Travel to Salem, Massachusetts in October

Completed: 5. Travel to Salem, Massachusetts in October

I know there are a few more uncompleted goals left on my 2014 list, but I think it’s safe to say that visiting Salem in October may go down as as my favorite completed goal of the year. It was a dream come true — some women dream about marriage and children, I dream about witches and zombies.

Plus, I had great company. My sister, mom, and aunt joined me on my bucket list journey.

We started off by taking the scariest cab ride from Boston (that Uber has since refunded because they are the best company on earth). It almost seemed fitting that we nearly died during our entry into Halloweentown.

Here we are. Crammed into the back of a cab. because the taxi driver brought his child along.
Here we are – crammed into the back of a cab because the taxi driver brought his child along. Also, I have big teeth.

We arrived safely *pantomiming the sign of the cross* at our home for the next few days, a wonderful house we discovered through Airbnb. It was my first time using the service and I had a wonderful experience. Instead of a standard hotel, we got to stay in an amazingly, charming, historic house within walking distance of the town. The owner was so very hospitable. We couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Skeleton greeter
Skeleton greeter

Going on the Hocus Pocus Tour was the only firm plan of the evening, so we hung out after dinner and watched scary movies until we needed to depart. We strolled down to our meeting location and were further blown away by the other historic homes in the area. Most of the town decorates for Halloween… and they go ALL out. I love the enthusiasm.

All about commitment
All about commitment
Just another Friday night in Salem in October
Just another Friday night in Salem in October

We met up with our tour group and journeyed through the crowded city. Though I enjoyed the tour, I expected more “Hocus Pocus” the movie and less hocus pocus as a general concept, but whatevs. It was informational and allowed us to get acquainted with the layout of the town, so it was worth the money.

But I did feel like a super nerd for wearing this t-shirt on the tour.

I am the fourth Sanderson sister
Too much?

I woke up early the next day to catch the 6.66 mile Devil’s Run passing by our house and for a solo run/walk of my own to check out the places of interest mentioned on the previous evening’s tour (but not visited), like the Ropes Museum aka Allison’s house in Hocus Pocus and the Elizabeth Montgomery – Bewitched statue.

Allison's house from Hocus Pocus
Allison’s house from Hocus Pocus

This also allowed me ample time with these places of interest before the crazy crowds formed later in the day. I stopped at a local coffee shop, picked up breakfast, then made my way back home to get ready for the day. We came back down down to Essex Street again around 1-ish. By that time, it had officially turned into a Halloween shit show. The best kind of shit show.

battest bitch
But first, my outfit for the day. Looking off into the distance pretending to be natural.

Once we got to the end of the market area, we went back home to prepare for the Zombie Prom. Keep in mind, it had been a little more than 24 hours and I saw the house featured in Hocus Pocus, was bombarded with witch trial history, witnessed runners dressed like devils, and took part in the craziness that is Essex Street the Saturday before Halloween. The Zombie Prom was the cherry on top of the most perfect Halloween sundae.


We flew out the next day and on the plane I told my mom, “I already miss Salem.” Sigh.

PLEASE make this journey if you share my affinity for Halloween culture.

A few other general observations:

Goal completed!

– Lyssa

(Check out this article on 5 Things to Do in Salem This Halloween – we were featured in it)


2 thoughts on “Travel to Salem, Massachusetts in October

  1. Safe to visit as long as you are not a virgin.
    Sounds like a great Halloween experience. I recently read The Scarlet Letter and loved Hocus Pocus since I was a kid. Both fiction and real history must be excellent reasons to make it there, especially in the fall.

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