in about twenty feet of water. Our guide was up to the part and relayed his script with both charisma and some humor.

Salem Witch Museum
- The tour begins with a recorded presentation told in an ominous voice with erie music, lighting and sound effects.So this is definitely not for the easily scared. After the Presentation you are taken on a guided tour with both a live presenter and pre-recorded segments.The guided tour is not scary at all and dispels some misconceptions about witches ending with a segment on current day wiccans.The tour also points out other times in American history where fear has lead to persecution of it's citizens such as the McCarthy Hearings of the 1950's.

Old Burying Point Cemetery - The oldest cemetery in Salem, and the second oldest known cemetery in the country, started in 1637. It is located on Charter St. next to the Witch Trials Memorial and contains many famous individuals such as Jonathan Corwin and John Hawthorne, who were Judges in the Salem Witch Trials, Samuel Bradstreet who was a Governor of Massachusetts and many more interesting historical figures. There are currently 347 entries for this cemetery.

There are many places to shop and browse in the town center there are shops where you can purchase candles, incense, crystals, and herbs to perform your own spells.
If your not too magickal but a magician in the Kitchen stop in at Pamplemousse which is located on the pedestrian mall. Pamplemousse has latest kitchen gadgets, specialty gourmet foods, fine boutique wines and local and European craft beer.

During the Halloween season there are many activities, performances and Attractions to experience. Visit haunted happenings for a complete schedule.

Bed and BreakfastsAmelia Payson House16 Winter Street, (978) 744-8304
Built in 1845 for Amelia and Edward Payson, 16 Winter Street is one of Salem's finest examples of Greek Revival Architecture. Elegantly restored and beautifully decorated, each room is furnished with period antiques and warmed by a personal touch. A continental breakfast consisting of fresh fruit and home baked breads is served family style over friendly conversation, and provides your hosts the opportunity to share with their guests much information about their historic city and all its Witchcraft mystique.

Other Sites to visit:
The House of the Seven Gables (1668) is a Colonial mansion in Salem, Massachusetts, as well as the title of a novel written in 1851 by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The house is now a non-profit museum, with an admission fee charged for tours.

Pickering Wharf - A harbor side Village with Shops, Restaurants, Attractions, and Events.

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