Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts is spectacular and recommended for all. We ensured that we took part in everything that the city had to offer on this special day. We started the day by visiting various “haunted” attractions around the city. These were the entertainment-style haunted houses and not historical homes. We started off at the Nightmare Gallery. The Nightmare Gallery contains a collection of highly detailed wax statues depicting characters from major Halloween movies. The wax statues are interspersed with real actors who jump out and scare people. We stood in a considerably long line but were entertained by the actor who played Michael Myers in the original Halloween. He was highly entertaining.

One might think that the Nightmare Gallery would be a bit much for a four year old, but it is just another attraction for any child who has grown up in Salem. My son took the entire attraction in stride and even hi-fived and received candy from a chainsaw wielding clown who put on quite a different show for the more mature audience.

After the Nightmare Gallery, we headed over to Thirteen Ghosts. This is a far-less intense attraction. It consists of a maze like path through a haunted attraction that is painted floor-to-ceiling in 3D paint. It is quite a trippy experience, and one must struggle to keep one’s balance and find one’s way through a disorienting series of rooms. Of course, these rooms are all dotted with the occasional actor sneaking or jumping up on one. This is perhaps my son’s favorite Halloween venue in the city.I think the cartoonish nature of the paint and surroundings appeals to him.

After Thirteen Ghosts, we took a haunted ghost tour lead by a costumed man and woman. It was quite a production, and a jaunt around Salem’s real and historic “haunted” homes was a welcome change. My son was not so enthusiastic and started to make quite a scene in a hundreds of years old graveyard. We found the needed respite for him in a trick-or-treating foray and a nightime carnival on the waterfront.

We ended the day with a late trip to the Witch’s Cottage. I had no idea this place even existed, but I will never forget it. The Witch’s Cottage is a seasonal theatre where costumed actors present a documentary-style show on ghosts and witches. It has surprising special effects and less well-known, local stories. It is quite excellent and highly recommended.

By this time, my son was quite tired and he had had all the ghosts, ghouls, and goblins he could stand for one day. We went home, and he sat in our floor-to-ceiling windows watching dressed-up revelers pass us by until he fell asleep.

Period Costume

Period Costume

Halloween on the Waterfront

Halloween on the Waterfront

Advertisements