Headed to Salem in October? The things to do in Salem MA in October are endless. It’s definitely one of the best Halloween towns in the entire world and even if you’re not a huge Halloween fan, there’s still plenty to do in October or any month that makes Salem a worthy destination. Salem is full of deep and fascinating (and tragic) history, beautiful and unique architecture, and a definite festive spirit.
I have been dreaming of visiting Salem for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been drawn to the creepy and spooky stories and destinations. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and fall my favorite season. I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to want to be and considering all the amazing things to do in Salem MA in October or anytime, Salem quickly became one of my favorite places I’ve ever been.
Things to Do in Salem MA in October
So, you’ve decided to visit Salem in October, but what is there to do? The good thing? What isn’t there to do. The things to do in Salem MA in October are never-ending especially for the fans of anything spooky, creepy, Halloween, or horror related.
Visit Hocus Pocus Filming Locations
Most of Hocus Pocus – one of the most iconic Halloween movies ever – was filmed in Salem, Massachusetts. In fact, Hocus Pocus is the most popular Halloween movie! You’ll need a car to get to many of the locations, but many are located in the middle of the city.
Here’s a full guide to the Hocus Pocus filming locations in Salem.
Visit the Witch Trial Sites
There are a number of things to do in Salem MA in October and no visit would be complete without paying your respects at the witch trial sites all around town. This includes everything from Proctor’s Ledge – the location of the hangings – to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial.
Salem Witch Museum
Whether you believe in witchcraft or not, the Salem Witch Museum is quite an interesting place to visit. The museum is very complex with lots of insight and perception of witches. The museum is educational, thought-provoking, and, of course, a bit dark and…witchy.
You’ll learn about the witch trials which left Salem with a sinister history and life in Salem during the time of the trials.
Take a Bewitched After Dark Walking Tour
Want to get a historical and possibly spooky tour of Salem? Take a Bewitched After Dark walking tour. These tours are led by local historians and you’ll definitely see Salem in a whole new light once you’re done.
You’ll learn all about Salem’s colonial history, the hysteria of 1692 and the Salem witch trials, and witchcraft history in Salem.
Take a Ghost Tour
What else makes more sense when visiting Salem in October than taking a ghost tour? It’s like peanut butter & jelly. There are several ghost tours in Salem as to be expected but why not take one with the longest-running ghost tour in Salem – they’ve been around for 22 years! The Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour is one of Salem’s most haunted attractions.
Like many ghost tours, they combine amazing and enchanting storytelling, dark humor, and great historical knowledge to describe and present Salem’s haunted and witchy history.
The tours are around 90 minutes each and tour guides are led by knowledgeable guides through places with paranormal activity, cemeteries, and more spooky locations.
Visit the Old Burying Grounds
Salem’s oldest cemetery, the Charter Street Cemetery, was founded in 1637. The Charter Street Cemetery, or the ‘Old Burying Grounds,’ is the final resting place for at least two members of the Court of Oyer and Terminer – including John Hathorne – the great-great-grandfather of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne.
The Old Burying Grounds is located directly behind the Witch Trials Memorial and is open from dawn to dusk. Please treat the cemetery and graves with respect.
Nathaniel Hawthorne Sites
Fan of American literature? There is plenty of history here involving the Hawthorne family and inspiration for Hawthorne’s novels.
House of Seven Gables
The House of Seven Gables was built in the late 1600s – 1668 – and is New England’s oldest wooden mansion. It is, of course, famous due to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fictional work, The Scarlet Letter.
Whether you’re a fan of classic literature or just a fan of beautiful architecture, the House of Seven Gables is a must-see while looking for things to do in Salem MA in October. During the month of October, they even run special performances throughout the month. As you’ll soon find out, the whole town really gets into the Halloween spirit.
Nathaniel Hawthorne Statue
Near the center of the city, you’ll find the statue of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Stock Up on Your Witchy Needs
Live in a part of the country where finding an alternative or new age store is near impossible? Have to order all your supplies online? Not in Salem! While in town, make sure to stock up on all of your witchy needs at the countless stores. These are a few of my favorites below!
Crow Haven Corner
Crow Haven Corner is the oldest witch shop in Salem, Massachusetts. You’ll find magical supplies, occult books, herbs, crystals, spell kits, candles, incense, potions, psychic readings, and more.
They also offer Salem Witch Walks in the evenings!
The Coven’s Cottage
I’m not a huge expert yet, but The Coven’s Cottage was the most impressive and authentic witch store I’ve ever been in. They take things seriously too because you’re not allowed to take photographs or video.
The Coven’s Cottage opened in 2014, is family-owned and operated, and is located in historic downtown Salem. They focus on Norse, Germanic, and Celtic based traditions, but offer products for many different pagan paths. You’ll find basic necessities and one-of-a-kind crafted items, original artwork, jewelry, organic herbs, altar tools, and more.
Artemisia Botanicals boasts a variety of natural healing herbs, organic teas, spell candles, and more witchy needs. Artemesia Botanicals was established in 1997 and has been serving the Salem community since with all sorts of quality products.
Visit The Witch House
The Jonathan Corwin House in Salem, Massachusetts, known as The Witch House, was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin and is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Salem witch trials of 1692, thought to be built between 1620 and 1642.
Where to Stay in Salem MA
There are plenty of great areas and accommodation so deciding where to stay in Salem can be a challenge. Here are a few places to start depending on your budget!
The Hotel Salem
The boutique Salem hotel offers stylish Salem MA hotel accommodations in the heart of Witch City.
Established in 1925, the historic Hawthorne Hotel is situated in the heart of Salem, and a proud member of the Historic Hotels of America.
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