Monday, October 31, 2011

Pictures from the weekend

Dress for the occasion with Witch Tee's
Loved this family walking to the train.

You may need some ear flaps with your witch hat today (brrr).

Hats of all shapes and sizes for sale on Essex Street.

One of our many buskers.

You may run into these lovely ladies on the Pedestrian Mall.

Friday night on the Radio 92.9 Stage

The crowds on Sunday.

The Whiskey Brothers on the Fountain Stage on Sunday.

"You can go with this, or you can go with that."

Evan Goodrow Band on Sunday.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

You know you want a Witch Hat

Witch hats and Witch balls... the two most popular souvenirs in Salem.  I love seeing all of the visitors in their new hats exploring Salem.  There is a huge variety and price range for Witch Hats - you can get colorful hats and matching aprons at Pamplemousse, authentic hats at Hex, or elegant hats at Sophia's.

I stopped into Sophia's, where Maria decorates the hats herself.  I especially liked the ties...  it's always good to have something for the gentlemen!

Sophia's is a fantastic store at 105 Essex Street across from the Hawthorne Hotel.  It may be the most romantic store in Salem.

Weather Cancellations and Updates

Oh, this is so depressing.  I can't believe I'm beginning a blog post for weather cancellations because of a potential SNOW storm.

That said, we are still optimistic that we will get mostly rain and a wintery mix in Salem, and that it won't come in until this evening.  We are hoping that all daytime events will go off without a hitch, and most nighttime events (because they are inside) will also be unaffected.

Please drive safely tonight if there is a wintery mix falling in Salem.


Radio 929 Stage on Washington Street - Music has been cancelled for Saturday night (due more to the anticipated winds than to the precipitation).  The Shock Top Beer Garden will be OPEN from 4pm-11pm (with heaters).

The Haunted Film Series on Salem Common, featuring Beetlejuice tonight, has been cancelled.

The Salem Ferry shut down for the day after the 1pm departure from Salem.  For alternate transportation, please use the MBTA Commuter Rail Newburyport/Rockport line.  Schedules are available at

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Guidelines

The City of Salem anticipates tens of thousands of revelers to visit this weekend for the annual celebration of Halloween, and the culmination of the City’s month-long Haunted Happenings Festival.  Dozens of costume balls and parties hosted by Salem’s restaurants and hotels will be supplemented by a street party atmosphere that attracts visitors from around the world.

With Halloween falling on a Monday, both Saturday, October 29, and Monday, October 31 are expected to draw the most visitors.  Friday, October 28 and Sunday, October 30, will also be busy.  While the questionable weather forecast may keep some people away, many of the balls and parties on Saturday night are sold-out, so those revelers are expected to visit Salem regardless of weather. 

In preparation for the busy weekend, City Officials encourage visitors to:

  • Take public transportation.  The MBTA and Salem Ferry have expanded service for the weekend.  Taking public transportation is the best way to avoid traffic snarls coming into Salem.  Expanded MBTA service schedules are available online at Salem Ferry schedules are available at
  • Be prepared to pay for parking.  Parking in downtown Salem is a premium, and visitors who do drive should plan to pay $20 cash per day for parking.  MBTA lots in Beverly and Lynn have ample parking, and are less than a 10 minute train ride from the Salem depot.  Salem’s walkable downtown makes personal vehicles unnecessary once visitors have arrived.
  • Be aware of street closures.  Downtown street closures are planned for Monday after 5:00 PM, and closures will be executed on Saturday if deemed necessary for public safety.  Street closure and parking ban information is available at

Once in Salem, visitors are urged to bring their common sense, and be aware of the following rules and regulations that will be enforced during Halloween weekend:

  • Disorderly conduct will not be tolerated. Salem has tougher sanctions and will be issuing tripled fines, up to $300 per violation, for infractions including public drinking, vandalism, littering, and disorderly behavior.
  • Leave weapons – real or fake – at home.  They will be confiscated by police.
  • Public drinking will not be tolerated. Public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Salem.
  • Know when the party’s over. The event ends at 11:00 PM on Saturday night and 10:00 PM on Monday night.  Visitors who are not inside restaurants or private parties will be asked to depart Salem following the fireworks on Monday night.  Police and Public Works Department staff will begin clearing the streets at 10:30 pm.
There will be more than 200 police on the ground this weekend, including the Essex County Tactical Unit and the Plymouth County Mounted Unit.  Surveillance cameras are installed throughout the downtown and will be monitored by police officials throughout the weekend. 

Salem is a historic, residential community, and city officials are working diligently to mitigate visitor impacts to residents, provide effective crowd control, and encourage an orderly exit out of the City when festivities conclude.  Visitors to Salem who respect the City of Salem, its residents, businesses, and law enforcement officials will have a great time celebrating Halloween and Haunted Happenings.

Free public entertainment will be provided on the Haunted Happenings Main Stage, presented by Radio 92.9, on Washington Street at Federal Street from 5pm – 10:00pm on Friday, 5pm – 11pm on Saturday, 4pm – 10pm on Sunday, and 4pm – 10pm on Monday.   On Monday night, bands and DJs will provide free music on Salem Common, Hawthorne Boulevard, Front Street, and Derby Street.  The month-long Haunted Happenings celebration will conclude with a brilliant fireworks display over the North River at 10:00 pm on Monday.

Radio 929 is in the house!

The stage and tents are going up on Washington Street!  The Radio 92.9 Street Team is decorating their hearts out, and the music begins at 6:00 PM.

The weekend has officially begun!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Top Five Costume Balls in Salem this weekend

Are you ready?  Is your costume ready?  Here's the short list of the TOP FIVE Costume Balls in Salem.  They vary in price and intensity, so one of them is sure to fit your Halloween expectations.  Wherever you go, take pictures... and send them to me at  I just might share them on the blog next week!

5The Zombie Prom at Vic's Boathouse on Pickering Wharf.  Any party that merges zombies with high school prom dresses and ruffled tuxes has a bright future in my book.  9:30 PM on Friday, no cover,

4.    Bridget Bishop Costume Ball at 43 Church.  43 Church, located in the former Lyceum, is located on the land that belonged to Bridget Bishop, who was condemned during the Salem Witch Trials. This was her apple orchard, and some say they can smell apples... when there are none being cooked.  Toast Bridget's spirit with some hard cider on Saturday night.  8pm - 12am.

3.  Wicked Night on the Wharf at the Salem Waterfront Hotel boasts a costume competition, awesome music, and TV Diner host and Kiss 108 personality Billy Costa.  What more could you ask for? Saturday night, 6pm - 12am.

2.  The Official Salem Witches' Halloween Ball, the edgiest of the balls, this year the Witches' ball has a  Lords of the Underworld, theme.  The costumes for this ball are always fantastic, as is the entertainment.  Friday night, 7:30pm - 12:30am.

1.  The Hawthorne Hotel's Costume Ball has a Saturday Fright Fever theme this year, which leads me to believe there will be zombies doing the hustle. John Travolta should be watching his back, because I suspect his white leisure suit is going to be in high demand.  Three floors of music and entertainment await at this, the grandest ball of them all.  8pm - Midnight on Saturday.

There are other balls, parties, and live music events throughout the weekend.  Visit for all of the details.  So much fun, so hard to choose.  Which ball will you choose?!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Music Line-up for this weekend

Radio 92.9 has announced the band schedule for this weekend.  We have some terrific local talent coming to perform this weekend.  In addition to the music, Radio 92.9 will be running themed costume contests in the Shock Top Beer Garden all weekend.  

Here's the schedule: 

Sinners & Saints Night - $250 for the best costume!
6pm-7:15pm . . . Kitchen Jams
7:45pm- 9:00pm . . . Silhouette Rising
9:30-11:00pm . . . Life Electric

Monster Ball - $250 for the best costume!
4:00-5:15pm . . . 51 Shortfalls
5:45-6:45pm . . . Will Dailey and the Rivals
7:15- 8:45pm . . .Girls, Guns and Glory
9:15pm -10:00pm . . . The Replicas

Football Funday - Wear your best sports costume. $250 prize if it's really THE best! 
4:00pm-4:45pm . . . Luke Mulholland 
5:15pm-6:30pm . . . Jackson Wetherbee
7:00pm-8:15pm . . . Evan Goodrow Band
9:00pm -10:30pm . . . Drop Zone

It's a Halloween BASH! $250 prize for the best costume!
5:00-6:15pm . . . Jeff Conley Band
6:45-8:10pm . . . Adam Ezra Group
8:40-9:50pm . . . Drop Zone

10:00pm . . . FIREWORKS!

And don't forget about the final Family Film Night on Salem Common - This Saturday at 6:30 PM we will be watching Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice). It looks like it's going to be chilly, so bring a blanket and gloves! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Magic on Stage at Salem Theatre Company

Salem Theatre Company has opened  their stage to a bit of magic for October.  The show, "Tricks and Treats," is a grin-from-ear-to-ear kind of performance that includes sleight of hand, escapism, levitation, and a whole lot of laughter. 

Magician Evan Northrup poseses a perfect mix of actor and comedian, and his presentation and tricks are perfect for all ages.  He integrates the audience into several tricks, so if you don't want to end up on stage you may not want to sit in the front row.  

Tricks and Treats is running through Saturday, October 29.  Shows are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm.  Shows sold out last week, so buy tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Tickets are $10 each for all ages.   Visit for more information.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Midweek Burlesque at The Witches Cottage

We have a late addition to the Haunted Happenings schedule!  This week, Tuesday and Wednesday nights only, you can catch The Betsi Feathers Halloween Burlesque Special on stage at The Witches Cottage

Terrorize and tantalize your senses as these spooky seducers scare their own pants off!  This is a classic-style burlesque with a creepy twist! Get up close and personal in this interactive scare show of stunning beauties!!

Tuesday October 25 at 9pm
Wednesday October 26 at 9pm

As if the Betsi Feathers wasn't enough, the bill includes spook-tacular guest performers: Jimi Half-Dead and the Die Alongs, The Boston Babydolls, Pandora Fox, and Bryson Lang.

And, it's for a good cause! 20% of all proceeds benefiting the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem. All tickets $15. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

What do you mean you haven't been working on your costume for weeks?!

The countdown is on!  There is one week remaining until the Hawthorne Hotel's annual Halloween Costume Ball.  Three floors of entertainment and jaw-dropping costumes add up to a night to remember at the "Saturday Fright Fever" themed event on Saturday, October 29. 

Tickets are still available, but they are going fast.  Don't be left out in the cold on Salem's biggest weekend!  
Live music in the ballroom by HUSH, DJs in Sophia's and The Library (these are rooms, by the way), and Halloween decor to knock your socks off.  If you wear socks, that is.  Get out your best Disco zombie, your Studio 54 Frankenstein, your Discotheque Morticia.  Let's see those costumes do the Electric Slide! 

Here are a few pictures from past Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Balls to get you in the mood and spark your creative juices. 
Do not pass GO! Go directly to Jail.
Amazing effects.

Oooh, creepy. But can she do the Hustle?

The Hotel misses no opportunity for awesome decor!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkins on Parade

If you find yourself visiting Salem Common over the next two weeks, be sure to pay a visit to the Painted Pumpkin contest. The pumpkins, submitted by school children, offer a delightful display of mixed media approaches to gourd decoration!

Competition was fierce (especially for the pirate on the bottom row)
We are suckers for the Muppets, so Miss Piggy gets high marks.

The Haunted Happenings Parade theme was "Honoring those who serve," which has been well-carried over to pumpkin decorating.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MBTA Offers Extended Schedule for Haunted Happenings

With three weekends down and two to go, it is time to announce the MBTA's expanded Commuter Rail service between Boston and Salem.  We are delighted that the T is able to provide additional trains to help get everyone in and out of Salem.

We've said it before, and we'll say it again... Leave your broomstick at home and take the T to Salem Haunted Happenings!

There will be expanded service on October 22nd and 23rd as well as the 29th, 30th and 31st.  Please note that the MBTA parking lot in Salem will be closed on Halloween night from 8pm - Midnight in order to accommodate the crowds.

The Salem Ferry will also offer expanded service on Halloween, giving you two great options for public transportation that will get you to Salem Haunted Happenings safe-and-sound! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ghostly stories make for Eerie Evenings at the Witch House

I hate to jump to the punch-line and ruin the suspense, but if you haven't gotten your tickets for Eerie Evenings at the Witch House, you should probably click over to their online ticketing right now, because tickets are going fast, and space is, indeed, limited.

We love (absolutely love!) the mixture of history and ghost story that is baked into an experience just spooky enough for Haunted Happenings.  The show features several actors, we saw three, who tell stories steeped in true history and wrapped in details that are culled from the Salem Witch Trials and beyond.  Each actor spoke from a different era and perspective, and each story was connected with common elements.

Well-told ghost stories steeped in history leave you looking over your shoulder and wondering if those two kids behind you are the kids, and is that elderly woman hiding something under her cap? It may take a shiver or two before you shake the feeling that strange things may be afoot in Salem.

Eerie Evenings tickets cost $11. Performances are on October 21, 22, 28 and 29.  Click here for online ticketing, or call (978) 744-8815.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Family Fun Days on Salem Common

If you are bringing children to Salem for Haunted Happenings, make sure to check out the Family Fun Days on Salem Common on October 22-23 and 29-30.  Family Fun Days will give parents and kids a chance to unwind in a fright-free zone!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Alive after 5 this Weekend

"What's open after 5pm?" the concerned visitor asked.
"Well, let me tell you..." the cheerful info booth volunteer replied, "There's plenty to do after five in Salem during October!"

Here's the list...


13 Ghosts'  3-D Haunted House and Ghost Tours
Open until 9pm
131 Essex Street,

Authentic Salem Séance at OMEN
Friday and Saturday 8pm - 9:30pm
184 Essex Street, 978-666-0763,

Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery
Friday until  8pm, Saturday and Sunday until 10pm 
285 Derby Street, 978-740-0500,

Eerie Evenings at the Witch House
6pm - 10pm
310 Essex Street,, 978-744-8815

Fiesta Shows Carnival
289 Derby Street
Open until 10pm

Fright Nights at the Witches Cottage
Friday and Saturday until 10pm
7 Lynde Street, 978-825-0222,

Ghosts & Legends Trolley Tour
Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm
7 Lynde Street, 978-825-0222,

Haunted Harbor Cruise,
Mahi Mahi Cruises - Pickering Wharf
Evening departures from Pickering Wharf at 5pm and 7pm. 978-825-0001,

The Haunted Movie Series presents Casper on Salem Common
Saturday at 6:30pm
FREE to the Public. Presented by Radio 92.9.

Haunted Neighborhood at the Salem Wax Museum
Friday and Saturday until 10pm
288 Derby Street, 978-744-2929,
Includes the Salem Wax Museum, Frankenstein’s Laboratory, the Haunted Witch Village, Candlelit Ghostly Tour, Within the Witching Hour spell casting.

Legacy of the Hanging Judge at the House of the Seven Gables
Friday and Saturday, 7:15pm - 11pm. Runs continuously, 35 minutes long.
978-744-0991 ex. 104,

Salem Harvest Fest—21+
Saturday, 2pm - 4:30pm and 5:30pm - 8pm (two sessions)
Knights of Columbus 94 Washington Square, 978-745-2900,

Salem Witch Museum
 Friday and Saturday until 10pm
19 1/2 Washington Square North, 978-744-1692,

Spirits of the Gables at the House of the Seven Gables
Friday and Saturday, 7:15pm - 11pm. Runs continuously.
978-744-0991 ex. 104,

Summon the Dead Theatrical Séance
Friday and Saturday 9:15pm
7 Lynde Street, 978-825-0222,

Surrealist Film and Game Night
Friday night 7pm - 9pm
Peabody Essex Museum, 978-745-9500,

Tales & Tombstones Trolley Tours

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 6pm - 8:30pm Tour is approximately 1 hour
8 Central Street, 978-744-5469,

Witch City Cruise & Glow Costume Event
Friday until 8:30pm
Essex Street between Hawthorne Boulevard and New Liberty Street


Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tours—7pm & 8pm
8 Central Street, 978-745-0666,

Salem Night Tours—8pm
127 Essex Street, 978-741-1170,

Salem Witch Walk
125 Essex Street, 978-666-0884,

Witch Trial Trail—7pm
Old Town Hall at Front Street,

And, if that's not enough, look for live music at Green Land Café, Finz, Gulu Gulu Café, Rockafellas, and Vic’s Boathouse (21+)

Visit and for additional events.

Haunted Happenings for Kids this Weekend

Haunted Happenings has events, programs and attractions for all ages, but sometimes it’s tough to find the family-friendly, gentler scares.  Here’s a quick list of attractions and events scheduled for the weekend of October 14-16 that may work for your kids.* 

This list was created for the average 10-and-under visitor.  
Special Events

16th Annual Children's Day on Salem Common

Saturday, 10am - 5pm. Costume contest at noon, Rides, games, pony rides, free entertainment by Wayne from Maine at 1pm. Salem Common |

Ask a Witch-Make a Wand
Saturday and Sunday, 11am - 6pm, Sponsored by the Witches Education League this event allows children to make a wand and ask questions about witches and witchcraft! $1.00. Pickering Wharf, 978-745-0065,

Eerie Evenings at the Witch House

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 6pm - 10pm
Featuring all new ghostly stories performed by costumed actors in a darkened, authentic setting. Performances every 20 minutes.  310 Essex Street, 978-744-8815,

Fiesta Shows Carnival
Mon-Fri 3-10pm, Sat-Sun and Halloween Noon to 10pm, 289 Derby Street

The Haunted Movie Series on Salem Common - Featuring Casper 6:30pm. October 15 feature is Casper. FREE!  Salem Common.

Sea Shanties at the Ship Stage on Derby WharfSaturday, 11am and 1pm, Join National Park staff and performers in singing rousing Sea Shanties at "Ship Stage" at the Salem Maritime National Park. 193 Derby Street.

Witch City Cruise & Glow Costume Event
Friday, October 14, 6pm - 8:30pm, Essex Street (between Hawthorne Boulevard and Liberty Street)

Witch City Car Show on Central Wharf Saturday, 10am - 3pm, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 193 Derby Street

Wizardly Wonders at the Witches CottageSaturday and Sunday, 10am, 7 Lynde Street, 978-825-0222,

Haunted Houses & Attractions 

Griswold’s Ghostly Grove
Haunted house for children. Museum Place Mall

New England Pirate Museum
Visit a re-created dockside village and pirate ship and experience the adventures of New England’s sea-robbers.  Arrh! 274 Derby Street,

Peabody Essex Museum
It’s not haunted or scary, but Ripple Effect, the Art of H20 exhibit is interactive and fun for all ages.  161 Essex Street. Pioneer Village: Salem 1630
At forest river park. Presenting a “haunted Salem Village” during October. | 978-606-7426

Playground on Salem Common
There’s no better free fun than letting the kids run around on a playground!  Southeast corner of the Common.

Salem’s 13 Ghosts 3-D Haunted House
Will temper the haunted house experience for younger kids.  131 Essex Street,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Children's Day this Weekend

If you are traveling with kids, you won't want to miss the 16th Annual Children's Day on Salem Common this weekend, Saturday, October 15 from 10am - 5pm.

The costume parade and musical entertainment are free, and there is a small fee for the rides and games.  The weather looks good for Saturday, so this will be a fun-for-all-ages kind of day.

Stick around after Children's Day for the FREE film on the Common, featuring Casper, presented by Radio 92.9.  Nearly 300 people turned out last Saturday for Monsters, Inc., and everyone had a great time!  This weekend should be just as great. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Images from Biz Baz Weekend

Many thanks to the thousands of people who made Salem your destination this past weekend.  We hope you enjoyed the Biz Baz, movie on the Common, Spirits of the Gables, walking tours, museums, shopping and dining. 

Here are some pictures from the weekend.  If we didn't see you this weekend (or even if we did!), we hope to see you soon.  Twenty days remain in Salem Haunted Happenings - plenty of time to join us for Halloween fun!

Music on the Fountain Stage presented by The Gathering

Glass pumpkins for sale at the Biz Baz Street Fair

ALL SOLD OUT! (Make sure you make reservations!)

Mortuary Art by The Gravestone Girls

Day of the Dead art

Witch hats and butterfly wings

We saw a lot of happy Segway tours this weekend!

Monsters being nice at Frankenstein's Lab in the Haunted Village

A Cappella serenade by Salem High School's "Witch Pitch" group

Monday, October 10, 2011

Macaroni Kid loves Salem

The popular New Jersey parent blog Macaroni Kid took a road trip to Salem this weekend, and they had a great time!  You've been listening to me enough lately... here's what Macaroni Kid had to say about Salem.

Road Trip: Salem, Massachusetts
One of my very favorite trips is going to Salem, Massachusetts in October.  The town is rich with history, tradition, and fun!  This is a trip I highly recommend for families because there is so much to do!  Click for more...

Salem's 13 Ghosts 

Haunted houses aren't exactly kid friendly, from what I have experienced.  But, my kids have been dying to go to one, as they are a bit older. We definitely wanted to see if we could find one in Salem and what we found was perfect! Click for more...

Salem 1630: Pioneer Village 
...Down the path was a blacksmith's cabin, where he demonstrated his trade. Beautiful gardens, thatched huts, and wigwams are also located throughout the three acre plot of land.  It was fun to be taken back in time and this was something our kids really enjoyed.  Click for more...

Cry Innocent: The People Verses Bridget Bishop
You can't make a visit to Salem and ignore the Witch Trial history.  There are reminders everywhere. But, if you are looking for an interesting way to learn about it, going to see Cry Innocent is a must! Click for more...

Thanks, Macaroni Kid, for such glowing reviews of our family-friendly attractions, programs and museums! We hope you come back to Salem soon. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Trick or Treating on Essex Street

Hundreds of children swarmed the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall last night to Trick-or-Treat with Mayor Driscoll.  A great time was had by all!  Here are a few pictures...

This guy was having a great time scaring the kids.

I hope you can see the expression of delight!

A beautiful evening

Anyone hiring?

Mud Puddle Toys handed out small toy treats and pencils

The Biz Baz Street Fair is today and tomorrow, and don't forget about the free Family Film Night on the Common tonight.  So much to do!

Happy Haunted Happenings!