October 5, 2020

Experience Salem Massachusetts From Afar This October

by joeyphoenix

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From Destination Salem

Fall and Halloween are a major part of what Salem is known for. This year everything is different, but there are still ways to celebrate the season without being in crowds. Businesses in Salem have added virtual programming to their October calendar to make sure that no one misses out on the Halloween spirit this year. The options range from shopping to trivia contest — even dogs are celebrating Halloween with a virtual parade and costume contest.

“It is great to see so many businesses get creative with Halloween offerings this year,” said Kate Fox, Executive Director of Destination Salem. “We are usually gearing up for hundreds of thousands of visitors in person, so it is amazing how some iconic Salem attractions have created virtual programs.”

Below are Halloween-themed events that can be enjoyed virtually:

Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum is offering an online tour of the Salem witchcraft trials sites that allows visitors to view locations around Essex and Middlesex counties and a few key sites in and around Boston that are related to the events of the year 1692. Participants may select a town or city to from the list to view pictures and read about the sites in these locations. The sites from the witchcraft trials which can still be seen today, including original houses, foundations, grave sites, and sites marked by historic markers. Also included are the approximate locations of the homes of key figures that are no longer standing and have provided additional information about the roles these people played in 1692.

Haunted Happenings Marketplace

The folks at Creative Collective are presenting the first-ever digital Haunted Happenings Marketplace featuring vendors, artisans crafters, and entertainers for the 2020 Halloween season. Activities such as Virtual Scareoke and Scary Drink N Drawcan be found at the marketplace along with dozens of other activities.

HausWitch Home + Healing

The Salem store and lifestyle brand is translating the Salem experience for people who can’t make it this year. As they say, they have been “working on putting October Salem in a box.” The store is hosting virtual digital workshops that include Virtual Tarot Salons and Virtual Libra New Moon Circle.

Historic Salem, Inc.

Historic Salem has added a new feature this year. The organization is hosting a virtual tour of historic houses decorated for Halloween. Borah Brewington Snaggletooth the 13th is the host and virtual tour guide. 


The 6th annual Howl-o-ween Pet Parade and Costume Contest will take place virtually this year. Submissions must be received by October 15 and voting will occur October 16 through October 22, awards announced on Friday, October 23.

Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum has planned several virtual events related to the current exhibition, The Salem Witch Trials 1692 on view through April 4, 2021. First is the PEM Reads Book Club event: I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Condé. This will be a virtual event hosted by Dan Lipcan, Head Librarian at PEM’s Phillips Library. Participants are invited to share ideas about the additional books they read. Also offered by the Peabody Essex Museum is Virtual Salem Trivia Night, where the Museum will team up with the Big Quiz Thing to present the ultimate virtual trivia night experience, playable online anywhere. Teams will test their knowledge of Salem, Halloween, and the Salem witch trials. Another Witch Trials program is Witch Trials and Salem: Then & Now, a free, virtual program via Zoom with a panel of experts that will facilitate a discussion surrounding the history of the Salem witch trials and its impact on the city and contemporary witch community. 

The House of Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables’ virtual package allows visitors to explore the historic property from the comfort and safety of home. The package includes a 15-minute guided tour through the famed mansion and a link for a brand-new 3D experience that will allow visitors to explore the Turner-Ingersoll mansion like never before. The experience costs $10 (free for members of the Gables), which allows the organization to continue to be a welcoming, thriving historic site. 

Shopping in Salem
Even if visitors can’t visit this year, they can purchase Halloween-related gifts from the Witch City. Here’s a pdf of the shops in downtown Salem.
New Mobile App to Guide Visitors
Destination Salem has launched a new mobile app to assist visitors to Salem in accessing the latest information. This new 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 COVID-19 in Salem, Massachusetts
Salem has a public health order requiring masks or face coverings be worn in all public spaces, indoors and outdoors, in the downtown district, and in Salem parks. Salem is following the Massachusetts 4-phase reopening guidelines, which is currently in Phase 3. These guidelines restrict gathering sizes to less than 50 people outdoors and less than 25 people indoors, which means all Haunted Happenings events have been canceled or transitioned to virtual experiences. Most Salem businesses are open and operating under capacity restrictions that allow employees and guests to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Due to these restrictions, all visitors are encouraged to book reservations or buy tickets in advance of arrival. The Massachusetts Travel Order requires visitors from states deemed high-risk to complete a traveler form and quarantine or provide a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of travel. The list of safe and high-risk states can be found at mass.gov/matraveler.  Everyone planning to visit Salem in 2020 is expected to follow all local and state health orders and guidelines. These guidelines are subject to change, pending public health data. Visit salem.org/covid19 or download the Destination Salem app to receive updates.
About Salem, Massachusetts
Salem 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. Today, more than one 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, 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.

Support Accessibility on the North Shore

Creative North Shore is having ongoing discussion of Accessibility and Disability Awareness leading up to the International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3 and the hopeful introduction of a Disability Parade in 2021. If this is a topic you are interested, have thoughtful story ideas, or know of an organization to add to the list below please reach out to joeyphoenix@creativecollectivema.com

Organizations to Support