From the Grim to the Mystical, These are 6 of the Top Attractions in Salem, MA
Salem Comes Alive in the Fall
Salem, MA was one of the wealthiest ports in America during the 19th century. It has a fascinating, multi-layered history packed with witches, pirates, pilgrims and so much more. It’s a friendly and walkable city and there’s so much to see and do.
Of course, one of the best times to visit Salem is during October. During the Halloween season, this spooky “witch town” has a fascinating aura and comes alive with tours and events. You can even attend the Haunted Happenings festival, with live shows and special programs that give insight into Salem’s creepy past.
Also, New England is known for having incredible fall foliage. While you’re in Salem, this is a great opportunity to see the colors of autumn. No matter where you go, you’ll see spectacular red, orange and yellow leaves.
Here are a few of the main things to do in Salem, MA to keep you entertained and maybe even a little creeped out.
The Peabody Essex Museum
The Peabody Essex Museum is one of the oldest operating museums in the United States, founded in 1799 when Salem merchants brought back treasures from the Far East. It showcases architecture, maritime art, New England art and also artwork from all over the world. You can even find the original court documents from the witchcraft trials at the Phillip’s Library on the museum’s campus.
Even the building itself is a work of art, with an impressive light-filled atrium and spacious exhibition halls. If you are visiting with kids, the Art & Nature Center is a fun and interactive museum with games and hands-on exhibits designed specifically for little ones.
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The Salem Witch Museum
At the Salem Witch Museum, you can learn about the complex history of witches — from Wiccans to healers to midwives and more. The main presentation at the museum is the best way to experience what the witch trials of 1692 were like.
The museum guides you through with life-size stage sets, actual trial documents, and figures and narration. Plus, there’s a second exhibit that features live guides as they explain how the perception of witches has changed over the areas and how the frightening phenomenon of witch hunting still continues on today.
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The Witch Trials Memorial
One of the most moving sights in Salem is the peaceful Salem Witch Trials Memorial in a park behind the Peabody Essex Museum. Here, simple stones are inscribed with the names and the final words of the victims of the witch hunt.
The memorial acknowledges the injustice that befell these victims and honors their memory in a beautiful way. It’s a place to reflect on tolerance and understanding and think about the human suffering that was caused by witchcraft hysteria.