Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Touring Boston - What to Know About Visiting Salem During October

Salem is a fantastic place, and if you're planning a visit there I would highly suggest going in the month of October because that's when the town really comes to life, though it has fun stuff going on all year, you can find out more at  It's got all sorts of scary history with the Salem Witch Trials and they also claim their are a number of haunted houses there, not to mention plenty of Halloween movies were filmed in the little town, perhaps mostly notably Hocus Pocus and Bewitched.

What to Know About Visiting Salem During October

We went the second week of October and started out by walking the town and checking out the vendors.  There were about 100 Tarot Card readers, and though I've never had a reading and don't know that I believe in them I was tempted to get one just to see what it was and because if I were ever to get one it seems like Salem would be the right place for it.  In the end it was $30 for a 15 minute reading and I realized I am too cheap to pay for something I think is more hokey than anything... I would rather have a new pair of shoes, but the cards look cool.

Already there were quite a few people in the town dressed up for Halloween and a lot of related events going on such as dance parties, Halloween vendors, haunted tours and the like.  We visited the memorial for those accused and sentenced during the Salem Witch Trials and visited more shops while we waited for our evening haunted tour.

At 8 we met up with our tour guide/group and were lead through the streets of Salem and told about the ghost stories and strange occurrences that have a happened there.  The Witch House that is right next to the monument had really creepy murder stories and apparently is the most haunted place in Salem. People claim to see lights in the attic or catch glimpses of people in the windows and such, after hearing all that we were happy to move on. *Note, if your going with kids you might not want to attend a haunted tour since a lot of stories were really dark.

Standing by cemetery in Salem MA
Things to Note

1) If you want to visit in October go early in the month
If you're going to go to Salem during the month of October and you don't want to get clobbered by crowds go in the first few weeks of the month, the closer the date get to Halloween the more crazy and packed Halloween town gets.

2) Limited Parking
If you plan on going in October you should also know that parking will be limited.  Another fun option is to take the commuter rail there saving you the headache of parking.  

3) Day Trips
If you want to go for day trip there are quite a few museums you can visit and there is also a trolley ride that will take you around the town and give you a tour of the interesting places, which can be nice if your totting along tots.

4) Evening Tours Will Be Packed!
If you're planning on going on an evening/haunted tour during the month of October things are going to be crowded.  We were in a tour group that had probably around 40 other people in it, which meant that some times it was difficult to hear our tour guide.  Also there were a whole bunch of other tour companies doing tours at the same time, so we often had to wait a few minutes for previous tour groups to move on before we could visit certain sights.  Finally, I would not recommend attending the evening tours with children.  We brought our then 9 month old son, and it was fine to carry him around, but the stories they tell are not child friendly and you may want to avoid the potential nightmares/scares I assume younger children would walk away with.

Touring Salem MA
Summary & Stars ★★★★☆

Four stars.  We had a really fun time visiting it, my husband loved it and wants to make it yearly tradition though I think as our children get older we would plan more of day visit to see the decoration and less of a visit to see the more "scary" things.  If you want to go during the month of October consider going during the first few weeks to avoid massive crowds.  The town is quaint and nice to walk around on and there are a lot of museums to visit during the day.  Evening tours during the month of October are really crowded and busy and not child friendly.  Consider taking the commuter rail to avoid the hassle of parking.

Have you been here before?  If so I'd love to know more about your experience and any tips or tricks you have in the comments section below. 

Salem Witch House (Pretty much the Center of all the things going on in Salem)
310 1/2 Essex Street
Salem, Massachusetts

Phone:  978.744.8815