To the Halloween Buzzkills Who Say You Shouldn’t Visit Salem, MA, in October
Last October, yours truly visited Salem, Massachusetts, for the first time with a friend. The day was not only incredibly fun and memorable, but a true highlight of the Halloween and fall season. We both had an absolute blast.
However, after going on Facebook recently to ask for your tips when visiting Salem in October, it was disappointing to see folks crap on the idea of visiting Witch City during spooky season, and instead offering mind-blowing suggestions like "don't go." Wowza. Y'all are Halloween buzzkills, and here's why.
Before explaining, let's clarify one thing: this vent doesn't apply to locals who live in or near Salem whose routines are annually disrupted by the massive fall crowds. It's totally understandable why this uptick in visitors would be an intrusive nuisance, so you all get a free pass. These words are instead geared towards the tourists out there who advise people against going to Salem in October.
Firstly, we all know that Salem in October is going to be crowded, parking can be difficult, etc. But that's why you plan ahead.
When we visited, we purchased our tickets for attractions like the Witch House and Witch Museum in advance, and made sure there was ample time in between to get from one location to another. We also arrived at around 8:30-9am, and got a good parking spot as a result. So, yes there were crowds, but we were never in a rush. We had plenty of time, and the whole day to spend there. Plus, what's wrong with people-watching and looking at all the street performers and folks in costume? The only time crowds really impacted things for us was when it came to waiting in line for food. So you know what we did? We got lunch to-go, and saved half of it for dinner. That not only saved us time, but money as well. It's all about being proactive.
Second, although many of the town's historic museums and spooky attractions are open year-round, the Halloween season is what Salem is largely known for. So, if you're a tourist who's setting aside time and money to visit, why not go and experience the unforgettable ambiance that is Salem during October? This writer's on a budget, and sure as heck wasn't gonna look at Hocus Pocus filming locations in July. The vibes just wouldn't be the same. Going to Witch City in October is worth it, as long as you're smart about it.
So, if crowds truly give you the ick and you'd rather explore the area when things are on the quieter side, then by all means, pick a different time of year to visit Salem. But if you're complaining for the sake of complaining, or because you didn't put enough effort into planning your visit last time and it came back to bite you in the butt, don't be a Halloween Scrooge and discourage other people from having a fun time. This writer's advice? Go to Salem in October, at least once. If you plan things wisely, you won't regret it.
Happy spooky season, witches.