Spooky Season in Salem, Massachusetts

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Happy (almost) Halloween travel friends! Random subscribers? My mom? I appreciate you all the same.

As any 90s street kid would know, Salem Massachusetts is the sacred ground of the film Hocus Pocus. Traveling here was a non-negotiable stop with my boyfriend (to his delight) on our recent New England road trip. A quick 30-minute drive from Boston, Salem is the perfect first destination when taking a fall leaf-peeping adventure.

October is far and away Salem's most busy season, so my goal today is to equip you with all the information you need as not to run "amuck" and have another glorious morning. How many Hocus Pocus lines can I throw in here? Makes me sick! (Hang in there, people).

This is your full Hocus Pocus travel guide to Salem and major filming locations!

COVID Disclaimer

Before we jump in, I want to note that traveling from out of state (New England residents excluded) requires a COVID test 72 hours before departure. Did they pull us aside at the airport to check? No. However, I have heard that they have done this with people traveling to the East Coast. However, we did need the test for entry into the Peabody Museum, which I discuss later in the post. Overall, my take on travel with COVID is to be respectful of state mandates and not put others or yourself in a position to spread the virus. Wear a mask, people!

Walking the Streets of Salem

The streets of downtown Salem are clad with cobblestone and old school charm. For a real estate fanatic like myself, this includes beautiful architecture and classic homes to admire on your walk around town. If you visit in October, a stroll in the downtown vicinity with thousands of your closest friends is more the reality of downtown Salem.

The parking situation is a complete nightmare, so I recommend bringing comfy shoes and parking far from the downtown area. Parking far away is also a great way to see the local homes decorated for Halloween, clearly photographed above. Plus, you are going to avoid a lot of traffic that riddles the downtown Essex area. Residents and community members have signed posted everywhere stating what is local parking or not, so pay attention to where you end up parking. We ended up parking as far up Broad Street as possible (street parking, no signs) and walked about ten minutes to downtown Essex Street. The great thing about this spot? The location was incredibly close to the first destination, Allison's House.

Allison's House

318 Essex Street (c/o "Hocus Pocus" Filming Locations)

Also known as the Ropes Mansion, this is a must-stop on your Salem journey. This house was the one featured in the movie when Max & Dani go trick-or-treating. My experience included a crowd of people taking photos, so an earlier or later time may suit when visiting this historic spot.

Essex Street