It’s that time of year again. Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts is a month-long festival that culminates in the biggest Halloween party on the planet on the night of the 31st.
When you’re a local, it can be the best—and the worst—time of year. (Read more about that here.)
To be honest, we were a little worried about the weather yesterday. It was a gray day that faded into a rainy afternoon. This was the scene right before the rain down on Derby Street. (The boat is The Friendship.)
Thankfully, as if by magic, the skies cleared up just as night fell, right in time for the evening’s festivities. Revelers were out in full force.
Some of our favorite costumes
Now, you have to understand, people start showing up in costume in Salem on October 1, and it doesn’t stop ’til the last fireworks go off on Halloween night. There were some great costumes this year.
This gentleman bat was kind enough to flap around at the carnival a little for me.
We ran into this guy late in the evening, on our way home from our nightly walk.
I couldn’t catch it quite right, but this luchador’s cape was billowing in the wind as he strutted down Essex Street.
And this guy was just plain creepy.
And the Jack-in-the-Box guy was great.
Traffic and crowds, oh my!
So, the week of Halloween, the roads are pretty much packed. (If you ever question me about my late-night grocery trips, this is why, my friends.)
There are lines to get into most of the attractions and shops.
And the crowds are, well, crowded. This is Halloween day and night. The city shuts down a bunch of streets to make way for all the peeps who come into town.
This alley, which is busy by day, is genuinely packed at night.
And there are always lines at the vendors on the Salem Common.
People come into town in all manners of costumes. There are plenty of capes and pointy hats…
…and some genuinely awesome prosthetic-type get ups going on.
You get used to seeing peeps in bunny suits walking down the street.
And dogs doing strange stuff. This fine local beast (also named Jessie) loves to stand on the little posts that are all around town. She’s a really sweet girl, and has better balance than at least half the humans I know.
And most of the local shops and restaurants, whether or not they’re directly tied to “Official Halloween Business,” get into the mood.
The Lobster Shanty was all decked out for the season.
As was Rockafella’s.
And there are street food vendors everywhere you turn.
You can’t beat the costumes
I took so many pics, it was hard to whittle them down. Here are just some of them.
There are always a few peeps on pulpits, warning about the dangers of Halloween.
This guy was great.
And this reaper was very polite.
And you never know who you’ll see together. Like the Dude from The Big Lebowski, No Name from Spirited Away, and whoever the guy on the left is (anyone?).
We ran into a band of roving punk rock pirates…
…as well as a couple of real ones, outside the Pirate Museum.
This waffle was in a really good mood. Even when a little boy tried to battle him. He started laughing and squawking something like, “Hey, I’m just a waffle, what the hell?”
His friend clearly wasn’t going to rescue him.
There were also a bunch of peeps out in Red Sox attire. (Congrats to our home team! So proud of our 2013 World Series champs!)
This dude looked great and was DEFINITELY creepy.
We always get our fair share of super heroes in the city. Some more conventional and some…not.
And there’s always a couple of really good bloody zombie brides roaming around.
No costume? No problem. There are vendors on Essex Street who are happy to do you up on the spot.
There’s usually music on the Common all night.
And, of course, the carnival
The carnival rolls onto Derby Street in early October and stays all month.
Our favorite neighborhood
A little further down Derby Street, heading towards The House of the Seven Gables, you’ll find the best Halloween display in town, in the yard next to Dave Eng’s shop, Salem’s florist extraordinaire. If you make it to town in October, definitely stop to check it out.
Purple Scorpion Tattoo’s window is pretty awesome, too.
And of course, The Witch’s Brew Cafe was hopping late into the night. It’s one of our favorite bars in town.
At the end of the night, we were definitely ready to get away from the mob scene. We headed home to walk the wolves, then scooted over to a private party at a friend’s house to chill out.
Happy November 1!
Wishing you all a happy November 1st, also known as the Mexican Day of the Dead and All Saints’ Day.
It’s also one of the nicest days of the year for Salem locals.
True to form, when we woke up this morning, the wind was howling, the air was chilly, and it was blissfully quiet. No tourists. No tour buses camped at the end of the street. No worries that we’ll lose our parking spot if we dare to move our car.
All in all, 2013 was another great Halloween season in Salem, MA. Honestly, despite some of the challenges of living here in October, this is still the best place on the earth in our book. Hands down.
That said, we’re ready to pack it in for a few months, until the seasonal countdown begins again next year.
Hope you enjoyed the show!
What do you think?
Have you been to Salem in season? Do you want to visit? Leave a comment, let us know!
Ghosts of Salem Halloweens Past
Didn’t get enough of our happy hauntings? Check out our Halloween posts from years gone by.
(2009 must have gotten spirited away…)