Halloween 2013 in Salem, MA

3
524
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*

IMG_4002

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.

IMG_3955

When you’re a local, it can be the best—and the worst—time of year. (Read more about that here.)

IMG_4160

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.)

IMG_3959  IMG_3961

IMG_3958

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.

IMG_3989

We ran into this guy late in the evening, on our way home from our nightly walk.

IMG_4234

I couldn’t catch it quite right, but this luchador’s cape was billowing in the wind as he strutted down Essex Street.

IMG_4124

And this guy was just plain creepy.

IMG_4201

And the Jack-in-the-Box guy was great.

IMG_4091

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.)

IMG_3991

There are lines to get into most of the attractions and shops.

IMG_3984

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.
IMG_4046

IMG_4076

IMG_4203

IMG_4126

This alley, which is busy by day, is genuinely packed at night.

IMG_3981

IMG_4198And there are always lines at the vendors on the Salem Common.

IMG_4035

IMG_4031

People come into town in all manners of costumes. There are plenty of capes and pointy hats…

IMG_3949

IMG_3968

…and masks…IMG_3969

…and some genuinely awesome prosthetic-type get ups going on.

IMG_3980

You get used to seeing peeps in bunny suits walking down the street.

IMG_3967

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.
IMG_4168

And most of the local shops and restaurants, whether or not they’re directly tied to “Official Halloween Business,” get into the mood.

IMG_4152

The Lobster Shanty was all decked out for the season.

IMG_4164

As was Rockafella’s.IMG_4150

And there are street food vendors everywhere you turn.

IMG_3972

You can’t beat the costumes

I took so many pics, it was hard to whittle them down. Here are just some of them.
IMG_4079

IMG_4045

IMG_4120

There are always a few peeps on pulpits, warning about the dangers of Halloween.

IMG_4122

This guy was great.

IMG_3975

IMG_3976

IMG_3977

And this reaper was very polite. IMG_4063

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?).

IMG_4030

IMG_4232

IMG_4012

IMG_4043

IMG_3993

IMG_4053

We ran into a band of roving punk rock pirates…

IMG_3950

IMG_3951

…as well as a couple of real ones, outside the Pirate Museum.

IMG_3973

IMG_4037

IMG_4032

IMG_4090

IMG_4093

IMG_4027

IMG_4144

IMG_4016

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?”

IMG_4067

IMG_4069

IMG_4071

His friend clearly wasn’t going to rescue him.

IMG_4070

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!)

IMG_4064

IMG_4141

This dude looked great and was DEFINITELY creepy.

IMG_4172

IMG_4125

IMG_4156

We always get our fair share of super heroes in the city. Some more conventional and some…not.

IMG_4107

IMG_4059

IMG_4078

And there’s always a couple of really good bloody zombie brides roaming around.

IMG_4145

IMG_4056

No costume? No problem. There are vendors on Essex Street who are happy to do you up on the spot.
IMG_4109

There’s usually music on the Common all night.

IMG_4014

IMG_4021

IMG_4017

And, of course, the carnival

The carnival rolls onto Derby Street in early October and stays all month.

IMG_4178

IMG_3990

IMG_4175

IMG_4185

IMG_4182

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.

IMG_4227

IMG_4230

IMG_4228

Purple Scorpion Tattoo’s window is pretty awesome, too.

IMG_4222

IMG_4224

And of course, The Witch’s Brew Cafe was hopping late into the night. It’s one of our favorite bars in town.
IMG_4213

IMG_4215

IMG_4218

IMG_4217

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.

Jessie The Hungry Mouse Salem MA Halloween
IMG_4115

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.

Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012 Salem MA The Hungry Mouse

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011 Salem MA The Hungry Mouse

Halloween 2010

Halloween 2010 Salem MA The Hungry Mouse

Halloween 2008

(2009 must have gotten spirited away…)

Halloween 2008 Salem MA The Hungry Mouse

SHARE
Previous articleSpooky S’mores Martini for Halloween
Next articleBreville Juice Fountain Review + Giveaway
Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I was waiting for this ! We visited Salem this year and had a blast. I cant beleive the rain cleared up, right on cue. We took a Witch Walk and our guide had us sing Rain Rain Go Away explaing that simple songs like that are forms of magic. Unfortunatly about an hour into the tour a soaking rain came but luckily stopped just before dusk. I checked the radar on my phone throughout the night and there was a round bubble around salem where it wasnt raining. I guess our spell worked, it just took awhile ! Thanks for posting this, I must have read you Halloween 2012 entry 5 times, your photos are great !
  2. Hello, Would you be interested in writing an article on the Salem Tunnel Tour or allowing us to do a guest blog on the best things to do in Salem in exchange for a link at the top of the post? We are one of the best and most original Salem walking tours in town. Plus I have many good friends who also do some amazing things in town I can guide your readers toward so their next stay in Salem will be a wonderful time! Cheers, Chris www.salemtunneltour.com

LEAVE A REPLY