Hunting Hotel on Halloween Day in Salem, Massachusetts

When Halloween comes, Salem, Massachusets is known as the center of the universe. By now, Halloween’s popularity has grown quickly to become the second most popular holiday only ranked after Christmas. More and more Halloween fans visit the Witch City in October. Visitors from the USA and other countries are interested in supernatural events and attractions, the harbor, waterfront and the historic witchcraft sites of this unique New England city.


So, what else does this group of revelers all have in common? Well, if they’ve traveled a considerable distance to be here, they’ll need a roof over their heads before, during and after the big event, and that can be quite a challenge. I’ve seen “hotel panic” set in when first-time visitors realize that thousands of people are coming to Salem for that last weekend in October and they’re all in need of rooms. So, believing that forewarned is forearmed, I’m going to try to give you an idea of what to expect in terms of lodging in Salem during the big event.


First, if you’re a first-time visitor planning to come to Salem for Halloween and need a hotel room, it’s probably already too late. Serious Halloween devotees who make the pilgrimage every year have very likely scooped up all the rooms in Salem’s two major hotels: the Hawthorne and the Salem Waterfront. And knowing the score, they probably booked for this year shortly after they left town last year on November 1 (the saddest day of the year for Halloween lovers). So now that you know what you’re up against, all is not necessarily lost. In addition to the two main hotels, Salem features about a dozen inns and bed-and-breakfasts. They’re your next best bet to tie down a room within the city. From here, we need to expand outward. Salem is the county seat of Essex County. As the hub, it’s surrounded by the cities and towns of Danvers, Peabody, Lynn, Swampscott, Beverly and Marblehead (with the Atlantic Ocean accounting for the remaining side). There are motels to be found in all of these spots and although you’d need to drive to Salem or take a taxi or some form of public transportation where it’s available, it’s not a long trip as each city or town is right across the Salem city line.


Then there’s one other tactic to take when all else fails (and you’ve really waited far too long to find a room). You can stay in Boston. The capital city of Massachusetts is only about 17 miles south of Salem and has thousands of hotel rooms. You can arrive in Boston by car, train or plane and you can then easily take a pleasant trip to and from Salem by way of the commuter railroad or by bus. The train trip only takes about a half-hour and will deliver you within walking distance to Salem’s downtown area, very close to the action. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority knows there are big doings in Salem on Halloween and schedules additional trains for the event. You might not actually be staying in town, but the silver lining is you won’t need to deal with traffic jams or parking in Salem on October 31st.


So there you have it. Where there’s a will – or a spell – there’s a way to find a place to stay and enjoy the bewitching season in Salem – wherever you end up parking your broom!


Scott Burrell is a life-long Halloween fanatic who just never hung up his trick-or-treat bag. Living in the Salem, MA area, he plunges into the festivities with supernatural enthusiasm when October rolls around. With Halloween’s popularity skyrocketing every year, Scott provides a guide to Salem hotels for the thousands of people traveling to Salem from all parts of the USA and beyond. His website, also features up-to-the-minute info on special events and costume parties plus full listings of eating places, historic highlights, haunted attractions and transportation tips for your visit to Salem, Massachusetts.

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