Thousands will flock to Salem on Halloween weekend to revel in the city's well-known history of witches and supposed hauntings that continue to this day, and it's an easy trip from downtown Boston on the MBTA's commuter rail. Catch the train at North Station for $5.25 one way. Upon arrival in Salem, you can walk from Salem Depot to downtown shopping, dining, attractions, the waterfront and other Haunted Happenings, Salem's month-long schedule of Halloween events. Here are some of the event highlights to look forward to:
Salem Witch Museum
Detailing one of the most tragic events in Massachusetts history through exhibits and education, the popular Salem Witch Museum will be running extended hours all month.
Eeerie Evenings at the Witch House
Fridays and Saturdays through Oct., $10 adults, $5 children Get spooked with stories performed by costumed actors within the darkened rooms of the Witch House, the former home of Witch Trials judge Jonathan Corwin.
The House of the Seven Gables
Weekends through October, $15 each show, $27 for both.
Rumored to be haunted, the House of the Seven Gables was inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel of the same name. Hawthorne's great grandfather is said to have been one the main perpetrators of the Salem Witch Trials, making this mansion the perfect place for a pair of Halloween shows, the "Legacy of the Hanging Judge" and the "Spirits of the Gables." Reservations are highly recommended for both.
The Official Salem Witches' Halloween Ball
Oct. 29, 2010, 7:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m., $150 This annual dance at the Hawthorne Hotel will feature hors d'oeuvres, dancing, and plenty of witches, of course. The first 100 guests to arrive will receive gift bags with a retail value of over $300. This year's costume theme, by the way is "A Grimm Fairy Tale." There is a $1,000 first prize for best costume. Get cracking.
Hawthorne Hotel's Bedlam Behind Bars Annual Costume Ball
Oct. 30, 2010, $90 Or, if you prefer to bring the kids, the hotel also hosts a children's costume brunch on Oct. 24 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. $28.95 for adults, $16.50 for children.
Throughout the month Check out jack o'lanterns created by local children on the Salem Common. Check out www.hauntedhappenings.com for a complete schedule.
Trolley Tours One of the easiest ways to lean about Salem's history is by hopping aboard the city's trolley tour. Salem Trolley will offer extended hours all month. Reservations are recommended.