Fascinated and intrigued by the folklore of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, and after watching Hocus Pocus every October for practically my whole life, Salem, MA was definitely on my list of cities to explore. With Halloween fast approaching and the festive fall foliage upon us, the chill is in the air here in Salem.
How to get there: a 35-55 minute drive from Boston depending on traffic; or by Broomstick
Where to stay: Hawthorne Hotel
The Hawthorne is a charming, old hotel in a great location. Every stop on my itinerary was within walking distance. The Hotel built in 1925, was named after Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of classic book ‘The Scarlet Letter’ and great grandson of Judge John Hathorne during the Salem Witch Trials. (Nathaniel added a “w” in his last name, as an attempt to dissociate himself from the dark times and actions of his great grandfather) The rooms are unique, historic and cozy, filled with ornate mirrors and other furnishings that give you the feel that you have taken a step back in time. Beware of haunted Room 325 and the spectral woman that roams the sixth floor.
What to explore:
1- The House of Seven Gables
Built in 1668 and the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion standing in well kept condition. Nathaniel Hawthorne lived here with his cousin, and penned his other famous novel “The House of Seven Gables.” This was home to some of New England’s most prominent and wealthy families. As soon as I arrived, not only was the full moon shining bright, but a black cat scurried his way over to me. How ghoulish. Obviously this cat was Thackery Binx. The house is famously haunted. We were not allowed to photograph inside, but if you enjoy old architecture, literature and history this is a must on your Salem To Do list.
2- The Witch House
Built in 1642, this house is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Witchcraft Trials of 1692. With a pointed roof, iron windows, and dark wood this was the home of Jonathan Corwin, “The Other Salem Witch Judge.”
3- Ropes Mansion
Allison, Oh Allison, Kiss me I’m Allison! Remember when Max takes Dani trick or treating, and accidentally stumbles upon the fancy mansion of his new crush Allison? Built in 1727, this mansion is haunted by Judge Nathaniel Ropes whom died of smallpox, and his wife Abigail who died after her nightdress caught fire. The mansion and backyard garden is open to the public.
4- Bewitched Statue
As a gift to the City of Salem by TV Land, the 8 ft bronze statue of Bewitched’s Samantha is located on 235 Essex Street surrounded by tourists.
5- Max and Dani’s House
As one of my absolute favorite Halloween films, I had to visit the iconic house from Hocus Pocus! Shout out to the home owners who deal with all the tourists snapping photos of their home all day!
Places to eat:
Sea Level- Casual atmosphere with great views of the ocean and full moon. With the unusually warm weather, we were able to sit outside on the rooftop deck. The food was delicious. Service was good.
Red Sandwich Shop- Great breakfast. Large menu and a price that can not be beat. Cash only.
Caramel French Patisserie- This is a MUST on your list. A beautiful, bright atmosphere with excellent and authentic pastries and macarons in appearance and taste. Everything I indulged in was delicious, each dessert was filled with so much flavor.
Jolie Tea Company- Over 200 loose teas made to order. Super cute tea spot located right outside our hotel. The shop attendants were helpful in selecting the right tea for us.
Where To Shop:
HAUSWITCH HOME AND HEALING-
My absolute favorite store I ever stumbled upon. This is the ultimate store filled with everything you need to bring in good vibes into your home. Here you can find crystals, books, sage, home decor, art work, candles, and more.
Clearly, overwhelmed with joy.
Overall, I loved the historic charm and haunted vibes in Salem. It put me in the perfect Halloween Spirit. Happy Haunting.