It’s that time of year again; where the air becomes cool and crisp, evenings take over the days, and apple and pumpkin flavors dominate the beverage menus. Weekend activities include visiting local apple orchards, artistically carving pumpkins, and creatively planning and creating your Halloween costume.
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays to celebrate and dive into the festivities! It’s filled with supernatural lore and mystery…not to mention it is the one day a year you are free to dress up as an adult without judgement. This year, I decided to explore some of these Halloween festivities in notorious Salem, Massachusetts (since I recently moved to seacoast New Hampshire, I am way too close not to embark on this opportunity!). While being a full-time graduate student can put a damper on your budget, even for local travel, I was surprised and excited to discover some of Salem’s gems that anyone can experience for free (and cheap). Here are some of my favorite places that I have visited (so far) that won’t break your budget!
- Wandering Essex Street
There are quite a few vendors placed throughout Essex street, not to mention some spooky characters you can visit and have your picture taken with! Visitors can also have their fortunes read, visit the Witch Museum, or take a tour throughout the town (these activities are at an additional cost). However, there are so many interesting characters to meet and decorations to check out, if you’re looking for free things to do, that will occupy your time!
2. The Salem Witch Trails Memorial/Cemetery
This memorial can be a reminder of some of the dark history associated with Halloween, of the unfortunate souls who lost their lives to Salem’s infamous “witch hunt”. It is a place to reflect and remember those whose were condemned back in 1692.
3. Bewitched Statue
Located just next to the downtown district and main attractions of Essex street, this beloved gem is not to be missed by witch lovers and fans of 1960’s classic television alike!
4. The Witch House
The Witch House is the 17th century home of Witchcraft trials Judge Johnathan Corwin and is the only remaining structure with direct ties to the tragic events of 1692 in Salem. It is free and open to the public daily (and was a popular attraction to visitors during my adventure there!).
5. Ropes Mansion (featured in the movie “Hocus Pocus”)
If you’re a fan (like me) of the beloved Halloween movie “Hocus Pocus”, you’ll be delighted to visit Allison’s mansion that was featured in the movie. However, while visitors are free to explore the inside of this mansion, only the outside of the house was featured in the film. Still pretty neat to see though!
While these are only a few out of many of Salem’s major attractions, this historic (and dare I say, haunting) city is a fun destination to explore during the fall and Halloween season!