SALEM, Mass.— The ghosts and witches that haunt the historic streets of Salem, Massachusetts, are stirring once again as we launch the 41st Annual Salem Haunted Happenings. With a history steeped in the supernatural and a reputation as the Halloween capital of the world, this year’s Salem Haunted Happenings promises a spellbinding experience like no other. From ghouls to witches, vampires to zombies, Salem’s enchanting streets will come alive with a bewitching atmosphere that will surely leave a lasting impression. This beloved month-long event has become a staple in the Halloween season calendar, drawing visitors from far and wide to experience the spine-chilling enchantment of the Witch City.
As we approach the witching hour, we have assembled a guide to Haunted Happenings on our website, filled with invaluable tips and insights, and the Destination Salem app will assist visitors to Salem in navigating the bewitching month-long celebration with ease.
Here are some spooky events from this year’s Salem’s Haunted Happenings that you won’t want to miss:
Mayor’s Night Out
Friday, October 6, 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
As part of Mayor’s Night Out on Friday, October 6, there will be a Trick-or-Treat activity for Salem children dressed up in costumes, which has been hugely successful over the past few years. Participating businesses will be passing out candy throughout Downtown Salem, as well as across Pickering Wharf. Trick-or-treaters can walk up to the front of businesses and grab candy as they enjoy the two-hour-long festivity. This year, Pickering Wharf will join the festivities, handing out candy and boasting new decorations to light up the wharf for the season. After Mayor’s Night Out concludes, there will be a free screening of Hocus Pocus on the Salem Common.
Family Sunday’s on the Salem Common with The Good Witch
Sundays, October 15, 22 & 29, Salem Common
The Good Witch of Salem will be activating the Salem Common on Sundays this October beginning October 15. This programming is free and open to all ages and will include dance parties, yoga, book signings, meet and greets, and so much more! If you are looking to Immerse yourself in pink during the enchanting month of October, stop by the whimsical Children’s Tea Party hosted by The Good Witch of Salem at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel in Downtown Salem. Set within the magnificent Grand Ballroom, guests will be captivated by the graceful allure and timeless charm from the moment they arrive.
Haunted Histories After Dark
Thursday, October 19 & Friday, October 20, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Looking for something a bit more haunting? Join the Peabody Essex Museum for the return of their haunted Histories After Dark programming on October 19th and 20th! This October, step into Salem’s dark past on a candlelit visit to PEM’s historic houses. Hear haunting tales of murder and mystery based on real events, told by storytellers dressed in period garb. To calm your beating heart, we’ll have warm drinks and bites available for purchase, like hotdogs, popcorn, and baked goods from local favorite Ziggy’s. Plus, join us around the fire to warm up with fiddle music and hair-raising tricks from our roving magician. For tickets, visit www.pem.org/eerie-events
No Ghosts at the Old Town Hall
October 21 through 31
Brand new from the creators of Cry Innocent: the People vs. Bishop! No Ghosts at the Old Town Hall is a combination haunted scavenger hunt/spooky storytelling/immersive theatre experience based on all the rumors of hauntings in this cherished 1816 building. Salem’s luminaries and not-so-illustrious residents of the past come to life around you–but what they really want is to slip into this earthly realm, and escape the most sinister of collectors. Will you help them out of their earthly imprisonment? For tickets, visit www.ghostcitytours.com/salem/haunted-places/old-town-hall/
Autograph Meet and Greet with the Cast of Hocus Pocus
Saturday, October 21, Noon-7 p.m. Salem Common
All ages!!! – Your favorite actors from your favorite Halloween movie are in town! Would you like to meet them? Maybe get an autograph? A selfie!? Well, you can do just that, Sat. Oct 21 from noon to 7 p.m. at Salem Common. Feel free to bring an item to be signed, or our pals at Fright-Rags.com have provided a unique, collectible, “It’s Just a Buncha Halloween” 8×10 just for you! This commemorative item is a must-have for collectors! Check the FAQ page on the main website for any questions! FMI https://ticketscandy.com/e/autograph-meet-n-greet-2789
Bit Bar Halloween Costume Bash with the cast of Hocus Pocus
Friday, October 20 at 8 p.m.
This 21+ event takes place inside the popular and local, bar-cade: Bit Bar – ticketed guests will get to eat, drink, dance, and play games with Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw, Thora Birch, and Jason Marsden. World-famous Femme-cee, Mz Diamond Wigfall, will host a spectacular evening of burlesque, drag, contests, and more! PLUS, every guest will get a professional photo op with the actors via Salem’s own Witch Pix! Come in costume and prepare to dance ‘til you drop! https://ticketscandy.com/e/its-just-a-buncha-halloween-2785
To make the most out of the Salem Haunted Happenings experience, visitors should plan ahead by making reservations and purchasing tickets where available. A complete schedule of Haunted Happenings events can be found at hauntedhappenings.org. Download the Destination Salem app for push notifications and navigating your visit.
Not everyone has brooms, so there are some things to consider about transportation and parking to navigate the city during Salem Haunted Happenings: Due to the record-breaking crowds due to Salem this season, visitors will save time, money, and the inevitable frustration experienced when people get stuck in the downtown traffic jams by planning to use public transportation or the satellite parking options. Additional commuter rail trains are running to Salem in October. For a schedule, visit www.mbta.com/cr
Parking rates have increased and are subject to change. Up to 2 hours parked in a City Garage costs $20 and stays over two hours cost $50 during October weekends. Parking in resident-only areas will result in fines of $75, and cars will be towed. The free parking shuttles include an accessible bus stopping at Salem High School, Jefferson Avenue lots, and Riley Plaza. The nearest MBTA Garages are 252 Bridge Street in Salem, 325 Broad Street in Lynn, and 100 Rantoul Street in Beverly. The train ride from Lynn or Beverly to Salem is less than five minutes. The MBTA Garage and adjacent surface lot in Salem will be closed to entering and exiting vehicles between 6 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Halloween night. Complete event information is available at HauntedHappenings.org link to: https://www.hauntedhappenings.org/plan-ahead-take-public-transportation-to-salem-for-the-final-two-weekends-of-october/.
Mobile App Available to Guide Visitors
Destination Salem’s mobile app is designed to assist visitors to Salem in accessing the latest information. This app features news, information on walking tours, educational content, and location-based notifications. The Destination Salem app is available for iOS and Android. The app can be found on the App Stores by searching for Destination Salem, Mass.
About Salem Haunted Happenings
Created in 1982 to extend the tourism season past Labor Day, Salem Haunted Happenings is believed to be one of the largest celebrations of Halloween in the world. More than a half-million people from around the world travel to Salem each October to celebrate Halloween, commemorate the events of the Salem Witch Trials, and immerse themselves in Salem’s unique atmosphere. For complete information, visit HauntedHappenings.org.
About Salem, Massachusetts
Salem is a destination recognized worldwide for its rich history, including the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the glorious maritime era that left its indelible mark on Salem through architecture, museums, and artifacts, and for its month-long celebration of Halloween. Approximately 1.8 million people visit Salem annually, generating nearly $140 million in tourism spending and supporting 1,000 jobs.
About Destination Salem
As the destination marketing organization for the City of Salem, Destination Salem cooperatively markets Salem as one of Massachusetts’ best destinations for families, couples, and domestic and international travelers who are seeking an authentic New England experience, cultural enrichment, American history, fine dining, unique shopping, and fun. For more information, visit Salem.org.