Maybe it is the history, but Salem has a special, neat, Halloween feel surrounding it all year. But this time of year is Salem’s time to shine bright as the night of Halloween approaches. In fact, nobody needs to wait for October 31 in Salem because every night in October is Halloween as far as Salem is concerned!
Salem is easily accessible from the Rockport/Newbury line off the MBTA commuter rail. This is the most convenient as it is only a half hour or so ride from North Station in Boston. But on October 31, parking and traffic itself will be crazy so commuter rail is a good alternative to driving. Besides, everyone will be dressed up so one can see all the costumes on their way to and from Salem on the trains. After all, who else can say they rode a train with Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, a few zombies, and Wonder Woman all in the same car?
The night began with a viewing of Casper the Friendly Ghost in Salem Common. Watching a movie in the big screen outside is reminiscent of days gone by when drive in movies were the thing. Only this time, families and friends were sitting on the grass and watching the movie as they munched on Halloween candy they bought from Walgreens nearby or pizza or ice cream they bought from one of the vendors right outside Salem Common.
By the time the movie ended, the night was just beginning. It was clearly busier in Salem as the streets were filled with traffic and many people were out in costumes. Teletubbies could be seen sharing the street with Freddy Krueger and witches. The haunted houses were open, and there were big lines for the museums. One of the most popular in Salem is the Salem Witch Museum considering Salem’s history of the witch trials. There were also walking tours for $12. But it was better to just walk around for free and if one sees the tour guide talking about something interesting, watch and then walk away after they start to go to the next one. That way one can still see interesting things from time to time through the night without paying that fee. (ssshhhh. No one read this here, ok?) The neatest looking tour looked like it would be the candle lighted cemetery tour. But it was overheard that candles were $20. No one said going to Salem during this time of year was cheap, but observation is free, and it was the best thing.
Last night was only a preview of what October 31 will bring. On Halloween (in the case of 2011, it will be Halloween weekend since Halloween is on a Monday this year). Salem, MA will be the place to be! Get out the costume, come out and have fun, and learn about Salem’s history in the museums too!