15 Things to Do in Salem, Massachusetts During October, Especially If You’re Feeling Witchy

15 Things to Do in Salem, Massachusetts During October, Especially If You’re Feeling Witchy
Photo: Image: Peabody Essex Museum; Adobe. Design: Sasha Purdy / StyleCaster

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I might be biased, but Salem, Massachusetts is the best city to be in during October. I should know—I live there! And because there’s an endless list of sights to see, here are 15 of the best things to do in Salem, especially if you happen to be a witch.

At the beginning of the spookiest month of the year, each store is marked with an orange pumpkin to ring in the Halloween season. Cobblestone streets will become garnished with ghostly decorations, welcoming sightseers from all over the world. Brimming with psychics, mediums and more, Salem is the perfect place to experience the full extent of the taboo and occult world. It’s nearly impossible to keep your inner witch at bay when you’re in Salem!

This is a city to wear fabulous black capes, gorgeous witch’s hats and all sorts of creative costumes, because Salem has a way of getting you into the spirit of Halloween. No matter where you turn, there will be scary monsters lurking in plain sight as the ghouls of Salem stir up a fright. As you walk down Essex Street or enjoy the scenic sights at Derby Wharf, you will be drawn to every attraction that Salem has to offer. Between the graveyards and psychic readings, it can get a little overwhelming to figure out what you should do first. Luckily, this guide can help you plan your perfect trip to Salem. Welcome to the City of Witches!

15 Things to Do in Salem, MA During October

ASCEND Get Lifted Psychic Reading

Courtesy of ASCEND Get Lifted.

1. Get a Fortune Telling

Did you even go to Salem if you didn’t get a reading? The witches, psychics, mediums, tarot readers, and more of Salem await you! Home to various divinations and practices, there is no shortage of possibilities for readings. Almost every store in Salem will offer some type of reading, but my favorite recommendations are Magika-Chapel of Archangel Michael, Pentagram, and ASCEND Get Lifted. 

Haus Witch Salem Massachusetts

Courtesy of HausWitch.

2. Shop Like a Witch

You cannot leave Salem without a souvenir! If you are looking for occult tools and witchy accessories, stop by Nocturne, The Black Veil Shoppe of Drear & Wonder, HausWitch and Coon’s Card & Gift Shop. Check out Bewitched in Salem to find the perfect statue to add to your altar. But if you are looking for a wide selection of witchy books, then Pyramid Books is the store to be! And don’t forget to stop by Artemisia Botanicals for all of your herbal needs. 

Peabody Essex Museum Ropes Mansion

Courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum.

3. Visit the Peabody Essex Museum

Salem’s hidden gem is the Peabody Essex Museum, which is dedicated to providing immersive spooky experiences. All month long, there will be multiple events that include going to the Ropes Mansion which is decorated in the Hocus Pocus style, The Salem Witch Trials: The Town Sisters, film screenings, and more. If historical events aren’t up your alley, then you should attend the museum’s after-hours dance party and art installation! 

Aura Photography ASCEND: Get Lifted

Photo: ASCEND: Get Lifted.

4. Have Your Aura Photo Taken

What colors are your aura and what does it mean? Located on Essex St, ASCEND Get Lifted is the only store in Salem that offers year-round aura photography and reports. You can choose between a few different options, then an aura reader will walk you through the meaning behind your aura colors, chakra alignment, and more after snapping your picture. Plus, ASCEND Get Lifted is now offering polaroid aura pictures!

The Witchery Build Your Own Broomstick Salem, MA

Photo: The Witchery.

5. Build Your Own Broom

Every witch needs their broomstick! The Witchery is the perfect place to go to make your broomstick from scratch. You get to choose everything that goes into your broom, from the handle to the fun pops of color. If you want to spruce up your broomstick, additional embellishments are available to purchase to enhance your magic. 

The Burying Point Cemetery Salem

Photo: Getty Images.

6. Embark On a Ghost Hunt

Led by paranormal investigator Kimberly Bizjak, the After Hours Ghost Hunt is the perfect haunt for any ghostbuster! Hosted by Gallows Hill, the After Hours Ghost Hunt is an exceptional experience that provides paranormal equipment, protection against the ghouls, and paranormal history. Grab your EMF detector and meet the spirits of Salem!

Cry Innocent History Alive Salem

Photo: History Alive Salem.

7. Guilty or Innocent? You Decide at Cry Innocent

Get into the spirit of the Salem witch trials by partaking in the interactive play and experience, Cry Innocent at History Alive – Salem. Renowned as an acclaimed must-see, the audience is immersed in the cross-examination of Bridget Bishop. Historically accurate testimonies will be presented, allowing the audience to vote on Bridget Bishop’s fate. 

8. Meet Monsters at the International Monster Museum

Enter if you dare! You will never know what is lurking behind every corner at the International Monster Museum. All the monsters are kept on Essex St since the International Monster Museum is the perfect place to hear more about the folklore while meeting the creatures of the night. Prepare for jump scares, creepy crawlies, and more!

New England Pirate Museum

Photo: Getty Images.

9. Discover Pirate Booty at the New England Pirate Museum

Aargh, matey! The buried treasure of Salem is the New England Pirate Museum. Home to carefully curated authentic pirate treasure, the New England Pirate Museum offers a semi-immersive experience as guests will hear about real pirate stories while learning more about the archaeological process of retrieving the treasure. Although the pirate booty is tempting, you may want to take home a pirate photo instead from the museum’s gift shop! 

10. Check Out the Haunted Attractions at the Witch Mansion

Voted as the #1 haunted house in Salem for 10 years in a row, the Witch Mansion needs to be on your scary bucket list! Only the bravest should enter since the ghosts and ghouls of the Witch Mansion are not for the faint of heart. The thrills are evident in the reviews, but you may need to meet the monsters for yourself to see if you can make it through Salem’s scariest haunted house. 

Salem Witch Dungeon

Photo: Salem.org.

11. Experience the Witch Dungeon Museum

The Witch Dungeon Museum is a Salem staple! Once you enter the Witch Dungeon Museum, you are guaranteed some educational thrills. A live reenactment adapted from the historical texts will first draw you in before you head down to the dungeons to see how the witches of Salem spent their last days. 

Satanic Temple Salem

Photo: Getty Images.

12. Give The Satanic Temple a Try!

Hail Satan… Just kidding! No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, you should definitely check out The Satanic Temple. Surprisingly, the Satanic Temple’s beliefs are more about the separation of church and state, so you don’t need to worry about any demons. Adorned with gothic art and complete with a gift shop, the Satanic Temple is a must. 

Witch Pix Salem

Photo: Witch Pix.

13. Do a Photoshoot at Witch Pix

Commemorate your visit to Salem with a witchy photoshoot at Witch Pix. With plenty of costumes, capes, brooms, and witch hats to choose from, you can create your perfectly witchy look. There are a few exceptional sets and backdrops to add some va-va-voom to your pictures. Groups and private sessions are also welcome!

Vampire Ball Salem

Photo: Vamp Fangs.

14. Attend the Endless Night Salem Vampire Ball

Every year, Vampfangs hosts the one and only vampire ball in Salem at the Hawthorne Hotel. Endless Night Salem Vampire Ball is an extravagantly gothic soiree with incredible music. But the private absinthe bar will surely be everyone’s favorite part of the ball. Don’t forget to pick up a pair of fangs at Vampfangs before you go to the hottest event of the year!

Haunted Happenings Mahi Cruises Salem

Photo: Mahi Cruises.

15. The Haunted Happenings Cruise with Mahi Cruises

Cruise around Salem on Halloween! The Haunted Happenings Cruise will take you around the shorelines of Salem and the surrounding cities. While passing by some landmarks, there will also be complementary tarot readings, face painting, and more to enjoy on the cruise!

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