Travel Diary: 24 Hours in Salem, Massachusetts

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The Witch House, Salem
During my recent trip to New York, I decided to make a detour and see somewhere I'd always wanted to visit - Salem, Massachusetts. Accompanied by my beautiful American friend, Rose, and her husband, Derek, we made the 4 and a half drive across the country. Here's a look...  

Visiting Salem had always been high on my list of travels. Whilst I don't believe in actual magic or witches, I've always been fascinated by it and have always been a self-proclaimed history buff. Of course, Salem is a place steeped in American history and a hotspot for dark tourism as a result of the Salem Witch trials. Stopping off at a 7/11 to stock up on snacks for the journey, we made the drive through New York, Connecticut to Boston. 

Salem Witch Walk
Since we were only there for the day, we made it our mission to cram in as much as possible; starting with Trip Advisor's most recommended walking witch tour. Hosted by local celebrity, Tom, we were taken on an hour and a half long tour of Salem; stopping at some infamous spots from the Witch Trials including the cemetery and some spots seen in such films as Hocus Pocus.

Salem Witch House
The tour was super fun (especially as a British person) although I would say this particular tour focusses more so on witchcraft and spares you from the gory details of the murders themselves. If you're looking for more historical walks or ones which have a little added scare, there we plenty available. What I did find super interesting, however, that it seemed that the overall message behind the tour was that the Witch trials were very political. It seems that the women who were killed were often outspoken, promiscuous or in a position power such as owners of valuable land - something which went against Puritan ideals. As such, men could accuse these women as a way of keeping order. 

We were really lucky that our group was very small and the place was very quiet. One thing to note also is that during Autumn, the streets become packed with tourists, especially at night. Some of the museums and shops are seasonal and so worth checking before visiting. 

The Witch House Salem trip
The Salem Witch Walk statue
Bewitched statue Salem
With it soon getting dark, the three of us went in search of some famous Salem landmarks. One of the most popular tourist attractions is The Witch House. Once home to Judge Jonathan Corwin House, The Witch House is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Salem witch trials of 1692. Fun fact: It's not entirely sure just how old the building is but it is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in America. Plus, look how awesome it is. With Halloween season, it also becomes a museum of 17th century living.

We also stopped off at the Betwitched Samantha statue. It may seem a little insensitive to have a statue of a television witch in a town where women believed to be witches were murdered. However, this is actually a salute to the 1970's sitcom itself. Following the LA studios where Betwitched was filmed, it relocated to Salem and restored a tourism-friendly side to Salem which had long since died out. As such, Bewitched is celebrated in the town for allowing them to embrace their past. Cool, right? You can read more about it here. 

Salem Town Hall Hocus Pocus
Witches altar salem
Once it had gotten dark, it was time to get in a few last minute shops. Rose was particularly keen to check out Witch City Wicks, a family-run store known for their vegan candles and taxidermy frames. It's save to say that much dollar was spent here as their pieces were amazing. Pictured above also, you can see the Salem Town Hall (which you may recognise from Hocus Pocus) and another witch store which had a Witches Altar (definition: a raised altar or structure used for prayer or worship. Often used for remembering the dead.) 

Witch City Wicks
Finally, you can see some of the souvenirs I took home from Salem. If you'd like to see more of the bits and pieces I picked up from my American travels, you can see my post here. With it officially dark outside, we decided to grab some dinner and head home. I had an amazing day exploring Salem with Rose and Derek and I'd love to go back; although perhaps more so around Autumn time (even though it's not recommended due to crowds).

Huge thanks to my American pals for an awesome road trip and Salem adventure - and to Derek for taking some of these snaps for me. That's it for another travel diary - have you ever visited Salem before? Are there places you've always dreamt of visiting? As always, I love reading your comments so please do leave me lots of lovely ones down below.

Until next time fellow witches, 


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16 comments:

  1. sounds like you guys had a great day! I would be a little freaked visiting these places, but glad you enjoyed it!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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    1. It was SO much fun! Absolutely loved it - it's not scary or anything, just lots of cool buildings and magic shops :) x

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  2. This sounds so fun and right up my street! Thank you for sharing this I couldn’t wait until you posted about it x

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    1. Girl you would love it there haha. So glad you liked it :) xx

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  3. It sounds like you had an awesome time, I'd love to go one day x

    Rhi | www.rinkydinkyrhi.com

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    1. I really did, thank you! Would definitely recommend it if you get a chance. It's not a massive place so you don't need masses of time but I'm so glad I went x

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  4. Wow it's so cool ! I would love go there *-* Houses are wonderful !

    La Robe Noire
    IG : @Saskiabzn
    Saskia! xo

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  5. I'm so glad you loved Massachusetts, Sophie! I don't live too far from there and so I got to go as a child once and found all the history very interesting. Wonderful photos XD

    Ashley xx
    http://www.imamovienerd.wordpress.com

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    1. Aw really? I had no idea! Yeah I absolutely loved it. And I got to go to 3 States in one day which was awesome x

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  6. This is such a fabulous write up, Sophie. I'm so so jealous that you managed to visit Salem - on the bucket list for me, for sure! The photos are stunning ♥

    With love, Vee x

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    1. Aw thank you so much hun :) I really want to go back, it was so beautiful there xx

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  7. Just as an FYI as someone who has lived in Salem- it's not that great. Behind the veneer of magick and the bells and whistles of Essex, Salem is a town with a huge homelessness problem, sitting smack-dab in the center of an opioid crisis. Jobs are scarce, living is expensive, and more often than not, people end up feeling trapped. I love that you had a good time. I just hope you realize that you 100% got spoon-fed an idealized version of what Salem is. It sucks. It's a sad, lonely place, and definitely nowhere to celebrate.

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  8. I traveled with my fiance and his sister and her grand daughter back in 2016 to see Niagara Falls, Boston, The Lizzie Borden House and had a great time. I wanted desperately to see Salem, MA which was on my bucket list and of course made a stop there for 3 days also. Thoroughly enjoyed our trip and would do it all over again in a heart beat! Sounds like you enjoyed yourself also.

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  9. I live not far from Salem and visit frequently. My nephew graduated college as an Art major and moved to Salem to work for a Tattoo shop. Like any city it has bumps and bruises, but overall it is a great place. When you come back to visit, be sure to grab a bite at Flying Saucer Pizza. The pizza there is delicious and the atmosphere is pure science fiction fun.

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  10. It sounds and looks like you had an amazing time in Salem! It's high on my travel wish list - I'd love to visit one day.

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