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Salem—>witches—>Halloween! Come join the fun, but plan ahead...

Zombie Crossing, Salem MA




Halloween is the biggest event in the annual calendar of Salem, Massachusetts.

In 2010, when Halloween fell on a Sunday and fair weather and moderate temperatures prevailed, Salem welcomed about 100,000 visitors for the weekend.

Elaborate costumes and harmless pranks are the order of the day, but to enjoy your visit, here are important notes:

Where to Stay

Obviously, you must reserve your hotel or inn room for Halloween in the Salem area well in advance—months in advance. More...


Don't drive a car to Salem on Halloween if you can possibly avoid it. Take the MBTA Commuter Rail train from Boston's North Station or from another station along the route of the Newburyport/Rockport Line. More...

Not only is parking nearly impossible and very expensive, but several main streets in the city center are closed for parades, gatherings and fireworks, making driving in this confusing city even more difficult.


The City of Salem calls in hundreds of extra uniformed and plainclothes police officers from surrounding communities to maintain law and order so that Halloween revelers can enjoy their visit.

Note that the ban on consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places is rigorously enforced on Halloween, as is a ban on weapons of any kind.

If your costume includes a sword, knife, gun or other weapon, be sure it is very obviously fake or it may be confiscated by the police and held at the police station until after Halloween, when you can retrieve it.

Halloween Masks, Salem MA

The Real Salem

It's good to recall that there were never any witches in Salem, and that the Salem witch trials of 1692 resulted in some accused "witches" of perjuring themselves to save their lives (by confessing to witchcraft), and other innocents being put to death because they insisted on telling the truth: that they were not witches.

It is one of the ugliest episodes in American history, one which should serve as an object lesson to us today about demonizing others.

So while you're in Salem for Halloween, enjoy the city's legitimate historic architectural and artistic attractions, such as the superb Peabody-Essex Museum and the Salem Maritime National Historical Site, the real sources of Salem's importance in American history. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan

About Halloween

Salem Hotels

Salem Transportation

What to See & Do in Salem

Tourist Information

About Salem


North Shore

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Witch Museum, Salem MA

Above, Salem Witch Museum
and Halloween revelers.

Below, get your wounds and scars here!

Tattoo Stand, Salem MA

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