Spooky Travel Guide
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
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.
Spooky Things to Do in Salem, Massachusetts
Witch Trials Memorial
The Witch House
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
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
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
Cemeteries in Salem, Massachusetts
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
Address: Charter St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Broad Street Cemetery
Address: Broad St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Howard Street Cemetery
Address: Howard St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Haunted Hotels in Salem, Massachusetts
Book your stay at the Hawthorne Hotel here.
The Salem Inn
Book your stay at The Salem Inn here.
Book your stay at The Merchant here.
Best Ghost Tours and Walking Tours in Salem, MA
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
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
Address: 231 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Address: 148 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall
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
Crow Haven Corner
Witch History Museum Gift Shop
The Cauldron Black
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.
Hex: Old-World Witchery
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Haunted Places in Salem Massachusetts
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