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By Scott Roberto / September 22, 12:00 AM
Halloweentown, USA
Photo: courtesy of Mass. Office of Travel & Tourism


Salem, Massachusetts has been synonymous with the infamous Witch Trails since 1692, yet it is just as famous for other reasons as well—mainly, its four-decade connection with one of the biggest Halloween celebrations you’ll find anywhere on Earth. Yes, the epic, month-long Haunted Happenings turns the big 4-0 this year, encompassing all the usual scavenger hunts, ghost tours, historic re-enactments, costume parties and more throughout the charming seaside city just a few miles north of Boston. It all kicks off on September 30 from 5–11 p.m. with an Oktoberfest celebration at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites’ Marina Beer Garden that repeats the next two nights, followed by an outpouring of events on October 1 that includes the Salem Zombie Walk at Salem Common from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. and the immersive, interactive Endless Night Vampire Ball at the Hawthorne Hotel from 7–11:30 p.m. Other signature extravaganzas include The Salem Psychic Fair and Witches’ Market at the Witch City Mall; the Haunted Happenings Marketplace and free movie screenings (the Salem-filmed Hocus Pocus, anyone?) at Salem Common; the Grand Parade on October 6 from 6:30–8 p.m. and a pet parade on October 8 from 1–4 p.m.; a 5K road race downtown on October 15 at 9 a.m.; and even non-terrifying, kid-friendly magic shows, storytelling, trick-or-treating, and more. It all culminates in live music and fireworks on Salem Common the night of October 31, a truly spectacular way to close out more than 30 days of riotous revelry and spooky fun.

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