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Dark Tourism:


Salem’s dark past is remembered, never celebrated … ”

Ahh Salem. 

It conjures images of misty nights, heavy with salty air, intrigue and magic.

In reality, it’s a tourism mecca where occult and gift shops line Witch Mall, and everything is stamped with a witch character or pagan symbol … and it’s truly magnificent.

Dubbed the Witch City due to the horrendously unjust witch trials which took place there in 1692, it wasn’t until a sterling silver ‘witch spoon’ was created and sold during the late 1890s that Salem started to trade on its witchy heritage. By the 1970s when Bewitched filmed there, Salem became a fully fledged tourist destination drawing visitors from all over the world.

A dark past

Despite the numerous tourism sites dedicated to the trials, Salem’s dark past is remembered, never celebrated. The city is now a living memorial to the 19 innocent people – 14 women and 5 men – who were hanged, and one man was pressed to death there in 1692.

Even though the many occult shops, fortune tellers, ghost tours and stores selling Halloween-themed good all year ‘round are a true delight to visit, you’re reminded of the atrocities that happened there and urged to learn from them.

It’s long been on my bucket list and, as I wanted to see everything on my list, I decided not to go over Halloween for Haunted Happenings, when the lines are long and the city overcrowded. It would be an amazing experience at Halloween, sure, but maybe as a return visit! 

Here’s the must-see sights and tours if you’re planning to go.

The Satanic Temple

One of my favourite places to visit in Salem, the Satanic Temple is truly inspiring. You’re greeted by a massive statue of Baphomet and are welcome to peruse the incredible library and art gallery. Make sure you watch the documentary Hail, Satan? before you go for an even better experience.



The Witch Museum

This imposing, Gothic-type building is one of the most popular attractions in Salem. It has dodgy life-size stage sets and exhibits that have seen better days, but the historical aspect is fantastic.

House of Seven Gables

Made famous as the leading lady in a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1851, this house was built in 1668 and is riiiiight on the beautiful waterfront. The history here is palpable and even though it’s a little out of the way, it’s worth the effort.

Old Burying Point

Sombre and poignant, a visit to pay your respects to those who lost their lives in the 1692 trials is a must. Old Burying Point is one of the oldest cemeteries in the US, and Proctor’s Ledge is a lovely memorial close to where the hangings occurred.

The Witch House

The only building in Salem with direct ties to the witch trials, the Witch House was built in 1642 and was the former home of trials judge Jonathan Corwin.


Bewitched Statue

Right in the centre of town, you can’t miss this statue of Elizabeth Mongomery as Samantha the witch from TV show Bewitched. Just look for the crowd! And if you don’t have a selfie with Sam, have you even been to Salem?

Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery

It’s a little pricey, but if you like horror movies, you’re going to want to visit Orlock’s with  life-size horror character displays by Hollywood SPFX artists.


Hocus Pocus sites

If you’re a fan of the cult 1993 film about the Salem Sanderson sisters, you can visit Ropes Mansion (where Allison lived), the house where Max and Dani lived, the Town Hall, and Salem Common where loads of scenes were filmed.

Best tours

There’s a million to choose from. I did two with Salem Historical Tours and they were fab, but the highlight was a tour with Tom, who runs Satanic Salem Walking Tours. Tom is a brilliant guide and provides an alternate view of Salem’s history and heritage; an absolute must-do.

Best accommodation

We stayed at the fabulous Harry Potter Fan AirBnB which features three themed rooms from the Harry Potter Potter universe – Harry and Ron’s Dorm Room at Hogwarts, the Dark Lord’s Chambers and the Fantastic Beasts Room. It’s magnificent!

Want to visit?

If you want to visit Salem, head to the Salem tourism website:


Andrea is the founder of Hallozween and a paranormal enthusiast who has visited locations all over the world.


Andrea is the founder of Hallozween and a paranormal enthusiast who has visited locations all over the world.

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