Listen to whispers, watch out for spirits, and explore what’s forbidden for the rest of year, welcome to the Festival of the Dead.
Every year, in a little town of Salem, the Festival of the Dead allures visitors into its realm to a place where anything is possible. Death’s macabre customs are brought into the light, death’s mysteries are explores,and strange rituals are performed, all for your enlightenment.
Salem is best known for the witch trials which happened during the 17th century, but what better way to turn lemons to lemonade by making Salem a town for witches. From witches to ghouls and even their fans, The Festival of Dead is the perfect to explore any fantasy of the undead and get know yourself a little better in ways you didn’t even know were possible.
- Dates: Every year, almost the entire month of October.
- Location: Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts
- Entrance Fee: Tickets to various events varies from the $50-$75 range, while the Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo are free for all to attend.
In and Around the Festival
The Festival of the Dead is jam packed with a lot of activities and exciting happenings like the Vampires Masquerade Ball or the Mourning Tea, but there are a lot of other captivating phenomena that you’re not going to want to miss!
This particular festival is very exclusive so get your tickets in advance, especially for the Official Salem Witch’s Halloween Ball. It’s imperative that if you enjoy Halloween, you be a part of this event. There are a lot of little events that you can participate in to win prizes and even celebrations to dance, eat food, and free psychic readings.
A few events even have life music for you to dance your heart out and rock to the electrifying beats of the afterlife.
Food and wine is incorporated into every party. Fear not, it’s a family event, so you don’t have to worry about indecent exposure provided your children aren’t easily scared by myths and a whole town dressed for the undead. The Children’s Halloween parade and the Witches Cottage are a good way for kids to spend some time at the event. With face painting and balloon animals, your children are going to have a a ball!
- Ghost Hunting 101: Learn how to hunts ghosts and capture paranormal activity for $75 per head. Ron Kolek will teach everyone present how to use electro-magnetic field meters and thermal scanners to observe and prove the existence of ghosts. There might even some need little tips to help you communicate with the undead.
- Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo: This event features some of the most gifted witches and psychics of the realm. You can even get an authentic psychic readings done to discover details of your past, present and future. Crystal balls and tarot card stalls are a perfect to venture into the paranormal.
- The Mourning Tea: Live music and poetry, it’s the event of the year where you can go talk about your loved ones and discover the messages left in your tea leaves. If you have a memory or a letter than you’d like to preserve, you can put it into the Salem Witches’ Book of the Undead to honor everyone that has passed through our lives. It’s an 18+ event, so be sure to carry ID.
- Dumb Supper: This ceremonial dinner with dead happens in complete silence, except for the music that is played. The dinner is served backward, so all the food courses are backwards as well. You start off with desert and end with appetizers. $95 dollars a head its a chance to feel the presence of spirits, some even reported feeling a ghostly touch or seeing something uncommon.
- Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball: On the most mysterious night of the year when the veil between our world and there’s is the thinnest, join like minded individuals to celebrate the dead. Live music, plenty of food, and alcohol a plenty at the bar, have fun like you’ve never enjoyed before!
Halloween is not the only the best time of the year to visit Salem but also the most busy time of the year. Hotels, guest houses and B&Bs are all popular options. It’s best to make reservations early so that you get your rooms at a reasonable price and the surety that your spot is secure. You can even get a rental and stay at home away from home.
Tips for your Trip
The Festival of the Dead is not for the faint hearted, regardless of whether you believe in the undead or not.
Carry your camera but ask for permission before clicking any pictures at any of the events. You don’t want to madden the undead by catching them off guard. The city takes their witchcraft seriously, so even if you don’t believe, keep your opinions to yourself.
Keep your costumes comfortable for walking around a lot and be sure that you can go to washroom while wearing them.