As residents of the Massachusetts North Shore, we can confidently say that traveling to/through the town of Salem during the month of October can be an interesting experience.
Despite the increase in traffic, we can’t deny that the town’s eerie charm – particularly now at the onset of Spooky Season in New England – shouldn’t be missed. So with fall officially about to start, we felt it was the perfect time to pay tribute to our neighbor and one of the most quintessential New England towns, by sharing some of our staff’s favorite spots to visit in Salem.
*Pro tip: you should definitely look for our Halloween-themed chocolate milk stout Boris at one of the many restaurants and taverns that you’re bound to stop at during your walking tours.
The reason that Salem has become such a commercially successful seasonal tourist attraction is thanks largely to the grim history of the Salem Witch Trials. The Proctor’s Ledge is the confirmed executionspot of nineteen innocent people accused of witchcraft in 1692. Today, that site is marked by a simple memorial – a spot of somber reflection and a must-visit for folks interested in haunted history.
Hocus Pocus fan? If you remember the movie from your childhood (or if you’re like one member of our production team who watches it every year and prefers to remain anonymous), you no doubt recall Bette Midler’s rendition of ‘Put a Spell on You’ to a group of costumed adults at a Halloween party — parenting goals, by the way. The Old Town Hall, which is now open to the public as a museum, is where thatscene was filmed.
This historic New England hotel, built in 1923, is also a well-known wedding venue that reportedly has several haunted rooms, including one where visions of a ghostly woman have been seen, as well as a room where lights flicker and the faucets turn on and off by themselves. A member of our marketing team was married there and his wife reported that the door to their suite was open in the dead of night, but that no one was there. Regardless, the hotel is worth a look – and while you’re there, stop over at the cozy Tavern for some comfort food and a beer!
If you need a break from the crowded cobblestone streets of downtown Salem, we highly recommend that you venture over to Salem Willows. Featuring an old school boardwalk with multiple arcades, food stands, ice cream parlors, and surrounded by beaches, this makes for a fun excursion or brief escape from the hustle and bustle of costumed ghost-hunters. Check out the old-school Zoltan machine at the Salem Willows Arcade!
Salem’s home to many great restaurants and some of our favorite places to eat. So we figured it was only fitting to share one of the supposedly haunted restaurants in Salem’s rich history for people who are looking to kill two birds with one stone. With everything from truffle fries to a bbq meatloaf sandwich, Rockafellas has been a Salem institution for over twenty years and is part of the historic Daniel Low Building, erected in the late 1820’s. It is one of many buildings in Salem beneath which can be found tunnels once used by smugglers, and is reported to be haunted by anything from a woman dressed in blue to a man dressed all in black. The elegant interior will make you question the age of this restaurant but take a trip to the downstairs bathroom and then you’ll understand the building’s old history. Come for the food and drink, and stay … well, just in case.Back to News