In an issue of Gothic Beauty, darkly elegant designer extraordinaire Kambriel describes Salem, home of the (in)famous Witch Trials, as 'a mecca for those seeking a haven - a place to enjoy yourself unencumbered by the judgement of others, and one which revels in its bewitching charm. Nowadays, Salem's year-round spirited celebration of the magic of Halloween makes it a very Goth-friendly locale.'
Most people plan their trip to Salem in October, the height of the tourist season. During this time there is a grand celebration of 'Haunted Happenings' - in effect, Halloween goes on for three whole weeks. But by all accounts, the off-season is an equally good time to plan your pilgrimage. Excellent for the more anti-social types who'd like to avoid the majority of tourists (oh, and hotels will be cheaper, of course!).
Like Burley in the UK, Salem revels in its witchy heritage, and is filled with shops selling all kinds of themed goodies and paraphernalia. The town also boasts many museums and attractions, including the Witch Museum, The Museum of Myths and Monsters, haunted houses, the Witch Village and several walking tours (break in those New Rocks!) such as the Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour.
Salem also hosts the annual Festival of the Dead. This event incorporates several smaller events such as the Witches' Halloween Ball, a Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo, a Vampire's Masquerade Ball, a dumb supper, seances, ghost hunting, and an event called Mourning Tea. Its website describes the festival as "an annual event series that explores death’s macabre customs, heretical histories, and strange rituals."
Salem is, of course, a town loaded with historical interest for us darkly-inclined types, and thankfully has long since moved on from its occult-hating past. Its burial grounds are described as 'uncrowded and peaceful', and the famous ship, the Friendship of Salem, still rests upon the coastline.
You can also see the House of Seven Gables, which looks like the Addams Family's holiday home and inspired Nathanial Hawthorne's famous story of the same name. It's full of secret passages and reportedly has an incredibly creepy atmosphere.
View her blog here. Image is copyrighted, used with permission.
I hasten to add that Toxic was not in Salem when this picture was taken, I just couldn't find any uncopyrighted Salem images...