A Town of Witches ✨

Warm greetings to all! :sparkling_heart:

There’s been a few mentions in the forums lately of one of my most favorite places to visit, close to where I grew up! Although many people have of heard of this town, it is interesting that different people have completely different visions of this important historical and religious location.

Let’s take a look at the famous “Witch Town”:

:crystal_ball: Salem, Massachusetts! :full_moon:

~History~
The town of Salem, Massachusetts is most commonly known for being the location of the Salem Witch Trials in the 1690s, where a wave of hysteria caused 20 people to be accused of being witches and were tragically sentenced to death. The Town later gained interest with various practitioners of magick and those with an interest in the occult. Salem is a town of interest not only for its ties to witchcraft but also for its beautiful scenery and varied history.

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Today there are numerous museums, monuments, and memorials dedicated to the history surrounding the Salem Witch Trials, where visitors can experience what the town was like during the early colonial period, and learn more about the religious ties to the region.

Salem is also home to the National Historic Landmark: The House of Seven Gables :house: . This is the home that famous American author Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote his book House of Seven Gables in 1851 :open_book:. The estate is beautiful and in addition to touring the gorgeous house, the landscaping and herb gardens outside are also a pleasure to visit :sunflower:

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~International Arts and Culture~
While Salem is more commonly known for its ties to witch culture and American history, Salem is a place where international arts and culture thrive. The Peabody Essex Museum located on the main street close to the waterfront has a beautiful collection of arts and historical artifacts from around the world.

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The most stunning exhibit in the museum is Yin Yu Tang- a traditional Chinese house saved and brought over piece by piece from China. Visitors can explore the completely restored building in all its majesty and learn about the fascinating cultures of distant lands.

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~Tourism~
Tourism is the main draw to the city of Salem, MA and most of the exhibits and attractions are either based on witchcraft or historical tours. In addition to historical sites, museums, and numerous shopping opportunities, Salem also boasts a beautiful waterfront with walkable docks leading out into the harbor :motor_boat: .


Being right on the ocean caused the creation of some top-notch seafood restaurants :fish: , and there are beaches not too far away for swimming :beach_umbrella:. If you’re in Massachusetts and by the water, don’t forget to try the local specialities: clam chowder :bowl_with_spoon: and lobster rolls :lobster:!

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~Halloween~
Salem is the Halloween capital of the world! :bat: Festivities begin as soon as October arrives, and the town of Salem is packed with tourists for the entire month of October.


On the 31st, walking through Salem is an out-of-this-world experience, with the entire downtown closed off to traffic and numerous parties spilling out into the streets. Everyone wears costumes, there is live music, a carnival offers rides and attractions, and many street vendors have interesting festival delicacies for sale. :yum:

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~New Age of Witchcraft~
The unfortunate Salem Witch Trials sprung out of religious fear and unfounded beliefs, and for many generations after the trials the subject of ‘witchcraft’ was taboo in the area :shushing_face: . However, new times brought big changes and the history of the trials gained new interest and eventually led to historical research and tourism in the town :books: .

While many attractions are clearly designed for tourists looking for a thrill, Salem has also become the home base of serious religious practices that revolve around different interpretations of witchcraft and paganism. Here’s an interesting article that goes to depth about the different views of witchcraft: There weren’t any witches in Salem in 1693- but there sure are now .

There are countless witchy shops of various levels of intensity along the main street and the waterfront. Some are clearly very touristy- selling silly merchandise and trinkets based on old stereotypes. Others are very serious witch stores, where you can go for magical advice, spiritual readings, or to purchase high-quality tools for your craft.

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A few of the more famous shops include:

And I can’t forget my childhood favorite: the Harry-Potter themed Wynotts Wands:sparkles: and attached shop Remember Salem :broom:.


Have you ever been to Salem?

  • Yes!
  • No, but I want to go!
  • No, and it’s not for me.

0 voters


I absolutely love the town of Salem and all its fascinating aspects- there’s really something there for everyone! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: If you’ve been and have recommendations, know of another witchy town, or have any thoughts about Salem (perhaps on the sometimes controversial balance between serious witch practitioners and tourism based off of Hollywood stereotypes) please feel free to share below!

May you go on great adventures both outside and within, and may the long road always lead you back home again!

Blessed Be! :sparkling_heart:

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What about Pioneer Village? Are they still open? I used to get to work up there and work with the New England Pirate Faire when they used to run it! I would fire cannons and do fire shows! It was a literal blast!
My favorite about Salem is the old graveyards. There is something about the ancient art in gravestone carving that makes New England graves so beautiful and unique.

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Great post, @TheTravelWitch!!! :heart_eyes:

Thanks for showing us the historical and cultural sides of Salem and not just the witchy things! I’ve never been there but there sure seems to be a lot of hype!

That Vox article is also really interesting. I found a similar article (in a video!) for those interested in learning about what happened in Salem back then:

I look forward to visiting soon! My wife has family in Scituate, Massachussets so it’s probably not too far!

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Ahhhh I forgot about Pioneer Village! I haven’t been since my parents brought me there as a child- I mostly just remember the pretty flowers in the gardens and not much else :laughing::sunflower:.

That’s so cool you used to work with the New England Pirate Faire!!! :star_struck: I forgot about the pirate history in the area too- I think there’s a pirate museum somewhere near main street? :pirate_flag: Salem has so much going on, it seems there’s always more to explore!

You’re right- there’s something unique about the old graveyards. Salem has a few that I remember, and there was one old graveyard in Boston, along the Freedom Trail if I remember correctly, that is beautiful. Walking into the graveyard always reminds me of passing through the torii gates in Japan :shinto_shrine:. You can feel the shift in the area, and you know you’re entering a different space- I always get shivers! :laughing: :sparkles:

Ahhhh what a small world! Both of my parents are from Scituate- I practically grew up there! :star_struck: It’s changed a lot in the past few years, but still a lovely area. I recommend getting sub sandwiches at the local favorite Maria’s and eating them on the jetty at Scituate Light House :two_hearts:

And yes- it’s not too far from Salem! If you have the time, do a coastal trip up Massachusetts :+1: . Start on the Cape, head through Plymouth and Scituate, through Boston, and head up to Salem and then Rockport and Glouster! :world_map::two_hearts: When you and your wife get the chance to do a Massachusetts adventure, I’d love to know how it goes! (And to see pictures of your exciting journey in MA!) :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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That pirate museum up in Salem is awful, it’s mostly creepy mannequins and very little history! I prefer the artifacts with the Whydah exhibit. I know there is one in Provencetown, and one more south further. I used to run the National Geographic Real Pirates Exhibit #2. (#1 was annoyingly cooler).
Pioneer village is where they filmed part of Hocus Pocus! I got to stay in the “Sanderson Sister’s” house when I was working for them on year.

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Thanks for the recommendations, @TheTravelWitch and @chelsey1! I hope I’ll get to visit MA soon!

I remember going there! We did the freedom trail and saw the graveyard and some really old houses, it was really intriguing and powerful!

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Thank you for saving me from a creepy experience! :joy: Hahaha I guess I’m glad I never made it into the pirate museum. I know Salem has a wax museum too, but that one I was definitely too afraid to go inside! Although it looks like they may be one and the same…

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Ahhhh I had no idea!!! I know they filmed at least part of Hocus Pocus in Salem, but I never knew where exactly. That is so cool you stayed in the Sanderson Sister’s House :heart_eyes: Does it still have a ‘witchy feel’ to it, or were most of the decorations in the movie just part of the film? Oohhhh I really want to go back and visit Pioneer! :laughing:

Aaahhh I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit to the trail! :two_hearts: It does take a while to see everything, but it’s a lovely walk with so much history and so many powerful spots- like those old and serene graveyards! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

It did not feel witchy at all to stay in the house…just cool and old. All the decor was from the movie.
I did get to fire black powder guns behind the houses for a demo. That was sooooo many years ago!

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Aaaaahhhhhh Chelsey you look so cool!!! :heart_eyes: What an amazing outfit :clap: Can I ask if you made it/collected the pieces yourself, or if it was provided by your work? It honestly looks so amazing!

Seeing your awesome outfit, I’m really missing ren faires! :pirate_flag::crown: It should be just about the season for them now, back in MA. Although I imagine that most faires, re-enactments, and other gatherings of the sort have all been postponed to new year :spiral_calendar:

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Look at that! I want one now! :laughing:

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