I am at last getting around to blogging about this part of our New England road trip (read more of that HERE). It's been a year now as we were there in September and October of 2015 but sure better late than never. I mostly wanted to keep Salem til now as it's coming up to Halloween and is the perfect time to reflect on our experience there. You should know in advance that I am a major lover of all things Autumn and Halloween so this was basically Chloe heaven. America is big on Halloween at the best of times and Salem was like that but on speed. And we were there two weeks before the actual event itself so that should tell you something.
Where To Stay
Really, you can stay wherever you like as there's plenty of options but we stayed in a fab B&B that I felt was worth sharing. The owners of The Stepping Stone Inn were so friendly and really helpful when it came to advising us on where to eat and what tour to go on etc. Plus we loved the historical house and the decor was very cool.
It was also really close to the centre of town so we were able to walk everywhere, which was super handy.
Where To Eat
We found a great deli that do the best sandwiches. We stopped into Scratch Kitchen on our last day for lunch and were served bacon dusted popcorn (amazing) while we waited for our Reuben's. Well worth a stop in!
Where To Shop
Salem is a beautiful place to walk around and window shop. There's lots of great book stores, tourist gift shops and witch/Hocus Pocus related stops plus, street stalls!
I particularly loved a vintage style shop, Modern Millie, where I fell hard for the Dickens book clutch (below), that I sadly had no room for in my suitcase. There were also lots of cool 50's style dresses. Swoon.
Bewitched In Salem is a good shop to go to for all things spooky; horror books, t-shirts, post cards, collectibles, figurines etc. Our tour also left from this spot, see more of that below.
What Tour To Go On (cause you NEED to do a tour. Salem is history central).
Right. So there's loads of tours you can do but the Bewitched In Salem tour is widely considered to be the best and most historically accurate. Our tour guide started by saying that there would be no amateur dramatics because the real history of the town and the Salem witch trials were scarier than anything you could make up and he was so right.
He took us through exactly what happened and brought us to all of the places where these horrific events took place. The tour was at night which added to the atmosphere but was chilly, so wear layers and wrap up! It's also worth booking in advance for this because it tends to get full up fast.
We went back the following day to see the graveyard as it's illegal to go in there at night.
Our guide had told us which gravestones to look out for, including the worst judge of all that ordered the most amount of executions. Scary stuff. A lot of it was quite sad too so be prepared to feel a bit shaken after it.
This is the Salem monument to the victims of the witch trials; all of the stones around the green represent a victim and how they were killed.
If you're wondering what "pressed to death" involves, just know that it's extremely grim.
On a much lighter note, there's different Halloween events on every year with lots of delicious food stalls and fun things to do, like making a show of ourselves:
Then there's the specific witch related popular culture things to do, like visiting shoot locations from Hocus Pocus (the town hall where they filmed the enchanted all-night Halloween party for example, below) and the Samantha from Bewitched statue. It's illegal to not stand beside it and pose like a fool. No, really. Start practising your nose twitch now.
Salem was one of my favourite stops on our trip. We were only there for one night but we made the most of it and did as much as we could and cause of that, we got a really good feel for the place. I'd go back in a heartbeat. It was a really atmospheric place and that aside, it's also a very aesthetically pleasing town with lots to see and do. It's one hell of a history lesson to get too!
Have you been to Salem?
Where's next on your travel lust list?!