Cast a Spell in Salem, Massachusetts

Posted October 13, 2009 by Kate Hamman

MA-Salem-Hawth-DEF The ultimate Halloween destination, Salem can be a magical place to visit, especially during Haunted Happenings in October. However, this small New England town casts quite a spell at any time of year. Whether you come in October or April, take a walk on the supernatural side, while feeding your imagination, creature comforts, and sweet cravings.

Spellbound Tours: Salem's spirited past can be a bit overwhelming, which is where Mollie Stewart, licensed ghost hunter and certified parapsychologist, comes in. Join in a "Vampires and Ghost Hunt"—not for the faint of heart—from April through October, where you will visit a haunted graveyard, jail, and the original witch dungeon under the darkness of night. For those who prefer the light of day, you can also take part in a "Witchcraft Tour," which follows in the historical footsteps of the trials in 1692. Superstitiously priced at $13 for adults, you must book far in advance for tours in the popular month of October.

Hawthorne Hotel: It's only fitting that Salem would honor its most prominent native author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who penned classics such as The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables, by naming a hotel after him. As Salem's only full-service historical lodging, the Hawthorne Hotel caters to people from all over the world, and has been doing so since the 1920s. The six-story building sits near the Town Commons and all that is spooky and splendid. And for a special treat, stay during Halloween, when the hotel throws its annual Costume Ball.

Ye Olde Pepper Companie: Don't be tricked by the name, as there's nothing spicy about the treats at America's oldest candy company. Indulge your sweet tooth with its fudge, almond buttercrunch, chocolates, and turtles, each handmade from original 1806 recipes. For something truly authentic, try one of the lemon or peppermint Salem Gibralters, the first candy to be commercially sold in the U.S. Prices are tallied by weight, with chocolates starting at $18.98 per pound.

To search for flights and compare prices to Boston, which is home to Salem’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau)

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