It’s decked out in autumn colors, full of fun and unusual visitors, and it has a very creepy past. Plus, it goes on all over the city for the entire Halloween season. (We know. Squee!)
It’s Salem, Massachusetts’ annual Haunted Happenings, and if you’ve never been to this spooky all-city soiree, it’s definitely time to change that, Halloween fans!
While communities around the world claim to play host to the ultimate Halloween celebrations, a few stand out head, shoulders and hung neck above the rest. At the top of that list is the city affectionately called “The Witch City.”
Haunted Happenings is about to open for its annual all-autumn bash, so get your ghost on! Here’s the scary scoop on this phantasmically fantastic festival.
What (and When, and Where) is Haunted Happenings?
Haunted Happenings is a city-wide celebration of all things Halloween, esoteric, and historic in and around Salem, MA.
Full of games, movies, contests, a gigantic Halloween parade, demonstrations and more, Haunted Happenings lasts through September and October and offers something for everyone.
First celebrated in 1982, Haunted Happenings began as the dream of Joan Gormally, former Salem of Commerce Executive Director; Susannah Stuart, former Director of the Salem Witch Museum; and a whole bunch of die-hard (see what we did there?) Halloween and Salem fans.
This ghoulish group sawHaunted Happenings as a way to bring national and international media attention to Salem. They also envisioned a way to put the frightening history of the Salem Witch Trials in a more modern light, while educating fascinating visitors.
Originally a three-day weekend affair, the popularity of the event grew to a full 11 days in 1992 and last year occurred over 24 days beginning October 10 through November 2. Referred to by Mayor Neil J. Harrington as “The Ultimate Halloween Destination,” Haunted Happenings welcomes tens of thousands of Halloween enthusiasts each year.
Plan Your Own Spooky Tour
There’s SO much to do at Haunted Happenings, and more gets added every year; check here for a current itinerary. Meanwhile, enjoy these traditional scares:
- Autumn Equinox Workshop
- Farmer’s Market
- Haunted Dinner Theater
- Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour
- House of the Seven Gables
- New England Pirate Museum
- Peabody Essex Museum
- Psychic Fair
- Salem 1630: Pioneer Village
- Salem Trolley, Corp.
- Salem Wax Museum of Witches and Seafarers
- Salem Witch Museum
- Salem Witch Village
- Tarot and Other Readings
- Terror on the Wharf
- Wicked Half Marathon
- Wine & Cheese Stroll
- Witch Dungeon Museum
- The Witch House
Get more information and a Free Guide here. Enjoy, Halloween fans!