By Aasha Amber Bhatnagar
Witches and warlocks and spells, oh my!
With Halloween coming closer and closer, what could be more halloween-y than visiting the town that just happens to be named “Witch City,” just 40 minutes from Boston? Infamously known for the Salem Witch Trials in which many were falsely accused of witchcraft during the hysteria of 1692, Salem still possesses a spooky and witchy aura.
Despite the fact that Salem has been almost completely modernized and overrun by tourists (especially in October), the Witch City still has its mystical charms with a mecca of magical shops, witchy fashion and insidious museums. If you’re feeling like getting a little spooky this October, a trip to this spellbound town will instantly lift up your spirits.
Here are my recommendations to have a spook-tastic time in the one and only, Witch City.
Witches, beware. Get ready to stand in long lines to get into the famous museums here. Your first stop in Salem should be the Witch House. This eerie, original, 17th century house is the oldest surviving house with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials. Inside the Witch House, you can see artifacts from the era and learn more about the Witch Trials of 1692.
If creepy mannequins are more your cup of tea, stop by the Salem Witch Museum to learn the history of the Witch Trials told in a dark and eerie setting with depictions of the events in different displays.
Looking for a mystical location to snap a picture for Instagram? Ride your broomstick over to the House of the Seven Gables for some fairy godmother vibes. This location was made famous by the author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, “The House of the Seven Gables.” If you’re feeling a little lucky, there’s the original wishing well on location to send a wish into the witchy outerworlds.
Whether you believe in witchcraft and magic or you’re just looking for a spooky time, Salem has a plethora of shops that have anything from candles, incense to spell-ready herbs.
For a more trendy witchy store, stop by The Coven’s Cottage for some soothing lavender aromas and an assortment of healing crystals and dried flowers. For a more authentic witchcraft experience similar to that in which the 1692 hysteria was built upon, stop by Hex: Old World Witchery, which has an assortment of creepy witchy hex materials such as voodoo dolls and cauldrons to stir up something magical.
Food and Beverages
To enhance your magical experience, head up to the Witches Brew Cafe to drink a cozy latte and grab a bite to eat. Witches Brew Cafe is near the House of the Seven Gables and has breakfast, brunch and lunch to satisfy your cravings after a long day of spell-casting.
You can also head over to The Ugly Mug Diner for pancakes that will make you feel like a Hallo-queen. If the name of the cafe wasn’t quirky enough, they have an assortment of mugs of all designs for if you order a hot beverage. Order the blueberry pancakes and eggs to satisfy your sweet-tooth. Pro tip: this cafe closes at 3 p.m., so get there early.
If you’re in the mood for some rich chocolate, make a detour from shopping and stop by the Kakawa Chocolate Shop for the richest and most delightful hot chocolate. Order the Tzul with whipped cream, which is mostly chocolate with a hint of fall spices to tie your entire experience together.
If you want to make sure that you fit in amongst the masses of Halloween fanatics, wear your Halloween costume to walk around Witch City. If you dress like a witch, you can join a coven of hundreds of others who are dressed to play the part. There weren’t any witches in Salem in 1692, but there sure are now.