“It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus”
Happy Halloween! I couldn’t think of a better place or subject to discuss on Halloween than Salem.
Famous for the Salem Witch trials, as well as being the setting for one of my favorite movies, Hocus Pocus, Salem is a must visit place for everyone.
My sister-in-law and I planned an October girls trip of a life time. 5 days in Massachusetts, exploring Salem, Boston and seeing all the fall colors. (We hoped to,anyway. The leaves weren’t fully changed during our trip over October 16-20)
We drove from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, stopping in Boston, getting semi-settled in our air b&b and then heading straight for Salem.
It was Wednesday night around 6-7pm when we got there, with not too much going on but we couldn’t have been more excited.
We walked through the witch city mall, stocked up on the free touristy books and pamphlets and on a whim, called to see if there were any spots open for the 8pm walking night tour.
There were! (4 left to be exact) We snagged our spots and our stickers and were ready for our first tour of the trip.
Don’t miss out on the walking tours. It was so informative and our guide was AMAAAAZING. His name was Dave I think. Or Steve. I’m horrible with names. AH. Sorry, dude. But he did a really great job and wasn’t too hokey….if ya know what I mean.
After the tour was over, we said goodbye to Salem…until tomorrow
Some day planning and coffee and we were headed back into Salem. We stayed in Revere, which was a perfect distance between Salem and Boston.
Our first stop was for breakfast at the Ugly Mug. If you look at their yelp reviews, there’s usually a wait, but they have some reading materials so you can browse what things you want to do that day while you wait. They also have their menu posted outside (if you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I’m a fan of this)
The bathroom had flying coffee cups on the walls…..I had to take a picture
If they thought I’d think this mug is ugly , BOYYYYYYYY were they wrong. Gimme all the Christmas mugs.
Definitely worth the wait. Make sure you stop by the Ugly Mug Diner if you’re headed to Salem!
Next, we were set out to do some shopping and see all we could possibly fit into one day.
Our first stop, and my favorite store I stepped foot into in Salem, was Hauswitch. Guys! You gotta go. This store is weirdly cozy, so friendly (literally the lady who checked me out both days and purchases, let’s be bffs) and just packed full of goodness.
So, this is my first crystal ever. OUT OF A GUMBALL MACHINE! Ugh, I loved it. I got some sort of jasper…I have to look at my paper again. I wrote it down.
They have a shelf of little spell kits. So cute.
I purchased my first three crystals (besides the mystery machine) black tourmaline, Smokey quartz, fluorite
Such a great store. I’ll link their website. Make sure you check it out, follow them on Instagram and if you ever get the chance to go to the store, GO!
Did you even go to Salem if you don’t pose with the bewitched statue?
Next we headed to the witch dungeon museum, which is not the actual jail, but a replica. I liked this museum. It started off with a little show put on by actors and then you’re led downstairs and shown replicas of the cells the accused were kept in and more history. Gimme all the history. Have you heard about Giles Corey? Wow, homie. It’s intense.
Just being touristy. Better do it up right. Not going to lie though, I have a ginormous head and was definitely worried about sticking it in there
So, if you read my freedom trail post, Salem has a very similar situation with a red line running throughout, that will get you to the most sought after attractions. If you get lost, look for the red line. And if you’re going in October, make sure you have the Haunted Happenings magazine. There’s a map in there along with all sorts of events and goodies going on.
The red line took us to The Witch House
If you’re into history and such, don’t skip this. It was fascinating to see all the old time things and be in this house.
Don’t touch anything or use your flash though.
Another must visit is Witch City Wicks. It’s right by the Witch House. Sniff some candles and some rooms sprays. It’s a great store.
Skip Gallows Hill if you’re looking for more history and information. We did not think this show was worth the money, it was hokey and just a one man show trying to get people to jump. They have a haunted house type thing in the evenings but we were so unimpressed by the show, we did not go back to check it out.
Have you been to Gallows Hill and liked it? There was a HUGE line later on in the week. I can’t imagine being thrilled to wait in line for the 20 minute show we saw. But I’d love to hear other thoughts!
And now it’s time for lunch!
On our walking tour, our guide told us some spooky stories that took place in turners seafood, so we had to go.
Apparently there’s so ghostly happenings that take place upstairs sometimes.
We didn’t ask our waiter for any stories and the inside was just a really nice seafood restaurant.
Water, please. Because all we drink otherwise is coffee….and we desperately need to hydrate.
HOW CUTES THE WATER PITCHER?!
Want some bread? Of course I want bread. All the bread. (I’ve had better bread, though)
Bethany got the lobster bisque and a salmon burger. I tried a little of her salmon burger….no thanks over here.
I got clam chowder and Cesar salad. I would’ve added chicken but it was like major bucks to add chicken to your salad.
The chowder was sooo good though.
Dessert time. Bethany got an Apple crisp with ice cream and I got creme brûlée.
My first ever creme brûlée.
I’ve been dying to try this dessert because it’s so romanticized in movies and tv (and Rory’s dad, Christopher, buys everyone at the Yale Daily news a creme brûlée before they end up having to run out for a news story) and I’ve just always wanted to try it.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it did not disappoint. This dessert was so delicious and sweet and just everything a dessert should be. I’m afraid of fire, or I’d try to remake it at home. (Ha!)
Pretty tree just because it was pretty
“Rich people. They’ll probably make us drink cider and Bob for apples”
Recognize this house from Hocus Pocus?!
Allison’s house! Ahhhh, rich people.
If only it was decorated like from the movie. Ugh. My heart would’ve exploded.
Up next we went to the Salem Witch Museum. This was really good too. Another must do.
No pictures inside. But there was a big room you sit in, and a narrator talks about the history of the witch trials. After that, you walk through a place with a guide.
Afterwards, we walked around a little more, got some coffee and headed back to the air b&b.
And that wrapped up our first 24 hours in Salem.
Up next, day two in Salem!
So we did all the paid tours we wanted to do. So day two was all about shopping, free site seeing and just soaking in all the goodness of Salem. It was Friday at this point and it was starting to get a lot busier. From all the lines and crowds, we were so pumped we did all our tours on Thursday.
I took this picture simply because I liked the gate. How cute and rustic. When I finally get a fence, I want these cute gates! Ha!
First things first, we needed to see the memorial dedicated to all the innocent people who lost their lives during the witch hysteria of 1692.
The story of the Salem witch trials is truly heart breaking from beginning to end and this memorial was only built in 1992!
You hear a lot throughout the tours and such that Salem really tried to bury this time of their history, little did they know that one day their streets would be packed full of people wanting to learn all about the trials.
Even though it took them a very long time to memorialize the poor, innocent men and women, this is a very nice memorial.
We went to a cute coffee shop for coffees and pastries. I got the Hocus focus and cheese danish. I love Starbucks cheese danishes but these blew theirs out of the water.
Then we followed the red line to check out the house of the seven gables.
Bethany asked what gable is, and I had no clue. She then said “Well, there’s seven where we’re going, and Anne had a green one, but I don’t know what it is.” And I still laugh over her comment. But we still don’t know what it is.
When we got to the house of the seven gables, we were over spending money on tours, so unfortunately we did not take part in what they were offering.
It was so expensive but I really regret not buying candies here. I’m still dreaming about the peanut butter chocolate marshmallow things and the maple bacon chocolates. Ugh. They had chocolate covered goodies and a cases full of fudge and chocolates.
Pumpkin. Fudge! SOOOOOOO GOOD.
Seriously though, the cutest candy store.
Then we headed for lunch and stopped at the witch’s brew. Cute little bar/restaurant. Good clam chowder. Wouldn’t need to rush back though.
After lunch, we headed back to Hauswitch for more crystals. Another great place for crystals is the covens cottage. They don’t allow photos inside there, though, so I don’t have any.
Sundae stop lol
Then we headed to the location where Giles Corey was pressed to death. It is not a cemetery and most of the grave stones we read were of very, very young people. At 26 and 27, we were way older than most buried there.
After we wondered around a bit, we decided to head to the Hocus Pocus house.
This house is a private residence and there was someone literally at the window while I took my ridiculous fan photo, but I couldn’t miss the opportunity.
UGHHHHHHH I STILL LOVE THESE PHOTOS!!
Bethanys photo with the ocean ave sign. (Can anyone tell me why she insisted on this photo??????????? Comment if you know 😉
We stopped by the beach on the way back to the air b&b, which Bethany said was her favorite part of the trip.
We also found a “real, live hermit crab in the wild” that Bethany wanted to bring home for my son.
She’s hysterical. I was like where are we going to keep it for the next few days until we get home?!
Needless to say, she released it back into the wild
Crystal haul from covens cottage and we ordered pizza.
The next day the plan was to head to Boston and walk the freedom trail, which you can read about here, but we had to head back into Salem for one last time.
We got there around 7 and it was PACKED. We parked in the parking garage across from the visitors center, and headed into the crowds. There were soooo many people. Again, we were glad we did all the line and ticketed events we wanted to on Thursday. (It was Saturday at this point)
I love festive people
We went into wicked good books the day before, but had to stop by again because Bethany deemed it her favorite store. They didn’t allow photos inside, but believe me, it’s cute. A must stop for anyone who likes to read. They had a sign that said something along the lines of “see it here, buy it here, keep us here” and I liked that. I bought a book about the witch trials, per recommendation of one of the employees and also a crystals for beginners book.
We stopped and watched the Salem guitar guy (look him up on Instagram) as he played his guitar over the street fair. At one point, his cats were wrestling on that cat tower you see there. Too funny. Bethany said she found her future husband. (She needs her own reality tv show)
Picture of the insane crowds. I can’t imagine being there today, or this past weekend. I’m sure it is even fuller.
We asked a random stranger to take our photo together. The hustle and bustle of Salem on a Saturday night behind us. And it will forever be one of my favorite photos and marks one of my favorite trips, with one of my favorite people.
Thanks for reading along! This trip was amazing and I’m glad I was able to share it with you. I’ll be doing more posts about Salem in non-trip report style, but this just seemed right for my first post.
Have you been to Salem? I’d love to hear other thoughts and experiences of this wonderful place.
Feel free to leave a comment or let’s be friends on Instagram! @shorthairsandlongnaps