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Halloween – Salem, Massachusetts
In celebration of the upcoming season, I’ve decided to dedicate this site to the best places to experience the magic of Halloween and there’s no better place to start than Salem, Massachusetts.
Let’s get the major drawback out of the way first. Salem is one of – if not <em>the</em> – prime locations to celebrate Halloween, so expect anything within the city limits to be booked solid well in advance of October. That being said, this guide would be all but useless if I didn’t include a few interesting places to stay.
First on my list would have to be The Inn on Washington Square. The room rates range frome $100 (The Common Room) to $225 (The Honeymoon Suite) and there’s a two night minimum on all weekend and Haunted Happernings stays, which makes it one of the more expensive Bed and Breakfasts I’ve looked into. However, not only has it recieved great reviews, its genuinely haunted and is an ideal spot for the vacationing ghost hunter. For more details, see The Inn on Washington Square</a>.
For those interested in a little less kitsch, The Salem Inn – comprised of three historic homes and “centrally located in the heart of historic Salem” – may very well be the place for you. Prices range from $190 (Captain West House) to $350 (Peabody House).
Again, since its a little late in the season, your best option would be staying in nearby Danvers, MA at Extended Stay America Boston – Danvers (5.21 miles from Washington Square). Their average daily rate is $91. Danvers is most widely known for its association with the 1692 Salem witch trials. The house of one of the convicted “witches,” Rebecca Nurse, is still standing in Danvers and can be visited as a historical landmark.
Throughout October you can take part in “America’s most exciting Halloween Festival”, Salem Haunted Happenings. In its 28th year, Haunted Happenings kicks off October 1st with the Salem Chamber of Commerce Grand Parade and ends October 31st with The Reality Bites Costume Ball at the Hawthorne Hotel.
Also throughout October is the Festival of the Dead, “an annual event series that explores death’s macabre customs, heretical histories, and strange rituals”. Highlights include:
<em>The Retro Zombie Ball
Spectral Evidence: Ghost Hunting 101
The Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo
Death and Rebirth: Ritual Transformation
The Vampires’ Masquerade Ball
The Mourning Tea </em>
<em>Messages from the Spirit World: Salem’s Only Authentic Séance.</em>
The Festival ends on October 30th at the Hawthorn Hotel with “the world’s most exclusive Halloween event”, <em> The Official Salem Witches‘ Halloween Ball</em>. For more details, visit the Festival of the Dead.
Now would be a good time to mention (to the aspiring paranormal investigator) that the Hawthorne Hotel is also supposedly haunted. In fact – as you probably suspect – there are tons of haunted locations in Salem, including Gallows Hill, The Ward House and Saint Mary’s Cemetary. For more locations, check out Shadowlands Haunted Places Index.
As you can see, Salem is filled with places for spook-tacular adventures (sorry…I couldn’t help myself) but please remember, infamous footnote in history aside, there’s more to “The Witch City” than ghosts and witches, including (but not limited to) the oldest National Historic Site in America, Salem Maritime National Historic Site.
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This is Halloween (WITCH Style)
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