September 28, 2022

PEM Presents Eerie Events this October

by joeyphoenix

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A month full of creative activities for the spooky season, including new self-guided witch trials walk

This October, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) offers an action-packed month of Eerie Events programming to celebrate the season through storytelling, fashion, film and more. On the heels of two highly successful witch trial exhibitions in 2020 and 2021, this fall PEM will offer a pop-up experience featuring a selection of authentic witch trial documents focused on the Towne sisters. Visitors can listen to eerie stories after dark at the museum’s historic houses and make s’mores around a campfire. Explore the darker side of Salem’s history with PEM’s new audio tour – the Salem Witch Trials Walk. This self-guided tour – which offers an exclusive look and authentic 17th-century objects with museum curators and experts – starts at PEM, takes visitors to three galleries inside the museum and to six key sites in downtown Salem. Other spooky offerings include dark and aesthetically pleasing films, an after-hours dance party, PEM’s Ropes Mansion decorated like it was in the Hocus Pocus film and the museum’s first ever October pop-up shop, featuring gifts, book signings and a costume trunk show.

For tickets and more details, visit

Eerie Events at PEM

October Events

The Salem Witch Trials: The Towne Sisters 
In this pop-up experience, view rare original documents that illustrate how the Towne sisters — Rebecca Nurse, Mary Esty and Sarah Cloyce — experienced the trials. On view through November 28, 2022.

Self-Guided Salem Witch Trials Walk
In this 90-minute audio tour, experience authentic witch trial documents and objects in Salem and visit six key sites in the downtown. Tour free with museum admission. Learn more here.

Pop-Up Halloween Shop
Shop unique seasonal speciality goodies. Located at 181 Essex Street. Open Thursday–Sunday, 11 am–6 pm.

OCTOBER 1–2 and 27–31
Hocus Pocus at Ropes Mansion
Take a walk over to 318 Essex Street to take a selfie outside of Allison’s house from the Disney classic.

OCTOBER 6 | 7–8 pm
Illustration Workshop
Learn how to draw Halloween-themed character illustrations with artist Bill Crisafi in this virtual Create Night.

OCTOBER 7 | 1–3 pm
Author Book Signing
Meet Laurie Lico Albanese, author of Hester: A Novel.


Eerie Events at PEM

OCTOBER 7 | 6–8 pm
The Lighthouse Horror Film Screening
Enjoy this 2019 film set on a remote New England island. Rated R.

OCTOBER 8 | 3 pm
Curator Talk Series: Dark Glamour
Dresses dyed with arsenic. Fresh blood that provides a healthy glow. Learn about the darker side of fashion with PEM Curator Petra Slinkard.

OCTOBER 9 | 1–5 pm
Author Book Signing
Meet J.W. Ocker, author of The United States of Cryptids.

OCTOBER 14 | 7–11 pm
After-Hours Dance Party and Fashion Installation
Dance all night with DJ Ana Matronic and see a mystical fashion installation designed by Hogan McLaughlin.

OCTOBER 14 & 15 | 11 am–5 pm
Costume Trunk Show
Shop unique headpieces, crowns and masquerade masks created by a designer who dressed Moira on Schitt’s Creek.

OCTOBER 17 | 3 pm
Curator Talk Series: Materializing Ancestral Shadows
PEM Curator Paula Richter dives into fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s ancestor who was executed for witchcraft in Salem.

OCTOBER 21 | 3 pm
Curator Talk Series: Frances F. Denny’s Major Arcana
PEM Associate Curator Lydia Gordon explores contemporary photographer Frances F. Denny’s portrait series Major Arcana: Portraits of Witches in America.

OCTOBER 21 | 4:30 pm
The Witch: A Pre-Film Conversation
Emerson “Tad” Baker and PEM’s head librarian explore the movie’s hauntingly accurate portrayal of early New England.

OCTOBER 21 | 6–7:30 pm
The Witch Horor Film Screening
A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession. Rated R.

OCTOBER 22 | 11 am
Curator Talk Series: Bats! Beyond Halloween Decorations
PEM Curator Jane Winchell broadens our imagination about these nocturnal and secretive creatures.

OCTOBER 22–23 | 2–5 pm
ParaNorman Film Screening and Q&A
Enjoy this 10th anniversary matinee of this animated feature from LAIKA Studios.

OCTOBER 23 | 1–5 pm
Author Book Signing
Meet Dan Gagnon, author of A Salem Witch: The Trial, Execution, and Exoneration of Rebecca Nurse.

OCTOBER 24 | 3 pm
Curator Talk Series: Remember Me, Objects of Mourning
How do we grieve and remember loved ones who have passed? PEM Assistant Curator Lan Morgan delves into American mourning objects and mementos.

Haunted Histories after Dark
Listen to eerie stories inside three of PEM’s historic houses. Family-friendly storytelling, 5–6 pm; Goosebump-inducing, 7–10 pm.

OCTOBER 28 | 3 pm
Curator Talk Series: Spine-Chilling Posters of Classic Horror Films
PEM Curator Dan Finamore explores some of the greatest examples of classic horror and sci-fi movie art ever made.

Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people’s lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. The museum’s collection is among the finest of its kind boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time — including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, Native American, Oceanic, Asian, and African art, as well as one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. PEM’s campus offers a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-two noted historic structures grace PEM’s campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. HOURS: Open Thursday–Monday, 10 am–5 pm, and Friday 10 am–7 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. ADMISSION: Adults $20; seniors $18; students $12. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission. INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit

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