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Oct-28-2017 22:40printcomments

The Witch City is the Perfect Place to be this Halloween

Salem is a great destination at Halloween and all year-round!

salem massachusetts
Salem, Mass shipping in the 1770s
Photo: Public Domain

(SALEM, Ore.) - SALEM... The very word conjures up decidedly spooky, haunting images perfect for October.

This is a very witchy town indeed, with a flying witch on the police cars, banks with spooky names, and stores that sell all kinds of magical things. Not to mention restaurants that specifically play on the city’s spookily storied history!

It’s no wonder it’s such a popular destination for Halloween lovers. Holidays can cost but still it’s fun to be part of such adventure.

The Salem in reference is not on the west coast. No, this is "the" Salem, where "it all happened".

Salem, Massachusetts’s witchy history can be traced back to the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century. Do you really know what happened all those years ago?

At the time leading up to the trials, Salem was governed by the Church, which led to some very strict rules and laws. Deviation from the prescribed ways was unacceptable.

Soon, it came to the Church’s attention that there were people in the area who were practicing witchcraft, something that was strictly against the teachings of the church.

Title page of A Modest Enquiry Into the Nature of Witchcraft
by John Hale (Boston, 1702)

In January of 1692, it seemed as though a group of girls started acting strangely. In reality, they were probably having seizures, but to onlookers it seemed as though they were possessed. No one understood what was happening, and no doctor could find anything medically wrong with them.

It was assumed that the witches of the region had cursed the girls. Soon, witchcraft accusations were flung around, beginning with three women. Over the next two years, as many as 200 people were arrested on charges of witchcraft, several of whom were hanged.

Even hundreds of years later our spectacular city combines history, hauntings, and fun to provide a wide variety of attractions and activities for the whole family.

This city’s spooky history is on display all the time, but in October they let their "freak flag" fly particularly proudly. There are ghost tours, a parade, haunted cruises (they are near a harbor, after all), theater performances and more, all with the goal of getting you in the mood for the most haunting night of the year.

There are kid-friendly activities and some that are for adults only, from mildly spooky to downright terrifying!

Founded in 1626, Salem, Massachusetts has grown to a city of more than 40,000 people. Aside from the Witch Trials, Salem also played important roles in American history, being instrumental in the War of 1812 and other conflicts.

For more information about the city’s Maritime history, check out the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, where you can visit a replica of a 1700s merchant ship. For an even more hands-on experience, book a ride on the replica 1812 privateer, “Fame.”

If literature is your thing, you'll be thrilled to know Salem was home to such famous novelists as Nathanial Hawthorne, and poet Anne Bradstreet. Visitors to the city can check out Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables, the home that is said to have been the inspiration for his famous novel of the same name. Whatever your reason for visiting the Salem Massachusetts area, you’re sure to find something to love. And if you love all things Halloween and historical, there could be few better-suited cities in America to indulge both of those loves.

In Salem, Oregon? Go on one of the weekly Ghost Tours! You'll learn inside stories about Oregon's capitol city while walking the steps long trodden by those that came before.

Make visiting all the spooky Salems a family tradition! There is something for everyone to see and do, from your littlest family member all the way up to Grandma and Grandpa.

Source: Special Features Dept. #SalemOregon #SalemMass #WitchCity #HauntedSalem


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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