Posts Tagged ‘Salem’

37th Annual Salem Haunted Happenings Features Hundreds of Special Events, New Halloween Museum

October 16, 2019
salemMA-0705-126e2-cryinnocent (c) Karen Rubin

Cry Innocent: The People vs. Bridget Bishop, puts you in the year 1692 when Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and you are on the Puritan jury. Hear the historical testimonies, cross-examine the witnesses and decide the verdict. © Karen Rubin/

Salem, MA – Celebrating its 37th year, Salem Haunted Happenings returns this October with a full month of programming that celebrates Halloween and fall in New England. The festival features hundreds of special events -costume parties, film nights, ghost stories, harbor tours, haunted houses, live music, magic shows, museums, psychic fairs, reenactments, and walking tours – in addition to attractions, museums and tours that are in Salem throughout the year.

Recognized internationally as one of the best places to celebrate Halloween drawing thousands of visitors from around the world, Salem Haunted Happenings began in 1982 and has evolved into a festive celebration for all ages. Most businesses get into the spirit with extended hours, special programs, pumpkin-themed menu items, and souvenirs infused with a touch of Salem magic.

While some programming, including the Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival and Vampfangs’ Endless Night Vampire Ball, is scheduled for the final weekend of September, Salem Haunted Happenings officially steps off with the Grand Parade on Thursday, October 3 at 6:30 PM. After that, weekends will be chock full of activities for all ages and interests.

New and notable in 2019, the Fountain Stage that spent nearly 20 years on Essex Street will begin a new chapter at the City’s new Charlotte Forten Park at 289 Derby Street. Live music, free family films, and a beer garden will be among the featured programs at this beautiful new public space along the South River.

Also new for 2019 is the Salem Halloween Museum at 131 Essex Street. This 3-D experience will take visitors on a fun trip down memory lane to learn the history of Halloween and some of its favorite traditions.

The Creative Collective Merchant Marketplace returns to Salem Haunted Happenings on October weekends, and will feature a Night Market on Fridays.

The 2nd annual Great Salem Pumpkin Walk on October 17, 2019, will feature jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin displays and activities at locations between The Witch House and The House of the Seven Gables.

Derby Wharf will go to the dogs (and cats!) on October 12 when Salem Main Streets’ Howl-o-ween returns to Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

Salem Horror Fest is featuring so many screenings and celebrity interactions it has expanded its schedule to run from October 3 – 27.

Family Halloween Fun

If you’re looking to take to the water with the kids, be sure to check out Mahi Cruises’ Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise. This cruise is filled to the brim with family-friendly fun including story-telling, Halloween party music, complimentary tarot card readings, photo ops, and a full bar for the adults and face-painting for the kids. Tickets may be purchased in advance at

Get on the water this October with Essex Heritage for Eerie Stories on Salem Sound. During this cruise aboard the landing vessel Naumkeag, you’ll hear about the local folklore of Salem Sound. This evening boat tour is the perfect way to get some spooky stories in and see a different side of Salem from the water. Tickets will be available online in advance.

Looking for the ultimate Halloween dinner experience? Check out Haunted Dinner Theater’s latest production, “Clue! Live”. This interactive crime-solving dinner show features audience participation, family-friendly entertainment, and more all based on the classic board game. An all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet covers the dinner portion of the show, which takes place at the Hawthorne Hotel. For the complete schedule of dates and to purchase tickets visit the Haunted Dinner Theater’s website.

For spookier family-fun, get your tickets for the Salem Haunted Magic Show‘s latest performance, HYSTERIA: Ghost Stories! Suitable for kids ages seven and up, this event features inconceivable magic, bizarre demonstrations of mind reading, wild comedy, and interactive audience participation! Tickets are $20-42 and may be purchased online in advance.

Traffic and parking during Salem Haunted Happenings can be scary, so visitors are encouraged to use public transportation, especially on weekends and Halloween. Salem is just 5 stops and 30 minutes from Boston’s North Station, making October a great time to take advantage of the MBTA Commuter Rail’s special $10 weekend fare. Boston Harbor Cruises’ high-speed Salem Ferry will transport passengers from Long Wharf, Boston, to Blaney Street, Salem, in under an hour.

Complete information on all the events, activities, restaurants, shopping, and accommodations for Salem Haunted Happenings, as well as parking, traffic, and safety advisories, can be found at

Classic Salem Experiences

Classic experiences include:

Cry Innocent: The People vs. Bridget Bishop, Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, daily thru October. The year is 1692. Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and you are on the Puritan jury. Hear the historical testimonies, cross-examine the witnesses and decide the verdict. Is Bridget Bishop capable of witchcraft? The outdoor arrest scene begins approximately 15 minutes before show time.

October Nights At The Gables, include:

Spirits of the Gables: Get swept into Hawthorne’s tale of guilt, greed and revenge as the characters from The House of the Seven Gables (1851), come to life and recount their stories while you walk through the very house that inspired Hawthorne’s timeless novel.

Legacy of the Hanging Judge takes visitors back through Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birth home to the events of the infamous Salem Witch Trials, through the eyes of the author, whose own ancestor, Judge John Hathorne had a hand to play in the tragic events of 1692. The 35-minute performances begin every 10 minutes in The Nathaniel Hawthorne birth house. Combination tickets available. Reservations highly recommended.

The House of the Seven Gables: Discover 350 years of Salem’s history as you experience the museum and collection of historic buildings. Built in 1668, this is the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England. The House of the Seven Gables inspired author Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his legendary novel of the same name. (The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby St. 978-744-0991)

The Witch House, home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Corwin was called upon to investigate the claims of diabolical activity when a surge of witchcraft accusations arose. He served on the court which ultimately sent nineteen to the gallows. 310 1/2 Essex St.  (978) 744-8815

Witch Dungeon Museum. Experience the acclaimed performance of a Witch trial adapted from the 1692 historical transcripts. Most chilling is that it is real. 16 Lynde St.  (978) 741-3570

There’s so much to do, you have to visit to plan.

Enhance your paranormal experience with a stay at the Hawthorne Hotel, one of Historic Hotels of America’s most haunted member hotels. Built in 1925, in the city notorious for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the hotel has ghost stories of its own, mostly attributed to the sea captains who were returning to their gathering place. In particular, rooms 621 and 325 have had reports of lights turning off and on and a general uneasy feeling throughout the rooms (


Families will also appreciate the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites on Pickering Wharf, which has an indoor pool and restaurant on site. 


And look for the new Hampton Inn to open in summer of 2020.


Salem, Massachusetts, is a destination recognized around the world for its rich history, which includes 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. Located on the Massachusetts coast just 15 miles north of Boston, Salem is accessible by car, train, and seasonal ferry. For more information, visit

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Tickets Available for Solstice of Souls Halloween Party at Legendary Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Oct 27; New 3-Night Package Offered

October 9, 2012

The Solstice of Souls Halloween Party at the Hawthorne Hotel taking place October 27, 8-midnight is the Party of the Year in Salem, Massachusetts.

Besides music from band Hush, and two DJs, there will be Halloween-themed food, drinks and giveaways.  The hotel is also offering $1,500 in cash and prizes during the costume contest held that evening.

Beginning the 20 days prior to the party, the hotel will be highlighting Halloween trivia, photos from past Balls, surprise Party ticket giveaways and more on Facebook.

Approximately 1,000 party-goers make their way through the hotel that night so tickets  are going fast.  Tickets are $90 (must be 21 and older to attend). To get one, go to or call 978-744-4080.

Rooms are available at the Hawthorne Hotel for a new THREE-NIGHT PACKAGE ON OCTOBER 29-31 as well.  This is a great opportunity to see the Haunted Happenings events that take place through the end of the month. Contact 978-744-4080.

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4th Annual Salem Main Streets Salem Arts Festival to be Held June 1-3

May 9, 2012

A painting depicting early Salem, in the Essex Peabody Museum. The 4th annual Salem Main Streets Salem Arts Festival will be held June 1 – 3 © 2012 Karen Rubin/

The 4th annual Salem Main Streets Salem Arts Festival will be held June 1st – 3rd. The popular and ever- growing event will feature over 80 artists including local bands, painters, photographers, poets, belly dancers, to name a few. The Festival is a family friendly event with free performances, free art making activities and a fantastic range of art on display.

“People love the Salem Arts Festival because it makes art accessible. The festival is completely free from the incredible dance and music to the Juried Art Show in Old Town Hall. We include work ranging from renowned professionals to a 3rd grade boy.” says Jennifer Bell, Manager of Salem Main Streets (SMS), a community non-profit organization which started the Festival. “This year for the first time art patrons will have an opportunity to buy art from the Juried Art Show as well as from a Juried Street Fair,” Bell adds.

Run by a team of volunteers, including representatives from Salem State University, the Peabody Essex Museum and the Salem Arts Association, the Salem Arts Festival is a free event for residents and visitors. The goal of the festival is to promote all the arts in Salem and to provide the entire North Shore arts community an opportunity to showcase their talents.

The Festival is spread out at a variety of venues in downtown Salem, anchored at the Essex Street Walking Mall. A Juried Art Show will be held in Old Town Hall. This year live performances and demonstrations will be held outside, at the Museum Place Mall Fountain (weather permitting). Last year Festival attendance numbers were over 4,000 people and we expect an even larger crowd this year. Rain location for the performances is upstairs Old Town Hall.

The festival kicks off with an opening reception in Old Town Hall Friday, June 1 at 5 p.m. Enjoy beautiful art work and be entertained by Brian Rolland and the Paul Madore Chorale. Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 a.m. there will be live music and dance at the East India Fountain on Essex Street and a Juried Art Show for viewing in Old Town Hall. This year’s festival includes acting improve, a reciting of a chapter from the Odyssey, belly dancing and abstract art making and lots of local favorites playing like Machine 475 and the Heather Maloney Band.

Festival patrons can also enjoy the City of Salem’s Beautification Committee “Lady Of Salem” project, a summer long celebration of Salem’s rich maritime history featuring colorful, creative and whimsical ship figureheads painted by local artist. This exhibit will debut during the Salem Arts Festival and be on display downtown starting June 1. The “Ladies” remain in Port for all to enjoy June-October.

The Salem Arts Festival is offered free to all.

Visitors interested in attending the Salem Arts Festival can find easy access to the downtown by public transportation or parking at one of the many downtown lots in the City. For more information, visit

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Friendship of Salem Embarks Upon a Youth Journey on the High Seas: Salem, MA to New York

July 27, 2011

The NPS tall ship Friendship will depart from Salem, MA for New York, NY on Sunday, August 7 with a crew of volunteers, NPS staff and youth from across Massachusetts. The National Park Service and Essex Heritage are inviting the public to wish the crew and their young volunteers a “Bon Voyage” on Sunday on August 7 at 4:30 p.m. as they depart from Derby Wharf at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 193 Derby Street, Salem, MA. © 2011 Karen Rubin/

The National Park Service, in partnership with the Essex National Heritage Commission, invites you to attend the Bon Voyage for the Friendship

The National Park Service, in partnership with the Essex National Heritage Commission, announces its Friendship Sails! A Youth Journey on the High Seas. The NPS tall ship Friendship will depart from Salem, MA for New York, NY on Sunday, August 7 with a crew of volunteers, NPS staff and youth from across Massachusetts. They are spending 2-3 days at sea, sailing to New York City where the young people will join a Youth Summit with their peers from New York City and Baltimore, MD.


The National Park Service and Essex Heritage cordially invite the public to wish the crew and their young volunteers a “Bon Voyage” on Sunday on August 7 at 4:30 p.m. as they depart from Derby Wharf at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 193 Derby Street, Salem, MA.

The National Park Service and Essex Heritage are committed to engaging the youth of this region – and especially those from urban and diverse communities – in the heritage and natural resources which are often seemingly “inaccessible” to urban youth. Starting with Friendship Sails! events to Newburyport and Lynn, the new Ship’s Mate Junior Ranger Program, and educational programs like Salem Sets Sail, the National Park Service with the assistance of Essex Heritage has reached more than 15,000 students and their families via the tall ship Friendship. “And this is just the beginning,” said Annie C. Harris, Executive Director of the Essex National Heritage Commission.

“It is such a thrill to see the reaction of these young people when they get out on the ocean. Many live only blocks away from the water but they have not had the opportunity to experience it – until now.” And she adds, “once they do, most of them become really engaged and this so important for our region’s future.”

Five college-aged interns who are currently enrolled in the NPS Massachusetts Parks Student Career Intake Program (SCIP) will assist in preparing the Friendship for her departure, and will participate in every aspect of the sail to New York and back. Participants on the August 7-10 sail to NYC are: Kimberley Brunner of the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, Suki Jo Chiu of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Manny Cruz and Ryan McMahon both with the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Victoria Vann of the Lowell National Historical Park.

Students on the return voyage of August 14-16 are: Rich Hansen and Saoran Roeuth both with the Lowell National Historical Park, Sarah Martin of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, Nickson Monteiro at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Rubby Wuabu with the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.

“We are extremely pleased to bring maritime history alive for the young people of our region through our sail aboard Friendship,” said Rita Hennessy, Acting NPS Superintendent of the Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites. “This is an extraordinary, once in a life time opportunity for these young participants to sail on a tall ship. They will experience the adventure of sailing while learning about teamwork, service and leadership.”

The youth will be under the guidance of the NPS crew, Friendship volunteers, and the captain. The students will be chronicling their journey via real time blogs and twitter. Follow the journey at:

The Friendship of Salem is a full-size replica of the original ship constructed by the renowned shipbuilder Enos Briggs in Salem in 1797. She is a 171-foot three-masted “East Indiaman” – the type of merchant ship that made Salem a leader in the opening of international trade with the Far East, Europe and Russia in the years immediately following the American Revolution. The Friendship is the largest wooden, Coast Guard certified, sailing vessel to be built in New England in more than a century. The original Friendship made 15 voyages around the world before being captured by the British during the war of 1812. The new Friendship is part of the National Park Service’s Salem Maritime National Historic Site which includes the last remaining intact complex of colonial era wharves, the 1819 Custom House where author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked and several related maritime structures and Federal Era houses. Friendship is a fully operational sailing vessel. She is permanently berthed at Derby Wharf in Salem but, on special occasions, she sails to ports along the New England coast. This trip to New York City will be her furthest sail to date, but plans are being made to sail to Baltimore, MD to commemorate the War of 1812 next year. Friendship’s keel was laid in 1996 and she was certified by the US Coast Guard as a passenger carrying vessel in 2010.

The Friendship will depart Salem, MA on Sunday, August 7 for New York City and is expected to arrive at the Dennis Connor’s North Cove Marina on the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan on August 10. There the youth aboard will be joined by their peers from the NPS Gateway National Recreation Area and from Fort McHenry National Historic Site along with other students from New York City, Lowell, Massachusetts and Baltimore, Maryland. In total, nearly 100 urban youth will engage in the 3 day youth summit. The ship returns on August 16 to Salem.

About the Essex National Heritage Commission

The Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage) is the non-profit management entity for Essex National Heritage Area, one of forty-nine heritage partnership parks of the National Park Service. Working in collaboration with the National Park Service, Essex Heritage promotes public/private partnerships and develops and implements programs that enhance, preserve and encourage regional awareness of the unique historic, cultural and natural resources found within the Area. For more information, visit or call (978) 740-0444.

About Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Salem Maritime National Historic Site was designated in 1937, the first National Historic Site in the National Park Service system. The nine acre site includes the homes of merchants and mariners, the Salem Custom House in which the famous author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, and a replica of the three-masted cargo vessel Friendship. Today, the rangers and volunteers of Salem Maritime NHS continue to inform and inspire visitors with the maritime history of New England and the United States. For more information, visit or call (978) 740-1650.

See also:

Salem: America`s Spellbinding Seaport City

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