Oct 14, 2020 Salem, Massachusetts Travel Guide
We decided to make a day trip and visit Salem, Massachusetts. Salem is known historically for the Salem Witch trials. A sad piece of history where 19 people were brutally murdered for being convicted of witches. The accusers came forward later stating they made up the claims. This guide discusses the key historical points one is able to visit in Salem and shopping/dining locations. I recommend visiting during mid to end of September if you want to tour the museums with no wait and crowds. However, October is the time to visit for a month-long festival of all things Halloween. Honestly, this town reminds me of a Halloweentown set, everything is Halloween themed. All points of interest were walkable except Salem Pioneer Village. Salem is also known for the filming location of the famous Disney movie Hocus Pocus. You can read more on that guide here for a walking tour of the filming locations.
The Salem Witch Museum:
I recommend starting at the Salem Witch Museum. This museum details the Salem witch trials, how it began, the outcome during a record presentation, and then has a separate recorded presentation on the evolution of witches. I thought this was helpful coming from someone with little insight on the witch trials. Then every other historic place makes more sense. This museum had very little to look at as far as tangible items go. It is mainly audible recordings with information. One thing I did like seeing was a first copy of The Wizard of Oz in the museum.This tour which was an hour and fifteen minutes in length due to social distancing. Prior to covid lots of reviews stated about thirty minutes in length. The museum also has a gift shop attached. The cost is $14 for an adult.
The Witch House:
Salem’s only home that has direct ties to the Salem witch trials. Owner of that era Jonathan Corwin a wealthy merchant and judge during the trials. Very interesting touring the home with furnishings from the era and understanding everyday life. Also has a very interesting room discussing healthcare during that time. People would drink blood for health and vitality, interesting to say the least. $9 admission for an adult.
Salem Pioneer Village:
America’s first living history museum built in 1930. A recollection of the era when the Winthrop Fleets arrived in 1630. During our tour around we saw a live interaction of medicinal treatments during that era and how it was made. For more modern day interests this is home of Binx during the Hocus Pocus movie. This museum has specific times for visiting so I would check ahead of time so you can visit. The Cost is free however we made a donation.
Old Burying Point Cemetery:
Old Burying Point Cemetery also known as Charter Street Cemetery & Witch Trial Memorial. This cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Salem and amongst the oldest in the United States. The Witch Trial Memorial recognizes the nineteen people who lost their lives. On the memorial tombs it does state how they passed all were hanged, except one was pressed to death. It is an open air memorial so it is open year round. It is free of charge for viewing.
The Ropes Mansion:
The Ropes Mansion built in 1727. You can tour this Georgian-Colonial home, however due to covid tours were not available. However, there is a free garden that can be viewed behind the home. The garden was beautiful.
Looking for a spooktacular place to eat? We dined here for lunch after walking around the city we were starving. The place was decked out in Halloween decor. The menu has a little bit of everything from burgers, wraps, entrees, salads, and pizza. If you want a large variety then going here is a must. However, I think their true winner was their drink menu. I got a pumpkin martini and it was AMAZING! Sam got a local pumpkin beer with a shot of vanilla vodka and it was also great. Definitely recommend going to this spot for fun seasonal drinks and light bites.
Ye Olde Pepper Companie:
Trick or treat? It is America’s oldest candy company. Gibralters are the first commercially sold candies in America, we bought the four pack of peppermint and lemon two packs of each. Also a mouthwatering array of chocolates. We decided to grab a handful of different chocolates. All was SO good, my favorite the chocolate covered pretzels.
Witch places to Shop:
The Witch Mall: Yes this is the actual name of the mall. You can buy every souvenir and knick knack item here. Some stores worth mentioning are Freedom Massage you can get massages even tarot or palm readings done here. Another interesting store was Witch Pix. You can dress in different witch costumes and take professional pictures at this store. A great place if you want to dress up like the Sanderson sisters!
Hex Old World Witchery: A unique boutique store welcoming all things to do with witchcraft. From candles, incense, journals, books, etc. Also you can get your palm read here. When walking up to the store you see someone getting their palm read in the window. Halloween vibes at the fullest!
Outfit Deets: A black floral dress is a great transition piece from summer to fall. This one is from Zara old linking similar ones below. Paired with black knee high boots. You can shop my look below.