Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts. You seriously have to do it once in your life.
I happen to have six Halloweens in Witch City under my belt, but that’s because I went to college in Salem and lived there after graduation for a year and a half.
WARNING: These photos are all from college. A time when a 3.2 megapixel point-and-shoot camera was within my budget, and I wasn’t aware of blurry shots until the next morning. Not that I really cared about blurry photos back then anyway! I’m pretty sure I was still using an actual 35mm camera my freshman year… But, these photos show some of the most fun I’ve ever experienced on Halloween.
Year 1: 2002
I’ve never really been one to spend a lot of money on costumes. As you can see I strapped on a pair of wings and called it a day. This was also before I felt pressure to have a different costume for each party I went to, and then a new one on the actual day of Halloween.
Year 2: 2003
I’m pretty sure this was our first house party. The apartment, which I lived in for three years, was a quick 10 minute walk to downtown Salem. Friends of mine and my roommates were always taking advantage of a free place to stay in Salem for Halloween night.
Year 3: 2004
Being a gum ball machine is so much fun. You should try it!
Year 4: 2005
The weather on Halloween in Salem is always a crapshoot. It’s usually quite cold and I’ve even seen snow on October 31st, which is fun, but it’s also fun to run around the city dressed up as a cave woman in a one shoulder cheetah fur dress.
Year 5: 2006
I actually don’t have any photos of myself in a costume this year… But going out with friends while they are in costume or hanging out in costume shops for hours is always fun.
Year 6: 2007
This was the year of multiple costumes. I also spent real money – like more than $3 – on a packaged costume and multiple accessories for another.
Things have changed a little since my college days.
Now that I’m back on the east coast, and in my 30’s, I like to visit Salem earlier in the month and just soak it in. There’s a certain buzz about the city beginning on the first day of October that I appreciate more now than I did when I was in college.
I like to visit my favorite coffee shops and restaurants, and visit friends still living and working in the area. One of my favorite pastimes, people watching, is best done around the wharf or around the Salem Common. There’s a carnival happening right downtown on Derby Street where I cave to the craving for fried dough and curly fries. Sometimes I’ll even make a trip up for the Zombie Prom.
See for yourself what the city has to offer during the month of October at the Haunted Happenings website, and start making plans for next October!
Have you been to Salem on Halloween before or have it on your bucket list?
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