I visited Salem and toured a haunted Airbnb, got a psychic studying, and met a practicing witch. It was perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit — see what it was like.

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The writer posing with witch street performer.
  • Ann Matica visited Salem, Massachusetts, to see what the tourism business is like in October. 
  • She went window purchasing, explored a “haunted” home, and got her tarot playing cards learn by a psychic. 
  • While the crowds of individuals had been a lot, she stated Salem did assist get her into the spirit of Halloween.
Every 12 months in October, 1000’s of vacationers flock to Salem, Massachusetts, to enjoy the one in every of the largest Halloween celebrations in the world. Visitors can get pleasure from parades, historic sights, psychic readings, and native vendor gala’s.

A crowded Salem street.
Tourism is a main supply of earnings for Salem and its companies. For years, annual tourism spending in Salem has hovered round $100 million.

The courtyard in front of the witch city mall.

Source: The Salem News

I determined to go to Salem to see the “Haunted Happenings” extravaganza for myself and determine what attracts so many vacationers to the New England metropolis each fall.

Welcome to Salem haunted happenings
After driving round for 20 minutes to seek out parking, my first cease was the Witch City Mall. The constructing is positioned smack in the center of prime vacationer actual property, with 1000’s of individuals swarming the surrounding metropolis streets.

Witch city mall
The mall was crammed with locations to eat, companies to buy at, and psychic readings to enroll for.

Witch city mall entrance.
After the mall, I popped into the native apothecary, known as Artemisia Botanicals. The proprietor, Teri Kalgren, first opened the store in 1997.

Artemisia Botanicals front entrance

You can learn extra about native companies in Salem here

Kalgren stated that over the previous 25 years of enterprise, the greatest change she’s seen in Salem’s tourism is individuals turning into extra open and concerned about the metropolis’s witches and witchcraft.

A wall of herbs.
While strolling about, I stumbled upon a number of teams on strolling excursions round the metropolis.

A Salem tour guide.

Read extra about what it’s wish to work as a tour information in Salem here

An extended line was cued up for the trolley automotive excursions round Salem.

Tour bus.
There had been additionally fairly a few indicators promoting haunted sights for guests to stroll via.

Haunted house sign.
The excursions take guests to traditionally important areas that should do with the Salem Witch Trails. During the trials, which occurred between 1692 and 1693, individuals had been accused of practising witchcraft and typically had been executed due to it.

Salem witch museum.
The Salem Witch Museum is a well-liked vacationer attraction and an academic useful resource for these wishing to study extra about the trials.

Salem witch museum.
A statue that pays tribute to the founding father of Salem, Roger Conant, is positioned close to the museum.

Witch statue.
In the fall, the Salem Commons are reworked into a place for native distributors to arrange tents and promote their wares.

Outdoor eating area.
Witch hats and garb had been a few of the hottest objects being bought.

Witch hat seller tent.
There had been additionally artists promoting their work and drawings to passersby. Twin brothers Ryan and Matt Murray stated they arrange their tent on the Commons each weekend whereas additionally operating a brick-and-mortar tattoo store on the town.

Tattoo art tent.
While strolling round Salem, I realized that lengthy traces are commonplace at many storefronts in downtown.

A line in Salem.
People lined up for a number of meals choices, together with fluffy pink cotton sweet …

Cotton candy stall.
… fried dough …

Fried dough stall.
… and scorching canines with all the toppings.

Hot dog stand.
Many houses in downtown Salem had “private residence” indicators to maintain vacationers from trespassing.

Private residence sign.
However, many locals appeared to nonetheless wish to take part in the festivities.

Pumpkin yard decor.
Houses had been outfitted with spooky decorations for individuals strolling by.

Pirate skeletons.
Almost all over the place I went, a Skeleton ornament wasn’t distant.

A skeleton sitting in chair.
They had been even propped up in retailer home windows …

Skeleton in a window.
… and climbing up porches.

Skeleton climbing up a wall.
Once I had wandered round the neighborhood, I made a cease at the Henry Derby House, positioned simply a couple of minutes from downtown Salem.

The writer standing in front of the Henry Derby House.

See inside the Henry Derby House here.

The home was in-built 1838 by Henry Derby, who labored as a tailor on the town. It’s now owned by Phil Marchand, who runs it as an Airbnb.

A plaque on the Henry Derby House.

Read how Phil Marchand runs a haunted Airbnb here.

Marchand stated the home is particularly well-liked throughout October due rumors that it is haunted by ghosts.

The red bedroom.

Read extra about the haunted repute of the Henry Derby House here.

I did not wish to keep too lengthy to seek out out if there was certainly a ghost haunting the home, so I headed again downtown to discover the “Haunted Happenings Marketplace.”

Haunted happenings banner.
Along the blocked off avenue had been many avenue performers. Tourists gathered in teams round them to goggle and toss money of their tip jars.

Street performer juggling.
A drag queen sang a tune for a massive viewers whereas accumulating suggestions.

Drag queen in Salem.
While exploring the downtown, I noticed many guests dressed up in costumes — together with their canines!

Dog dressed as a ram.
This fluffy white canine dressed as a pumpkin gave the impression to be having fun with Salem greater than its proprietor.

Dog in a pumpkin costume.
Everywhere I regarded, there have been individuals sporting witch hats. Some had been pink …

Pink witch hats.
… whereas others had been fully black …

Girl wearing a witch hat.
… some guests wore small ones …

Small witch hats.
… and others opted for massive ones.

Black witch hats.
Before leaving Salem, I was decided to have my tarot playing cards learn by a psychic. I signed up for a 15-minute slot, however needed to wait 45 minutes earlier than it was my flip.

Tarot card readings sign.
Bailey Merlin, who has been studying tarot playing cards professionally for three years, gave me perception on my profession, love life, and well being.

The writer getting her tarot cards read by a psychic reader.
On my means again to the automotive, I stopped to take a look at the many avenue performers dressed as scary Halloween characters.

Frankenstein street performer.
People lined as much as take photographs with the characters for free, though suggestions had been gladly accepted.

Witch street performer.
The Salem Slashers had been notably well-liked for a picture op.

Salem slashers street performers.
I stopped to take one earlier than leaving.

The writer posing with a street performer.
While I might have achieved with out the massive crowds and vacationer traps, I did get pleasure from assembly the native distributors and having my tarot playing cards learn.

Crowds in Salem.
Overall, Salem really was what I had imagined and extra — and it got me in the fall spirit simply in time for Halloween.

Salem flag.
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