Salem Haunted Happenings returns for its 36th year with a schedule of events for all ages and interests Highlights to in include Wicked Wednesdays, Salem Horror Fest, and Haunted Harmonies

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Salem Haunted Happenings returns for its 36th year with a schedule of events for all ages and interests

Highlights to in include Wicked Wednesdays, Salem Horror Fest, and Haunted Harmonies

Salem, MA . . . Salem Haunted Happenings will return for its 36th year of festive fall fun this

2018 Guide to Salem Haunted Happenings

October with more than 31 days of programming for all ages. Visitors can look forward to new events on the schedule including the Great Salem Pumpkin Walk and Salem Fairy Fest on two of the three Wicked Wednesdays, a new tour of the Old Salem Gaol, and “The Spirits Speak,” a magic and mentalism event. Returning favorites include the Food Truck Festival, the Grand Parade, Haunted Harmonies, and Howl-o-ween. In total, there will be more than 500 individual events scheduled throughout the month of October in Salem.

Recognized internationally as one of the best places to celebrate Halloween, Salem Haunted Happenings began in 1982 and has evolved into a festive celebration that includes costume parades, theatrical events, family film nights, psychic fairs, ghost stories, dinner theatre, and a horror cinema.

Hosted by the Salem Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Parade will step off on Thursday, October 4 at 6:30 PM, marking the official opening of Salem Haunted Happenings. Some other large events planned during the festival include:
  • Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair, October 6-7
  • The Second Annual Kids Costume Party on October 17
  • Hawthorne Hotel’s 28th Annual Halloween Party, “Happily Never After,” October 27
  • The Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball, October 26
  • Salem Horror Fest, October 4-14
  • Halloween Night, live music and fireworks, October 31
Theatrical programming is a popular part of Salem Haunted Happenings. Visitors seeking out something dramatic will have several options throughout the month of October.
  • Haunted Dinner Theatre, “Shipwrecked,” interactive performance
  • Spirits of the Gables and Legacy of the Hanging Judge at The House of the Seven Gables
  • Harvey at Salem State Theatre
  • Cry Innocent: The People versus Bridget Bishop presented by History Alive
Salem is known as “The Witch City” because of the Salem Witch Trials, a dark period in American history when hundreds were accused of witchcraft and imprisoned and 20 innocent people were put to death. While the tragic events of 1692 have no relation to the Halloween celebrations of today, many include this history in their visit to Salem. There are several attractions and tours that explain the events of the Salem Witch Trials and their relevance to the world today, including:
  • Bewitched After Dark Walking Tours
  • Salem Wax Museum
  • Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence (film)
  • Salem Witch Museum
  • Witch Dungeon Museum
Families have many options for exploration and entertainment during Salem Haunted Happenings. From walking tours to harbor cruises to Wicked Wednesdays, family time is easy to find during the following activities:
  • Kids Costume Party and Cosplay Celebration, October 17
  • Great Salem Pumpkin Walk, October 10
  • Salem Fairy Door Trail, October 24
  • Salem Kids Tours, throughout October
  • Sea Shuttle’s Spooky Shuttle Cruises, throughout October
For visitors looking for a fright, there are several haunted houses and ghost tours to choose from, including:
  • Imprisoned! 1692 Tour of the Old Witch Gaol
  • Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery
  • Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour
  • The Lost Museum at Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre
  • Salem Night Tour
  • Tales at the Witch House

Many don’t consider a visit to Salem complete without celebrating the Disney film, Hocus Pocus. Released 25 years ago, Hocus Pocus was filmed on location in Salem and many of the sites can be seen – and photographed – today. Find them all

Complete information on these and all of the events, activities, restaurants, shopping, and accommodations for Salem Haunted Happenings, as well as parking and traffic advisories, can be found at Visit the blog on for articles about Salem Haunted Happenings for families, 21+ programming during Haunted Happenings, and more.

The printed Guide to Salem Haunted Happenings is available, free of charge, or by emailing

# # #
Kate Fox, Executive Director
Destination Salem

(978-741-3252 | 

About Salem Haunted Happenings: A month-long celebration of Halloween and fall in New England, more than 500,000 people travel from around the world to visit Salem during October. Celebrating its 36th year, the festival features hundreds of events and special programming, which complement the attractions, museums and tours that are in Salem throughout the year. For complete information visit the new
About Salem: Salem, Massachusetts, is a destination recognized around the world for its rich history, which includes the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the glorious maritime era that left its indelible mark on Salem through architecture, museums, and artifacts, and for its month-long celebration of Halloween. Today more than one million people visit Salem annually. For more information, visit

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