Halloween Events in Salem, Massachusetts and Boston Hotel Deals
Halloween costumes for all ages are very big in Salem, Massachusetts.
Fun spooky decor at Salem Witches Ball; photo by Chad Champoux.

In search for Halloween witches in Salem, Massachusetts? Ready to give up the Sunday football game to take the kids exploring? Nothing is as Halloween focused as Haunted Happenings, the Massachusetts festival that draws more than 250,000 each fall.

The seaport of Salem is famous for its historic witch trials in which 17th-century residents were accused of witchcraft and eventually imprisoned and executed. Today, families can take advantage of the many happier “haunted happenings” that are being offered in this bewitching town the entire month of October.

Keep in mind the local mask mandate for any indoor activity and Massachusetts’ requirement for mask-wearing on all public transportation. Covid public health protocols are widely enforced.

Halloween Witches in Salem Museums

Go back to the day in April of 1692 when Bridget Bishop is accused of witchcraft at the Bridget Bishop Home and Salem Witch Museum. The house and orchards tell about her story and trial until she was hung on Gallows Hill. The hill itself is the site of reenactments and other history-invoking events on several evenings.

At the Peabody & Essex Museum, The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming is a museum show that features the work of designer Alexander McQueen, whose ancestor Elizabeth How, was hanged as a witch in the Salem of 1692. Catch a few evenings of the Salem Horror Fest of movies, programs and parties programmed by master horrifier George Romero. Watch history unfold at the classic Long Hill home in a new program, Halloween on the Hill. Board the 50-minute long tour, Ghosts & Legends Trolley, as it circles the town. All ages will enjoy guides sharing tales of woe, witchcraft and distress. Pass the House of the Seven Gables, the old cemetery, Winter Island and much more. 

Year Round Witchery in and around Salem Village

Experience Salem’s most authentic and renounced ghost walk with Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tours. This frightful saunter occurs every night in October and at other times throughout the year. Advance tickets are encouraged to ensure this bone chilling experience. By the way, parking is usually a nightmare. This year, the City of Salem has expanded free satellite parking and shuttle service on three weekends to help with parking congestion. For more information, check out their new “Destination Salem” app.

The Salem Seance, more formally known as “Messages from the Spirit World” is a by appointment event. Take the chance to be a part of a genuine seance and communicate with the departed. It’s open to guests ages 14+ although anyone between ages 14-18 needs parental permission to participate. Check their website for the latest schedule.

There are also a variety of slightly unsettling, night-time outdoor excursions which feature the historic structures of Pioneer Village.

How to Save in Boston while Experiencing Halloween Witches in Salem

Little Salem gets very booked over the October holidays, so we suggest basing the family in nearby Boston, a great city where you can spend many more days in exploration. A CityPASS ticket booklet full of savings to the most popular attractions is one way to save on sightseeing. Another way to save, according to hotel experts — is to avoid the dates when the New England Patriots are playing. Seriously!

Note that though Salem is only about 20 miles north along the coast, with traffic it can take about an hour to get there. Because of the travel time, you will definitely want your own car. Because you want your own car, you will want an affordable parking spot. Check each hotel’s parking policy before you book.

With these tips in mind, head to Booking.com and see what nightly rate offers are available. Tip: Sort the choices by number of people in your group, and use the More Filters tab if you need a crib or other special request, to make finding the right hotel easy. (Perhaps easier than ridding it of Halloween ghosts.)

For non-spooky ideas on what to do in the area, check out Family Travel Forum’s guide, Boston, Massachusetts Attractions, with sights selected for all groups.

Looking for more fun haunted houses for kids, spooky thrills, and frights? See what’s going on this Halloween across the country. 

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