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Salem Haunted Happenings Returns in October

The businesses and organizations in Salem, Massachusetts are setting the stage for a return to pre-pandemic capacity and programming in October 2021 with the return of Salem Haunted Happenings. Visitors to this bewitching seaport north of Boston will be delighted to find the street fairs, performances, expanded programming, special events, and seasonal flair are in the works for this fall.

Photo by John Andrews

Believed to be the largest celebration of Halloween, Salem Haunted Happenings is comprised of hundreds of events during the month of October. Programs range from reverent commemorations of the Salem Witch Trials history to whimsical celebrations of Halloween, compelling museum exhibits to outrageous costume balls, and historic walking tours to foliage harbor tours. Special seasonal programming compliments Salem’s year-round museums, attractions, tours, shops, and dining, many of which expand business-as-usual to offer seasonal specials.  

“We are excited to welcome the return of special events and programs to Salem’s calendar of events this October,” says Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem, “Salem Haunted Happenings generates approximately 30% of the City’s annual tourism revenue, which is critical to the survival of our small business community during the off-season. Being the destination of choice and often a ‘bucket list’ destination for visitors from around the world is a special designation for Salem.”

Many special events are still being confirmed, including the Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade and Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair, both of which are hosted by the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Photo Courtesy of Destination Salem

The Merchant Marketplace and free family film nights are being planned by the Creative Collective. The annual Festival of the Dead will also return with its month-long Psychic Fair, the Dumb Supper, and Witches’ Ball finale. The Howl-o-Ween pet parade, hosted by Salem Main Streets, is also in the works.

New events for 2021 include an exhibit focusing on the Salem Witch Trials at the Peabody Essex Museum, the Endless Night Vampire Weekend at the Hawthorne Hotel, and a changing exhibit at the Salem Arts Association. After a multi-year closure for preservation work, Charter Street Cemetery, one of the oldest European burial grounds in Massachusetts, will be open with a new Welcome Center.

Events are being added to the calendar on and the Destination Salem app as they are planned. 

About Salem Haunted Happenings
Created in 1982 as a way to extend the tourism season past Labor Day, Salem Haunted Happenings is believed to be one of the largest celebrations of Halloween in the world. More than a half-million people from around the world travel to Salem each October to celebrate Halloween, commemorate the events of the Salem Witch Trials, and immerse themselves in Salem’s unique atmosphere. For complete information, visit

Salem, Massachusetts COVID-19 Guidelines
Public health and safety guidelines required due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been rescinded by Massachusetts and the City of Salem, however, many businesses will continue to require all customers to wear masks and may be adhering to capacity limits. Visit or download the Destination Salem app for more information.

About the Destination Salem app
Destination Salem has many resources on its website, and has recently launched a new mobile app to assist visitors to Salem in accessing the latest information. This new app features news, information on walking tours, educational content, and location-based notifications. The Destination Salem app is available for iOS and Android and can be found in the App Stores by searching for Destination Salem, Mass.

August 16, 2021

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