While traveling through Massachusetts last time I knew we had to make a day trip to Salem. Being just 45 minutes from Boston it seemed my childhood dreams of walking where the Sanderson sisters walked would come true. Plus since we were visiting Massachusetts in the fall, Salem seemed like the perfect cap to our trip. And who doesn’t love a little hocus pocus?
As soon as we arrived we signed up for a historic walking tour of Salem. I would highly recommend a historic tour as part of your Salem experience as it will cover many interesting facets of Salem’s history. Our tour also included an emphasis on the witch trials. The Salem witch trials were such a tragic event in our nation’s history, though while fascinating, by the end of our tour John and I both felt we had enough information to last a lifetime. However if you’re a person who just can’t get enough of the Salem Witch Trials, there are additional museums in town to meet your needs such as the Salem Witch Museum.
We covered quite a bit of ground on the tour as we explored the city stopping to see haunted buildings, graceful churches and of course sites from the witch trials. We concluded at The Burying Point, the oldest cemetery in Salem and where a memorial to the victims of the witch trials can be found. The cemetery receives a lot of visitors and features some fascinating, old headstones.
Many come to Salem for its witch trials history or if you’re me, the Hocus Pocus sights, but while there I was surprised to learn of Salem’s rich maritime history. Founded in 1626, it was the sixth city in the United States. During its height from the time of the American Revolution to the War of 1812, many ships sailed the world over from its harbor. It’s a beautiful stroll along the water front. Once you’re away from the main drag of Essex Street, which these days is very touristy, you’ll discover charming homes in the New England style.
While exploring the city and water facing Derby Street we came upon the Friendship, a replica ship from time bygone. The ship is open to the public for free self-guided tours. We loved boarding this beautiful boat and feeling the pull of the sea that so many sailors from days gone by must have felt.
As much as we loved the charming streets and architecture of old Salem, like any true fan I wasn’t leaving before I saw the Hocus Pocus filming sights in Salem. I remember being mesmerized by the film when it came out in 1993. In fact, one of my greatest Halloween moments was when two friends and I dressed as the Sanderson Sisters for Halloween. It goes without saying we won that year’s costume contest.
But back to the locations themselves. We had a lot of fun going around to each of the sights within Salem. I really wonder how the home owner’s at Max’s house feel with the random strangers who on taking photos in front of their home day and night?… Allison’s home is actually the Ropes Mansion, a historic home from the 1700s with beautiful gardens for strolling.
For added convenience, I’ve created an illustrated walking map with addresses. You can also download the free PDF walking map to the Hocus Pocus sights here.The entire walk starting at Allison’s House and ending at Thackery Village is just under 2.5 miles. A car also works if you don’t feel like walking the entire way! Go ahead and snap those selfies for your fellow Hocus Pocus fans to droll over.