Salem’s Haunted Happenings

This year marks the 32nd annual Haunted Happenings celebration, a month-long celebration in my hometown of Salem, Massachusetts.

October 3rd kicks off the celebration with the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade. The parade begins at Shetland Park, travels through downtown Salem, and ends at the Common. Past parades featured Salem school children dressed in their Halloween finery, Ghostbusters, the Salem and Beverly High School bands, ghouls and goblins galore, and my favorite, the Beverly Lawn Chair Drill Team. This year’s parade theme is “Books Come Alive!”

“Mayor’s Night Out” on October 4th welcomes Salem residents to visit Salem attractions and museums at participating businesses with proof of residency for free (3:00 – 10:00 p.m.). Salem children are also invited to “Trick or Treat With the Mayor” from 5:30-6:30 that evening at the Museum Place Mall. Bags are provided and costumes are encouraged.

On Saturday and Sunday, October 5th and 6th, the annual Biz Baz Street Fair will be held on the Essex Street pedestrian mall. There are over 100 vendors and plenty of food, drink, and entertainment along the mall.

The Salem Carnival will take its place on Derby Street on October 18th and will remain open through Halloween.

The annual “Witches’ Ball” will be held at the Hawthorne Hotel on October 25th and “Wicked Night at the Wharf” will be held at Pickering Wharf on the 26th, featuring the “Zombie Prom” at Victoria Station.

Halloween night marks the end of the celebration, in past years ending with entertainment throughout the downtown and Derby Street areas and a fireworks display at the end of the night.

Salem is easy to reach by bus, train, or water ferry. Public transportation is encouraged on Halloween night and most weekends in October, as there is significant traffic in and out of Salem. If you choose to drive in, parking is available in the downtown area at the Museum Place parking garage and the Church Street lot. In the Derby Street area, parking is available at the Waterfront Parking Garage.

For more information on these and other events, visit So, pack your bags, get your camera, and bring your family to Salem to experience Haunted Happenings!