Planning a trip to Salem in October? There's plenty of things to do in Witch City in the fall—October is like the Super Bowl or Mardi Gras in Salem. With Halloween approaching, everyone in Salem is dressed to the nines, decorated to the hilt, and ready to scare anyone looking for a thrill. Salem is, of course, the home of the Salem Witch Trials and has become the epicenter of all things spooky in New England. Next time you're on a lark to one of our boutique Salem hotels, enjoy these recommendations for things to do in Salem in October.
For all the over-the-top haunted happenings, it can be easy to forget about the actual victims of the Salem Witch Trials. This memorial is a sobering reminder that 20 men and women lost their lives as a result of the hysteria. Set in a park believed to be where the victims were executed, this low stone wall memorializes each person with a low, bench-like stone. Memorial tributes are left on the stones, and it's a beautiful place for a moment of reflective silence amidst all the hubbub.
After you visit the Witch Trials Memorial, head to the adjacent cemetery to see the historic graves, some of the people you'll recognize. Established in 1637, this cemetery is the oldest in the city, containing some of the original English settlers. Look for Judge John Hawthorn's grave, one of two judges who presided over the Witch Trials. Hawthorn showed any remorse over his role in the trials, but some members of his family weren't too keen on being associated with him—Hawthorn's grandson Nathaniel added an "e" to the end of his name, and went on to have a career as a well-known American author.
If you come up short on things to do in October in Salem, visit the Haunted Happenings calendar, a town-wide celebration for the month. From street flea markets to hayrides and face painting, you'll find something for everyone during October. There's magic shows, occult explorations, famous guest speakers, tea with the witches of Hocus Pocus (filmed in Salem!)... seriously, there's something to intrigue everyone as the locals pull out all the stops for this special time in Salem.