Spooky Travel Guide


Salem Massachusetts


Salem, Massachusetts is a dream city for dark tourists and anyone who loves all things spooky. Bearing a macabre history connected to one of the most well-known witch trials in the world, the city has been through considerable suffering.

Its many torments, which stretch from being consumed by mass hysteria during the Salem Witch Trials to being overrun by pirates who used the city’s underground tunnels as smuggling zones, inspired various authors to pen gruesome stories.

Today, Salem has finally embraced its grim past and the city is an amazing place for lovers of ghastly history. If you’re keen to unearth the dark secrets of the city, here’s my spooky destination guide for Salem, Massachusetts.

Spookiest Time to Visit Salem


October is by far the best and spookiest time to visit Salem, when the entire city embraces the spirit of Halloween for the whole month.

Salem Haunted Happenings puts on several different events, such as The Salem Horror Fest, The Salem Psychic Fair and Witches’ Market, The Festival of the Dead, The Witches’ Halloween Ball and The Hawthorne Hotel’s Halloween Party.

At this time of year, the streets are also loaded with even more Halloween festivities, including film screenings, ghost and witch history tours, Halloween shops and entertainment. If you really want to experience Salem at the peak of the spooky season, October is the time to go!

The only downfall to visiting Salem in October is that the population of the city doubles in size. If you want to visit Salem but you also want to avoid the crowds, visit in early November. The historic attractions, ghost tours and history walks go year-round and you’ll still get to experience the crisp New England weather that you get in October.

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Spooky Things to Do in Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is home to an abundance of museums and attractions which appeal to lovers of dark travel. With sites associated with witchcraft, pirates and murders, dark tourists are guaranteed to be in their element. If you’re looking for unique and unusual things to do in the witch city, see my list of alternative things to do in Salem, MA.

Witch Trials Memorial

The incredible Witch Trials Memorial to the victims of the infamous Salem Witch Trials where you can pay your respects to 20 people whose lives ended much too soon.
Website: Witch Trials Memorial



The Witch House

The Witch House is the only building in Salem with direct ties to the witch trials. Once home to judge Jonathan Corwin, today the house depicts what life was like in the 17th century.
Website: The Witch House



Witch History Museum

Similar to the Salem Witch Museum, The Witch History Museum takes you on a guided tour of local 17th-century history inside a mysterious dark room with animatronic figures showing scenes from the Salem Witch Trials.
Website: Witch History Museum



Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum is the most popular witch history museum in Salem, filled with animatronic figures which depict the history of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials.
Website: Salem Witch Museum
Book here: Salem Witch Museum



The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables is the house that inspired author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s to write his book of the same name. The building features genuine elements, as well as details mentioned in the novel, such as the secret stairway.
Website: The House of the Seven Gables



New England Pirate Museum

The New England Pirate Museum is dedicated to the story of the pirates who took over Salem. This fun-filled place takes you on a guided tour through a dockside village and pirate ship where you’ll discover the little-known history of New England’s sea-robbers.
Website: New England Pirate Museum



Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery

If you love horror movie monsters, Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery will amaze you with its realistic, lifesize monster displays. Although the museum will give you the feeling you’re being watched, nothing will jump out at you.
Website: Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery



Gallows Hill Museum and Theatre

See the Salem Witch Trials come to life at The Gallows Hill Museum and Theatre, where actors will educate and entertain you at the same time.
Website: Gallows Hill Museum and Theatre



Cry Innocent

Staged in the historical Old Town Hall, Cry Innocent is a performance based on the trial of Bridget Bishop, the first woman hanged in the Salem Witch Trials.
Website: Cry Innocent at History Alive Salem



Frankenstein’s Castle

If you’re a fan of waxworks, be sure to visit Frankenstein’s Castle, a wax museum showcasing figures from throughout Salem’s history.
Website: Frankenstein's Castle at the Salem Wax Museum



Salem 1630: Pioneer Village

The Pioneer Village in Salem is the oldest living history museum in the United States! Here you can step back in time and see what life was like in 1630s Salem.
Website: Salem 1630: Pioneer Village



Salem Witch Village

If you want to learn about modern witchcraft practices and the truth behind the myths of witchcraft, be sure to stop by The Salem Witch Village and take a guided tour with a practicing witch.
Website: Salem Witch Village



Witch Dungeon Museum

The Witch Dungeon Museum houses a replica dungeon from the witch trials so you can see for yourself the dreadful conditions suspected witches were forced to live in while awaiting trial. The museum also offers live reenactment shows of the Salem Witch Trials.
Website: Witch Dungeon Museum



Witch Pix

Witch Pix is a costume photography shop where you can dress up like a witch or wizard and turn your necromancer dreams into a reality.
Website: Witch Pix



Cemeteries in Salem, Massachusetts


Steeped in history, many of the cemeteries in Salem, Massachusetts were established during Puritan times. As the years went on, the imagery on the tombstones changed and developed according to the styles of the time.

As you walk through the cemeteries, you’ll see the 17th-century carvings of death’s heads and long epitaphs change to 18th-century designs featuring winged cherubs. These morph into 19th-century styles which took inspiration from Greek and Roman architecture, adding images of urns, monuments and obelisks.

When you walk through the cemeteries, see if you can identify the age of the tombstone from its design before you look at the date.

Old Burying Point

The Burying Point, also known as the Charter Street Cemetery is Salem’s oldest cemetery and the resting place for members of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, as well as cruel Salem Witch Trials judge, John Hathorne. This cemetery is my personal favourite and is a must-visit on your trip to Salem.

Address: Charter St, Salem, MA 01970, United States

Broad Street Cemetery

Located on Broad Street across from the historic Pickering House (Salem’s oldest house) is Broad Street Cemetery. The second oldest graveyard in Salem, the cemetery was opened in 1655 and is the resting place of the Witch House’s owner Jonathan Corwin and his nephew, the Salem Witch Trials high sheriff, George Corwin.

Address: Broad St, Salem, MA 01970, United States

Howard Street Cemetery

The land that Howard Street Cemetery sits on is said to be where Giles Corey was pressed to death over three days during the Salem Witch Trials. Once he was executed, his body was buried in the Howard Street Cemetery in a shallow grave. You can visit the Witch Trials Memorial to pay your respects to Giles and other victims.

Address: Howard St, Salem, MA 01970, United States

Haunted Hotels in Salem, Massachusetts

Hawthorne Hotel

The Hawthorne Hotel boasts two rooms said to be haunted by sea captains and sailors. The hotel also throws the coolest Halloween party every year!

Book your stay at the Hawthorne Hotel here.

The Salem Inn

Located at 7 Summer St, The Salem Inn’s room 17 is said to be haunted, with hotel guests reporting hearing unexplained noises throughout the night.

Book your stay at The Salem Inn here.

The Merchant

Salem’s new boutique hotel, The Merchant was once the site of George Corwin’s house. The high sheriff during the witch trials, George brutally tortured witch trial victims in his basement prison. Today, the hotel is said to be haunted by the spirits of those he harmed.

Book your stay at The Merchant here.
Booking.com

Best Ghost Tours and Walking Tours in Salem, MA

A great history, walking or ghost tour will help you dive into Salem’s grisly past and discover all kinds of horrific details you never knew about. The city offers so many incredible tours that it’s hard to pick just one!

Each tour provides a different experience with unique stories. So if you’re particularly interested in sites associated with the Salem Witch Trials (as most original buildings are no longer standing), Salem’s pirate history or something else specific, you’re sure to find it covered in one of these tours.

Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour

This tour offers incredible supernatural ghost tours, cemetery lore, witchcraft history and tours about Salem’s rich revolutionary history. Haunted Footsteps also provides afternoon tours if you don’t want to suffer the evening crowds.
Book here:Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour


Hocus Pocus Tours

Take a tour of everyone’s favourite cult classic Halloween film, Hocus Pocus on a Hocus Pocus Tour. Filmed in Salem in the early 1990s, the tour takes you to all the shooting locations from the movie Hocus Pocus and gives you inside info about the film.
Haven’t you seen Hocus Pocus? Watch it here this Halloween!
Website: Hocus Pocus Tours


Bewitched After Dark Walking Tours

Known as the “Best Tour in Salem”, The Bewitched After Dark Walking Tours are run by local historians, so you know the information is correct! The tours cover the history behind the Salem Witch Trials and visit over 12 different sites associated with Salem’s history.
Website: Bewitched After Dark Walking Tours


Candlelit Ghostly Walking Tours

If you’re looking for a spooky ghost tour, The Candlelit Ghostly Walking Tour is the one to choose from. Guided only by candlelight, the tour walks you through many of Salem’s most haunted locations. It also teaches patrons how to take the best ghostly photography.
Website: Candlelit Ghostly Walking Tours


Spellbound Tours

Take a paranormal tour of Salem guided by professional paranormal investigators with Spellbound Tours. Not only do the guides discuss supernatural sites and history, they also go over the Salem Witch Trials and vampire folklore!
Website: Spellbound Tours


Salem Black Cat Tours

If you’re looking for more of a historical tour with less scare factor, Salem Black Cat Tours offers daytime tours that take you around the city where you’ll learn about various aspects of its history. Worry not — the ghostly tours only come out at night!
Website: Salem Black Cat Tours


Tales and Tombstones

Ride around Salem in the comfort of the Red Trolley on a Tales and Tombstones Tour. The trolley offers historical tours during the day and spooky tours on Fridays and Saturdays that take you the darker sites, as well as haunted hotels and restaurants. It’s the perfect tour if you want to stay off your feet. (Available during July, August and October only)
Website: Tales and Tombstones


Salem Morning & Afternoon Stroll

Walkthrough Salem with Kenneth Glover, a guide with extensive knowledge of the Puritans, on a Salem Morning & Afternoon Stroll. His tours are wheelchair accessible and last two hours, during which you’ll learn all about the history of Salem.
Book here: Salem Morning & Afternoon Stroll


Sinister Stories of Salem

Another tour led by Kenneth Glover, Sinister Stories of Salem: Presents New England Confessions sees the guide speak from the perspective of a 17th-century witch trials observer.
Book here: Sinister Stories of Salem Presents: New England Confessions


The Salem Witch Walk

The Salem Witch Walk offers a unique magic experience, comprised of a blessing in a magic circle, learning about spells and witchy potions.
Website: The Salem Witch Walk


Salem Night Tour

The Salem Night Tour runs every evening at 8 pm and takes you through the city on a journey that will reveal all kinds of incredible legends and historical tales.
Website: Salem Night Tour


Salem Witch Hunt Film and Tours

A different kind of tour, The Salem Witch Hunt Film and Tours features historical reenactors who do much more than recount the real causes behind the Salem Witch Trials.
Website: Salem Witch Hunt Film and Tours


Haunted Bars in Salem, Massachusetts

Rockafellas

The tunnels below Rockafellas are said to be the hiding spot of a gruesome love triangle murder and the restaurant is supposedly haunted by a woman in blue. Could it be the spirit of the woman who was brutally murdered?

Address: 231 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970, United States

Mercy Tavern

The former hangout of sailors and pirates, The Mercy Tavern was formerly a brothel and tavern used for illegal smuggling. Today the spot is said to be haunted by the spirits of pirates.

Address: 148 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970, United States

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall

The land that Turner’s Seafood now occupies was once owned by Salem Witch Trials’ victim Bridget Bishop, who’s said to haunt the second and third floors of the restaurant.

Address: 43 Church St, Salem, MA 01970, United States

Witch & Occult Shops in Salem, Massachusetts


Salem Witch Museum Store

The Salem Witch Museum Store is the official gift shop from the Salem Witch Museum and contains exclusive books about the Salem Witch Trials.
Website: Salem Witch Museum Store



Witch City Wicks

Witch City Wicks contains a large selection of handcrafted soy candles made in Salem. Other items include books, jewelry and homewares.
Website: Witch City Wicks



Crow Haven Corner

Salem’s oldest witch shop, Crow Haven Corner has all kinds of magical supplies, including an original spell altar, books, candles and jewelry.
Website: Crow Haven Corner



Witch History Museum Gift Shop

After taking a tour through the Witch History Museum, step into the gift shop for items related to the history of witchcraft in Salem and city souvenirs.
Website: Witch History Museum Gift Shop



Artemisia Botanicals

Artemisia Botanicals is an apothecary that carries teas, essential oils, herbs and beauty items.
Website: Artemisia Botanicals



The Cauldron Black

The Cauldron Black is owned and operated by practicing witches and sells altar and ritual tools, books and herbs. It also hosts classes, events and workshops on all things magical.
Website: The Cauldron Black



Enchanted

A magickal shop for witches and muggles alike, Enchanted is filled with everything from magical herbs, oils and crystals to handcrafted candles, jewelry and offering bowls. It also hosts classes, workshops and psychic readings by Salem’s official witch, Laurie Cabot.
Website: Enchanted



Hex: Old-World Witchery

A shop for practicing witches, Hex: Old-World Witchery contains everything you need to satisfy your witchcraft desires, from spell-inducing candles, potions and occult books to crystals, essential oils and jewelry.
Website: Hex: Old-World Witchery



Vampfangs

Salem is home to more than just witches! Vampfangs is a one-of-a-kind vampire shop where you can purchase custom fangs, vampire clothing, jewelry and occult items.
Website: Vampfangs



The Witchery

Home to local art, gifts and items for spell casting, The Witchery is also a fantastic place to visit if you’re interested in tarot card readings.
Website: The Witchery



Related Posts about Salem Massachusetts

from Wandering Crystal

Haunted Places in Salem Massachusetts

Salem is more than the Salem Witch Trials! The city is full of dark history and haunted locations.
Check out the list of 12 Haunted Places in Salem Massachusetts.

The History of the Salem Witch Trials

Salem Massachusetts is the site of the infamous dark Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Read about the history and see 11 sites you can visit that are associated with the Salem Witch Trials.

The Old Burying Point and Salem Witch Trials Memorial

The oldest cemetery in Salem, The Old Burying Point is the burial place of one of the cruellest judges from the Salem Witch Trials. Located directly next to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Read about The Old Burying Point and Salem Witch Trials Museum

Visiting The Witch House in Salem

The oldest and only structure still standing that has direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Read here all about Visiting The Witch House in Salem Massachusetts.

The House of the Seven Gables in Salem

Visit the 350-year-old museum dedicated to the life of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. Visit the real house that inspired his novel The House of the Seven Gables. Read about Visiting The House of the Seven Gables

The Charter Street Historic District: The Grimshawe House

Visit Charter Street Historic District in Salem and check out the history of The Grimshawe Peabody House. The historic weathered house has ties to Nathaniel Hawthorne. Read more about The Charter Street Historic District: The Grimshawe House.

Salem Witch History Books & Ghost Hunting Equipment


Want to learn more about Salem’s witch history? Or want to add some paranormal fun and a bit of excitement to your Salem trip with some supernatural hunting equipment? Spend the evening trying to connect with the ghosts that may be sharing your room with you.
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Spooky Travel Guide - Salem Massachusetts. Visit the witch city and see all of the Salem Witch Trial locations and haunted sites. #Salem #Thingstodo #Spooky #Travelguide
Spooky Travel Guide - Salem Massachusetts. Visit the witch city and see all of the Salem Witch Trial locations and haunted sites. #Salem #Thingstodo #Spooky #Travelguide
Spooky Travel Guide - Salem Massachusetts. Visit the witch city and see all of the Salem Witch Trial locations and haunted sites. #Salem #Thingstodo #Spooky #Travelguide
Spooky Travel Guide - Salem Massachusetts. Visit the witch city and see all of the Salem Witch Trial locations and haunted sites. #Salem #Thingstodo #Spooky #Travelguide