12 October 2012

Haunted Happenings in Salem for genealogists

Salem Witch Museum
This week kicks off the annual, month-long Haunted Happenings events in Salem, Massachusetts, starting with the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade on Thursday, October 4. If you take away the Hollywood-and-horror storefronts and screamfest attractions, Salem is a great destination for genealogists in October. Here are a few suggestions:


Salem National Park VisitorCenter, 2 New Liberty Street. Watch the 35-minute Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence film.

Cinema Salem, Museum Place Mall. View The True 1692, a 35-minute 3-D movie.

Live Performances

House of Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street. Legacy of the Hanging Judge; Spirits of the Gables.

Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square. Cry Innocent: The People Versus Bridget Bishop.

PioneerVillage (recreated 1630s village). 

Gallows Hill (formerly Witches Cottage at Griffen Theater), 7 Lynde Street. Possessed: The Afflicted Girls of Salem.

Witch House (Judge Jonathan Corwin’s mansion), 310 Essex Street. Eerie Evenings: Tales at the Witch House.


The Candlelit Ghostly Tour and Graveyard Walking Tour.

Derby Square Tours. The candlelit Witch Trial Trail, the Terror Trail.

Salem Time Machine (formerly 13Ghosts), 131 Essex Street. Ghost Tours and Historical Tours.

Salem Historical Tours, 8 Central Street. Salem 101: Salem Survey; Cemetery 101: Grave Matters; 1692 Salem Witchcraft Walk; Haunted Footsteps Ghost tour.

Salem Night Tour, 127 Essex Street.

Salem Witch Walk, 125 Essex Street.

Gallows Hill (formerly Witches Cottage at Griffen Theater), 7 Lynde Street. Ghosts & Legends Trolley Tour.

Salem Trolley, 8 Central Street. Tales & Tombstones; Salem Village Tour at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead.

Mahi Mahi Haunted Harbor Cruise.


Salem Wax Museum of Witches & Seafarers, 288 Derby Street.

Salem Witch Museum, 19 1/2 Washington Square North.

Salem Witch Trials Memorial, 43 Charter Street.

Witch Dungeon Museum, 16 Lynde Street.

Witch History Museum, 197-201 Essex Street.

Please read the web site descriptions of these events and museums so you won't be disappointed. For instance, two years ago the Salem Witch Village on Derby Street turned into a haunted maze during Columbus day, with horror creatures prowling around in the dark rooms. Needless to say, it was not the 15-minute guided tour of witchcraft myths and reality we expected. Plus, be aware that some of these attractions need some serious refurbishing and updating their stories based on new historical research.

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