August 16, 2022

Salem, Massachusetts to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Salem Haunted Happenings in October 2022

by joeyphoenix

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During the month of October 2022, Salem, Massachusetts will celebrate its 40th Anniversary of Salem Haunted Happenings, the annual citywide event that attracts Halloween-lovers from around the world. To celebrate this milestone, attractions and businesses around Salem will host anniversary-themed special events in addition to the crowd-favorite festival activities such as the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade, Mayor’s Night Out, the Howl-o-ween Pet Parade, Haunted Happenings Marketplace, and hundreds of other events. “The excitement for this anniversary year is already palpable and certainly will be growing throughout the month of October in Salem,” said Kate Fox, Executive Director of Destination Salem. “We have just released the newest Salem Haunted Happenings guidebook and a new, more user-friendly website to help people plan their trips to Salem this fall.” The Salem Witch Museum and National Park Service are planning an exhibition on the history of Salem Haunted Happenings. On October 6, the Salem Witch Museum will host a free virtual event with a discussion on why this festival was created in Salem, its early days, and how it has grown and changed. To register for the event, click here. Other new things to experience this year include:
Hollywood will have another presence this year as animation studio LAIKA has partnered with the Peabody Essex Museum and the city of Salem to present a series of ParaNorman screenings and live events this fall to celebrate the film’s 10th anniversary. Salem was the inspiration for the ParaNorman’s fictional ‘Blithe Hollow’ setting. More information on these events can be found here   Peabody Essex Museum will hold special events called “Eerie Events,” which include curator-led tours and special events, and a look inside the only museum in Salem with authentic documents and objects from the infamous witch trials of 1692. For more information, click here.
Peabody Essex Museum’s Ropes Mansion decorated for Halloween. 
The inaugural Salem Haunted Happenings Festival took place during Halloween weekend in 1982, planned by the Salem Chamber of Commerce and the Salem Witch Museum. Salem Haunted Happenings has evolved into a month-long celebration encompassing everything from family-friendly magic shows to costume balls, psychic readings, haunted harbor cruises, ghost tours, and more. Many of the founders that were part of the original Haunted Happenings include the Salem Witch Museum, Salem Chamber of Commerce, Peabody Essex Museum, Hawthorne Hotel, Essex Institute, Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Historic Salem, and Pickering Wharf. The 40th anniversary of Salem Haunted Happenings, the release of Hocus Pocus 2, the celebration of ParaNorman’s 10th anniversary, and a growing enthusiasm for travel are all expected to combine and make October 2022 the biggest month yet. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead – most local accommodations are already sold out – make reservations and buy tickets wherever possible, and follow Salem Haunted Happenings social media for updates. Visitors are encouraged to take public transportation, either the MBTA Commuter Rail or the Salem Ferry, or take advantage of satellite parking and shuttles provided by the City of Salem. Destination Salem will be sharing real-time information as it gets closer to October. All activities and information can be found at or via the Destination Salem mobile app.  The app will also provide updates on parking availability, restrooms, and special events to users who have notifications turned on. 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, approximately 1.8 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

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