Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween's Not Over Yet!

Here's what's happening in Salem during the next 24 hours...

  • Celebrate Halloween at Crunchy Granola Baby, 3-5pm. 72 Washington Street.
  • Chilling Tales on the Friendship, 5-9pm.
  • 16th Annual Temple of Nine Wells Samhain Magick Circle, 5:30pm. Gallows Hill Park.
  • Sixty2 on Wharf Halloween Cocktail Party, 7pm-midnight, 62 Wharf St.
  • Live Music Around Town - featuring Total Entertainment DJ on Derby Street, DJ Doug on Salem Common, Undercover Band on Front Street, Grateful Ted & Britannica on Hawthorne Blvd. 7-10pm
  • Legacy of the Hanging Judge & Spirits of the Gables at The House of the Seven Gables. 7:30pm-9:30pm.
  • Witches Commemorative Candlelight Samhain Walk, 7:30pm.
  • The Hawthorne Hotel's Car-Evil Creep Show Costume Ball, 8pm-midnight.
  • Salem's Witches present A Feast to the Spirits, 8pm-midnight.
  • Eerie Evenings at the Witch House.
  • Halloween at Capt.'s Topsides, 8:30pm.
  • Halloween Finale, presented by VDA Productions at Washington & Federal Streets followed by fireworks over the North River. 10:30-11pm
It doesn't end on Friday night. If you couldn't make it here on Halloween, many of the street vendors will be here on Saturday, and there will be music at the Fountain Stage, as well as a number of events on Saturday night, including The Official Salem Witches' Ball at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Visit for complete info.

Arts & Antiques Month... next week!

The Arts & Antiques Month brochure is available. You can pick it up in Salem at the visitor center (2 New Liberty Street), Peabody Essex Museum, Urban Elements, or the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

You can also request one be sent to you by emailing us at with your mailing address.

The schedule of events is online, too (of course!) at

I hope you can join us on November 23 for the Buried Treasure Appraisal Event at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites!

Grogan & Company, your fine art auctioneer and appraiser, will be providing verbal appraisals of paintings, silver, estate jewelry, oriental rugs, and decorative arts (glass, china). Photos of large items may be brought, as well. Guests are asked to bring only one item. Items of particular interest may be evaluated publicly, and prizes will be awarded for the most interesting items of the day!

A sampling of Salem restaurants will be provided by Finz Seafood, 62 on Wharf, Capt.'s Waterfront Restaurant, Caffe Graziani, Coffee Time Bakery and others. You can even buy tickets online!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Public Safety on Halloween


City of Salem advises visitors to be safe, use common sense,
and be prepared to leave at the end of the evening

The City of Salem is encouraging participants in Salem’s Halloween night festivities to be safe and considerate during their celebration of all things haunted, spooky and bewitching.

Halloween night is filled with costume balls, festivals, dramatic presentations, ghost stories, walking tours, and parties. Visitors are advised to make reservations for tickets events early, as most will sell out.

The schedule of public events is as follows:

7:00-10:00 pm - Live music around town featuring the Undercover Band on Front Street and Grateful Ted on Hawthorne Boulevard;

10:30 pm - Halloween Finale presented by VDA Productions at Federal & Washington Streets, near the MBTA Commuter Rail station, followed by fireworks over the North River.

11:24 pm - Final train departs to North Station, Boston

11:26 pm - Final train departs to Newburyport

12:38 am - Final train departs to Rockport

The MBTA has added additional train service for Halloween night, and will be adding a temporary loading platform that will enable northbound and southbound trains to service Salem depot simultaneously. Visit for the complete expanded schedule of services for Haunted Happenings.

Those planning to celebrate Halloween in Salem are reminded of the following:

  • Omit any weapons – fake and real – from costumes, as they will be confiscated;
  • Public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated;
  • Salem is a residential city – please be considerate of private property and downtown residents;
  • The finale at 10:30 PM is the conclusion of the public Halloween celebration . Please note that the streets will be closed after the fireworks and in conjunction with the final trains departing Salem . The Police and Public Works Departments will be clearing all streets and sidewalks so visitors should be prepared to depart Salem following the closing ceremony;
  • To make the most of the public Salem Halloween experience, people are encourage to arrive no later than 8:30 pm, and should plan to depart after the finale at 10: 50 pm.;
  • From October 29 – November 1 citations for illegal behavior – including public drinking, vandalism, and littering – will have tripled fines, up to $300, associated with them..

The Halloween holiday attracts tens of thousands of costumed revelers to Salem to visit attractions and partake in the Fall festivities. While the vast majority of visitors enjoy their time here without incident, there are some that take advantage of this public gathering and end up causing harm to the area, themselves or others. Please know that the City strongly discourages disorderly behavior (such as drinking in public, littering and random acts of vandalism) and will penalize offenders to the maximum amount allowed under the law both civilly and criminally. Please help us maintain a fun and safe downtown environment on Halloween evening!

For complete information on Salem Haunted Happenings and Halloween night, please visit and

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Arts & Antiques Month

I sent out information about Arts & Antiques Month and The Buried Treasure Appraisal Event, which will happen on Sunday, November 23, last week, but I haven't put the ticket information on yet!

Please bear with me while I catch up with myself! If you would like to purchase tickets online, you can do so here.

This week we will post a page on that is dedicated to November's Arts & Antiques Month. In the meantime, the schedule of events is available, and you can request one by emailing your mailing address to

I hope you can join us in November for the lectures, tours, exhibits, open studios, and appraisal events that are being planned. It will be another magical month in Salem!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Salem named on of the nation's 10 best neighborhoods!

This is very cool, and I've excerpted it directly from Mayor Kimberley Driscoll's FYI Salem.

The American Planning Association (APA) announced that Downtown Salem has been designated one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2008 through APA's Great Places in America program. APA Great Places exemplify exceptional character and communities of lasting value. APA singled out Downtown Salem for its historical character; redevelopment as a compact neighborhood with residential, retail, and commercial uses; and for helping boost Salem’s local economy.
To celebrate, the City hosted a neighborhood block party celebration for downtown residents, work-ers and visitors to attend on Wednesday, October 8th at Noon at Derby Square in front of Old Town Hall. Mayor Kimberley Driscoll along with U.S. Senator John Kerry, U.S. Representative John Tierney, State Representative John Keenan, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Daniel O’Connell, and other City Officials were on hand to participate as we celebrated this very special announcement in down-town Salem!
The City of Salem is extremely excited and honored by this designation. Over the last few years, the downtown has been transformed with a lively mix of retail and residential uses, beautiful architecture, a rich and intriguing history and a pedestrian friendly environment. These attributes have come together to make Salem’s downtown an active and vibrant place for residents and visitors to live, work and shop. This award is a wonderful recognition of all that Salem has to offer.
APA’s designation would not have been possible without the involvement of Salem’s strong leaders – past and present. Beginning in the 1970s when urban renewal threatened demolition of historic downtown architecture, local leaders shifted redevelopment policies to address preservation concerns. By 1996, the city had updated its master plan, refocusing its mission on improving the business climate, capitalizing on maritime and cultural heritage, and redeveloping vacant building sites and the neglected waterfront. Today three separate plans address specific neighborhood goals to make the downtown business district a premier retail destination; transform vacant waterfront land into a neighborhood park; and construct a wharf and harbor walk.
Salem’s downtown neighborhood is roughly a half-mile square and orbits around the Salem Common, the cobbled Essex Street pedestrian mall, and a cross-hatch of commercial streets lined with two-to-six story buildings, generous sidewalks, and trees. Juxtaposed against these period buildings, is the contemporary addition to the Peabody Essex Museum -- the nation’s oldest continuously operating museum. The ad-joining residential streets contain mostly freestanding, single-family homes with close-by churches and pocket green spaces. The neighbor-hood boasts dozens of retail stores, more than 50 restaurants, and 400 newly built residences.
The nine other APA 2008 Great Neighborhoods are: Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA; Greater Park Hill, Denver, CO; North End, Boise, ID; Old Town Wichita, Wichita, KS; Charles Village, Baltimore, MD; Greater University Hill, Syracuse, NY; Village of Mariemont, Mariemont, OH; Society Hill, Philadelphia, PA; and Downtown Sheridan, Sheridan, WY.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Salem on TV Diner with Billy Costa

I told you I would let you all know when TV Diner's big Salem festival aired, and it has aired! It ran on Saturday, October 18 on NECN. It has been running since, though. Last night at 7:30 I caught the first half. I think the second half may run tonight at 7:30, for those of you in the NECN listening region.

Mayor Driscoll was on with Billy Costa, I was interviewed, Finz, Capt.'s, Upper Crust Pizza, The Regatta at the Salem Waterfront Hotel were all featured - among other restaurants. There was also great footage of Salem.

The festival was a lot of fun. Check out the video clips on the TV Diner web site.

These pictures from the festival feature Billy Costa with Mayor Driscoll (top) and with Mike and Rick Rockett, who own the Salem Waterfront Hotel.

Many thanks to TV Diner for putting on such a great show, and thanks to the Salem Waterfront Hotel for pulling the festival together. It was a great day under the tent!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

There are rooms to be had in Rockport!

If you're coming for Salem Haunted Happenings and haven't booked your accommodations reservations yet, well, shame on you! There is hope, though!
The site has listings for current availability at regional accommodations (Salem inns are booked solid - make your reservations for 2009 in November!), and the Inns of Rockport have just sent me their availability.
Rockport is a 30 minute train ride north of Salem, which makes it very easy and accessible. Check the Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail for the schedule.

17 High St., Rockport
Bed and Breakfast
978-546-7260 / 800-789-7260

25 Various locations throughout the town.
Inns, B&Bs, Motels, and Hotels
Various phones as noted on the website below

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Halloween Finale

The 27th Annual Salem Haunted Happenings will conclude with an original sound and light show produced by VDA Productions, Inc., of Somerville, MA. The closing ceremony will combine music, light, and movement soaring into the night sky followed by a fireworks finale over the North River. The entire event will provide a exciting, unique conclusion to Salem’s Haunted Happenings festival and Halloween night.

In addition to the finale, bands and DJs will be situated throughout the downtown on Halloween night, including the very popular Undercover Band on Front Street and Grateful Ted on Hawthorne Boulevard. All public music will end at 10:15, and audiences will be encouraged to venture toward the finale on Washington Street before leaving Salem via MBTA or private transportation at the conclusion of Salem Haunted Happenings and the Halloween Festivities, which will be at 11:00 PM.

Read the story about the Halloween finale in The Salem News.

Friday, October 17, 2008

MBTA has added trains for October Weekends

The MBTA has added extra trains to and from Salem for the weekends of October 18-19 and 24-25, as well as Halloween night. Visit for complete information.

If you click here, you can download a pdf of the revised schedule.

Salem is a 30 minute ride on the Newburyport/Rockport line of the MBTA Commuter Rail.
Or, you can take the Salem Ferry from Central Wharf, Boston, to Blaney Street, Salem. Either way - we recommend leaving the car at home and taking public transportation into Salem during October weekends!

Set Your DVRs and Start Your Engines

Salem, specifically the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites, will be featured on TV Diner with Billy Costa tomorrow, October 18, on NECN. The show ares at 10am, and will undoubtedly repeat next week. It will also be available online at the NECN web site.

Hundreds of people gathered under the tent last week to watch the filming and sample some excellent food from Finz, Capt's, Upper Crust Pizza, The Regatta Pub (in the Salem Waterfront Hotel), and others. It was a great event, and I for one can't wait to see what makes it into the show and what ends up on the cutting room floor!
I believe reviews of at least two Salem restaurants will be included. You know I'll post a link to the TV Diner site once the show is posted!

And then, on Sunday...
The annual Halloween Motorcycle Run to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) rolls into Salem on October 19. The ride is expected to arrive in Salem sometime between 1:00pm and 1:30pm and will enter Salem on Lafayette St. from Marblehead. The ride will proceed down Lafayette St., right on Derby St., and right on Congress St. ending at Shetland Park. Derby St. between Lafayette and Congress St. will be closed during this time and extensive traffic delays are expected in all areas of the route.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Buy tickets online for Oktoberfest!

You can buy your tickets online to The Witch City Haunted Oktoberfest, which is happening October 24-26, and know you'll get into the hottest addition to the Haunted Happenings schedule in 2008.

Friday night will feature entertainment by "Charmed & Dangerous" - a cabaret group out of New York that has quite a reputation to live up to!

Saturday and Sunday the stage will be alive with Oompah and Polka music, played by the
Bavarian Hofbrau Band and the Buddy Walker Orchestra. There will be dancing, food, Alpine hats (to the first 1,000 guests!), and beer provided by Ipswich Ale.

Buy your tickets now and we'll raise a stein with you next weekend at the Witch City Haunted Oktoberfest. for more info.

Proof at Salem State College

The award-winning Theatre Department at Salem State College opens the 2008-2009 season with Proof, the Pulitzer Prize winning play by David Auburn. The title refers to a mathematical proof and, in an ironic twist, to the fact that no can knows who wrote it – the deceased professor who suffered from lifelong mental illness or his brilliant daughter who appears to be unstable herself. Proof is a mystery, but also examines issues of family and relationships, depression and genius and the marvels of the mind. October 16-18, 23-25 at 8:00 pm and October 26 at 2:00 pm. Callan Studio Theatre. Tickets are: $15 general; $10 seniors and non-SSC students. For tickets call: 978-542-6290 or visit

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Arts & Antiques Month in November

There is life in Salem after October, and it is called Arts & Antiques Month. We are putting the finishing touches on a brochure and new page on, and in the meantime I thought you could whet your appetite for all thing antiques, architecture, and artistic with a few of the events coming next month.

For additional information on Arts & Antiques Month, or to request a copy of the brochure be mailed to you when it is printed ,contact us at (978) 744-3663 or (Send us your mailing address if you want to receive the brochure in the mail!)

Thursday, November 6

Kensington Stobart Gallery
Art and Artists on Boston’s North Shore
7:30 pm, Essex Room, Hawthorne Hotel
The first in a three-part series of art lectures by Salem historian Jim McAllister. For lecture descriptions, please visit
$10.00 (or $25 for all three lectures), Reservations are required.
978-825-0022, email

Saturday, November 8

Peabody Essex Museum
To the Ends of the Earth, Painting the Polar Landscape
10 am – 5 pm; Opens Saturday, November 8
Driven by the promise of adventure and the allure of the polar landscape, Frederic Edwin Church, William Bradford, Rockwell Kent and other artists sought inspiration at the ends of the earth. Some embarked on personal pilgrimages while others accompanied official expeditions. See a breathtaking array of works they created, ranging from monumental, romantic canvases to intimate early modernist pastels.
Exhibition sponsored in part by New Trade Winds/ECHO
For more information: 866-745-1876,

Sunday, November 9

The Phillips House, Historic New England
Artists behind the Canvas
3:00 pm, 34 Chestnut Street
Free to Historic New England members, $5.00 for the general public. This specialized tour of The Phillips House will discuss the Phillips Family’s acquisitions throughout the years and the lives of the artists behind the canvas. Information and tickets:; or call the Phillips House at 978-744-0440.

Thursday, November 13

Kensington Stobart Gallery
From Paris to Provence: A Cultural Odyssey
7:30 pm, Kensington-Stobart Gallery, Hawthorne Hotel
The second in a three-part series of art lectures by Salem historian Jim McAllister. For lecture descriptions, please visit
$10.00 (or $25 for all three lectures), Reservations are required.
978-825-0022, email

Saturday, November 15
Peabody Essex Museum
Atrium Alive: Extreme North and South
Experience the Arctic with special events inspired by the exhibitions To The Ends of the Earth and Polar Attractions. Events include workshops and art activities, family gallery explorations, performance art, artist presentations, concerts and more! Plus, hear harrowing tales from Arctic explorer Conrad Dickinson! Made possible by the Lowell Institute and ECHO (Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations).For more information: 866-745-1876,

Urban Elements
Feng Shui Basics
6:00 – 7:00 pm, 230 Essex Street Is your bed under the window? Do you know why a bed under the window is considered bad feng shui? Learn more and see the beautiful collection of vintage Asian & Indian home accents. Complimentary Wine & Cheese 978.666.4408,

Sunday, November 16
Peabody Essex Museum
Multimedia Performance Art - Southern Ice with Brooks de Wetter-Smith
3-4 pm, Morse Auditorium. For all ages. See November 15 listing.
For more information: 866-745-1876,

Wednesday, November 19

The House of Seven Gables
Hawthorne’s Haunts in New England by John Hardy Wright
7:00 pm, 115 Derby Street
A lecture and book signing as well as an exhibit of the author’s Hawthorne artifacts.
Tickets and Info: 978-744-0991 x104,

Thursday, November 20

Salem State College Theater Department
The Tempest by William Shakespeare
8:00 pm, Mainstage Theatre
Discover freedom, friendship, repentance and forgiveness in this Bard classic.
$15 General/$10 Students and Seniors/Free with SSC student ID

Treasures Over Time
A Jewelry Journey from Late Victorian through Art Deco
6:00 – 8:00 pm, 139 Washington Street-Salem, MA
Come explore antique jewelry from the late 1800’s through the 1920’s.
Discover what inspired the diverse jewelry styles found during these decades.
Light refreshments will be served.
Space is limited. Reservations: 978-745-2330

Friday, November 21

Salem State College Theater Department
The Tempest by William Shakespeare
8:00 pm, Mainstage Theatre
Discover freedom, friendship, repentance and forgiveness in this Bard classic.
$15 General/$10 Students and Seniors/Free with SSC student ID

Saturday, November 22

Salem Arts Association
3rd Annual Salem Open Studios
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Throughout Salem
View art throughout Salem as retailers and studios display the finest local art
For more information: 978-828-2460

Sunday, November 23

Destination Salem
The Buried Treasure Appraisal Event
1:00 – 4:00 pm, Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites 225 Derby Street
Join Grogan & Company Fine Art Auctioneers and Appraisers, WCRB Radio, and Destination Salem for an afternoon of music and antiques, and a sampling of Salem restaurants at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites. Bring one item for a verbal appraisal, and learn if you have a bit of buried treasure in your midst! $20 per person, cash bar. Reservations recommended.
Tickets & Information: 978.744.3663,

Friday, November 28

Peabody Essex Museum
PEM’s 36th Annual Antiques Show Preview Party
7 pm; Tickets $125 in advance/ $150 at the door
Kick off PEM’s annual Antiques Show with an elegant Preview Party. Attend the party and be the first to shop at dealer booths as you enjoy sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.
For more information: 866-745-1876,

Saturday, November 29

Peabody Essex Museum
Antiques Show Weekend
10 am -5 pm, November 29-30. Show included in Museum admission.
Top antiques dealers from the United States and Europe feature exceptional furniture, paintings, porcelain, jewelry and decorative accessories. Proceeds help support the museum’s education initiatives. Come find a treasure of your own to take home!
For more information: 866-745-1876,

Sunday, November 30

Landry & Arcari Oriental Rugs and Carpeting / Peabody Essex Museum
Live Demonstration!
10 am – 5 pm, Part of PEM Antiques Show
Visit Landry & Arcari Oriental Rugs & Carpeting in PEM’s Atrium to view live weaving demonstrations on their custom loom. Plus, buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win an exquisite full-size Oriental rug courtesy of Landry & Arcari. Drawing will be held on Sunday at the conclusion of the Antiques Show. Tickets may be purchased in advance, at the Preview Party or during the entire Antiques Show weekend. You do not have to present at drawing to win. Winner will be contacted Monday, December 1, 2008
For more information: 866-745-1876,

Sunday, October 12, 2008

KISS 108 Games on Essex Street

The Haunted Biz Baz is winding down - and what a Biz Baz it was - but the weekend is not over yet. Join Kiss 108 and General Motors on Monday, October 13 from 12 - 2pm For their Fall Games. You'll have the chance to win win $200 in free gas and dozens of other prizes in the KISS 108 Fall Games. Hear great music, pick up free gear, check out the newest in hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles from GM, and take play to win great prizes including a grand prize of $200 in free gas.

Back to the Biz Baz for a second - holy smoke! Thanks to everyone who came out for Columbus Day Weekend in Salem. The streets were packed, people were having a great time, and I can't believe how many skeleton shirts with the over-the-face hoods I saw. I hope you all had fun!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Treasures over Time on Washington Street

Salem has incredible retail - I mean it. The shopping here is a truly unique experience. People who haven't browsed Salem's shop windows in a few years will think I'm off my gourd when I say that, but I'm not. I am speaking the truth.
So, when you come to Salem, plan time to browse and shop. It's getting to be that time of making lists and checking them twice. I, for one, have a couple of Salem lists going. One of them is at Treasures Over Time.

Treasures Over Time moved from Essex Street to 139 Washington Street over the summer, and the new space is lovely, large, and light-filled - which makes all of the crystals, jewelry, and minerals come alive.

I have some photos that store owner Sivan Sergott has sent to me for brochures, and I have to share them with you. The emerald ring (sorry ladies, this one has been sold, but there are sure to be
others!) just about took my breath away when I saw it.

The Victorian necklace on the right is made with rose cut “Bohemian” Garnets. The Victorian pendant on the left features intertwined snake heads - one snake head is is 18k yellow gold set with a ruby and the other is platinum set with a diamond.

Treasures over Time has more than just jewelry - the store is a treasure trove of gifts and items inspired by the earth.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Spiritways in the Salem News

I'm probably cheating a bit here, but today's blog post is from yesterday's Salem News. Spiritways is one of those must-see events for Haunted Happenings 2008. Get ye to Pioneer Village...

Dark tale History Alive revises 'Spiritways' for Salem's Pioneer Village

By Larry Claflin Jr.
Staff writer

Salem Village is in peril: Savages lurk in the forest, "afflicted girls" and conjurers embrace Satan, and a demonic hysteria rattles the townspeople. Once a shining city on a hill, Salem has had God's grace snuffed, replaced by haunting darkness.

By the glow of candles and campfires, young Puritan women lead a group of kind strangers down uneven paths. The nervous, wide-eyed girls retell ungodly stories about hangings and infants spawned from Satan.

They chant, "Come witch, come wizard, come Shaman, come French. Come devil yourself! We are the elect."

This is Salem Village of 1692, as presented by Gordon College's History Alive theater program, and the strangers are audience members.

"Spiritways: A Night in Besieged Salem Village" plays Saturday nights in October at Pioneer Village, in Salem's Forest River Park.

"This is a psychological piece, looking through the eyes of these girls (who are) retelling stories and tales they would have heard," said Kristina Wacome Stevick, History Alive's creative director and codirector of Gordon's Institute of Public History.

"Spiritways" is meant to be a full-immersion experience, according to Stevick, who said audiences members will use their five senses — sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste — during the performance.

The play is also a learning tool, said Stevick, and the script is based on documented material from the time.

"I love the research," said Stevick, who co-wrote "Spiritways" with five others and directs the production. "I love trying to make historical material accessible to the general public."

The current script for "Spiritways" — revised from its 2007 version — was written specifically for Pioneer Village, an 11-acre living history museum Gordon has leased until 2013.

Sasha Irish, who plays a tour guide, said the play is accurate, not just scary.

"I like the fact that the show is trying to understand the Puritan mind-set at the time, and what may have caused (villagers) to react with such hysteria," said Irish, a recent Gordon graduate.

According to Stevick, some actors in "Spiritways" are familiar with the witch hysteria of the 17th century because they also appear in "Cry Innocent," another History Alive production running concurrently in Old Town Hall.

Julianne Richards, who acted in "Cry Innocent" for three years, is now a "Spiritways" cast member.

"Acting in 'Cry Innocent,' I had to do a lot of research from 1692 and on the lives of the people in Salem," said Richards, a Gordon graduate, who helped write the original "Spiritways" script in 2007. "It was kind of scary, writing this new thing. We'd never done anything like that before," she said. "It was a really fascinating journey for us all."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

11th Annual Salem Halloween Children's Day

This Saturday (rain date Sunday) the 11th annual Salem Halloween Children's Day hits the Common with inflatable jumper rides, games, pony rides, food, free balloons for all of the children, and a good safe time for all! There is a costume contest at noon, and free registration begins at 10:30 am. Prizes will be awarded in four age divisions. These events are sponsored by The Gathering & Domino's Pizza. For more information, call 978.744.8444.

This weekend (October 10-11-12) feels like the real kick-off to Haunted Happenings. The Chamber of Commerce's annual Haunted Biz Baz street fair takes over Essex Street, the Chrysler cars will accessorized to the hilt and on display near Armory Park on Friday fro m6-8:30pm, Spirits of the Gables (House of the Seven Gables) and Eerie Evenings (The Witch House) kick off on Friday night, and there are Wharf Knots to be found at Pickering Wharf.

Check the schedule at for everything going on this weekend. We have posted hotel availability on the Hotel link - and if you're coming mid-week, you just might be in luck. If you're looking to come for Halloween weekend, I think your best bets will be Rockport, Boston, Woburn, and Revere.

If you have some great pics from Haunted Happenings - or Salem in general - and you want me to consider posting them on the blog, send them to I'd love to see what you've seen in Salem this month!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

CinemaSalem opens vault for Harry Potter Film Fest

There are four more HARRY POTTER films to view this October at Cinema Salem! For only $6 a show, CinemaSalem is offering Harry Potter fans a chance to view all 35mm Harry Potter films, straight from the Warner Bros. vault, during the Harry Potter Film Festival.

The Festival takes place each weekend, with show times at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Last weekend the Harry Potter Film Festival began with a showing of the first of the popular film series, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

Harry Potter, a seemingly ordinary 11-year-old boy, lives with his negligent relatives, the Dursleys. That is, until he learns the truth about his wizardry – and how he received the lightning bolt scar on his forehead, at the hands of the evil dark Lord Voldemort. A visit from a mysterious stranger named Hagrid opens Potter's past and leads him through five stories that revolve around his education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The films star Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The adult cast features Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Ian Hart, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Richard Griffiths, Jason Issacs, Gary Oldman, Fiona Shaw, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson and Julie Walters.

Oct. 11 & 12, look forward to the 35mm film, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," released in 2002. When Potter ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, he discovers the school is plagued by a series of mysterious attacks – and a strange voice haunting him.

Oct. 18 & 19, enjoy the 2004 release, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," when the 35mm film revisits the big screen. It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Potter.

Oct. 25 & 26, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," released in 2005, will be shown at CinemaSalem. In this film, Potter finds himself selected as an under aged competitor in a dangerous multi-wizardry school competition.

To finish the series, Nov. 1 & 2, the 2007 release of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" will be shown. In his fifth year at Hogwarts, with warning about Lord Voldemort's return scoffed at, Potter and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.

All five films will be shown in 35mm film on the big screen, just as they were when originally released. The Harry Potter Film Festival coincides with CinemaSalem's opening of the renovated Cinema Café, Salem's newest espresso café to visit before or after the show, or even when you're not going to the movies! The Café serves great coffee drinks by Atomic Café roasts, offers free WIFI, and is a great place to relax with friends. Café goers can enjoy a host of delicious menu items including fruit smoothies, alternative concessions like granola snacks, baked cookies and brownies and yogurt parfait. Cinema Café is open Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday.

CinemaSalem is located at One East India Square. Visit to buy tickets or call 978.744.1400 for more information on CinemaSalem's midnight shows, FLATLINE FILM FEST, to be offered each weekend throughout October with screenings of films such as THE BLOB and ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW!

Independent Filmmaker and author Tonya Hurley and ghostgirl at Cornerstone Books

Here's a free event for Saturday, October 11 at 1pm at Cornerstone Books. If you can't make this one, check Cornerstone's schedule because they always have great readings and events happening.

Described in Publishers Weekly as “Beetlejuice meets Heathers”, ghostgirl tells the story of Charlotte Usher, who dreams of being popular but feels invisible at school. After a particularly uncool , Charlotte finds that she does not fell any less strongly about becoming popular, and uses her newly dead status to approach her goal in some new ways.

Library Journal says “Tim Burton and Edgar Allan Poe devotees will die for this fantastic, phantasmal read.”

ghostgirl author Tonya Hurley's credits include: creating, writing and producing two hit TV series, writing and directing several acclaimed independent films, developing a ground-breaking collection of video games and board games and creating and providing content for award-winning websites.

Reading and talk followed by Q&A and book signing.

While I was on the Cornerstone site looking for images to add to this post, I couldn't help but get excited for the readings/signings of children's books that are coming up - New York Times bestselling author Brian Lies, who wrote the fantastic Bats at the Beach, will be celebrating Halloween with his batty new picture book, Bats at the Library, on October 25. Kids can come in costume, get treats, and see Brian's "Bats"mobile. Reading followed by activities and book signing.

The week prior, Andy J. Smith brings Fang Fairy and The Attack of the Mutant Lunch Lady
to Cornerstone Books on October 18. This will be a perfect activity for younger kids during the Halloween season! These graphic novels are great for early readers, and illustrator Andy Smith will be sharing tips on drawing scary (but not too scary!) monsters.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites and TV DIner with Billy Costa

I'm getting ready to head to Pickering Wharf and the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites to see the taping of TV Diner with Billy Costa. They are expecting about 750 people at the taping, which will feature tastes from Finz, Capt's, Upper Crust Pizza, The Regatta Pub, and others. If you didn't get a ticket for the taping, you can get a sample of The Regatta Pub's new chef, Paul Goodhue, and TV Diner with Billy Costa on the TV Diner web site.

To get even more of Billy Costa (he's everywhere, it seems!) at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites, buy your tickets for their Wicked Night at the Wharf on October 25th.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ride the Salem Ferry!

This weekend is going to be beautiful! Beautiful, crisp, fall weather is coming our way. And that means you should be riding The Salem Ferry!

Here are some of the Ferry's FAQs, in case you have questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a reservation? Yes, we recommend all passengers make a reservation. Click here to make your reservation online, or you may reserve over the phone.

When should I arrive at the ferry dock? We recommend arriving 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time for the reservation and ticketing process.

Where do you depart from? We are located on Blaney Street in Salem, just off Derby Street by the House of Seven Gables and the power plant. In Boston, we depart from the New England Aquarium dock. Tickets may be purchased in the Aquarium Whale Watch booth.

Do you offer parking? We have ample free parking in Salem. In Boston, there are a variety of parking garages near the Aquarium dock, the closest of which is the Harbor Garage.

How long is the ride? The ferry travels at over 30 mph and makes the trip between Boston and Salem in 45-50 minutes.

Can I connect with other boats in Boston? Absolutely! We are located very close to the New England Aquarium Whale Watch and Boston Harbor Islands ferry.

Do you close because of bad weather? We operate rain or shine, however sea conditions occasionally force us to suspend service. Service updates are posted on our website.

Do you offer group discounts? Yes, please call (617) 222-6999 to make a group reservation.

CBS Psychic Radio moved their broadcast...

If you are looking for CBS Psychic Radio's live broadcast today, they moved from Hex to The Gathering, which is at 217 Essex Street.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

CBS Radio in Salem!

There's a bit of media blitz in Salem these days - which comes with the territory of Haunted Happenings each year.

If you would like to be a part of it, CBS Psychic Radio featuring The Maria Shaw Show is broadcasting from The Salem Witch Museum today, Thursday, from 12pm-3pm and tomorrow, Friday, at Hex: Old World Witchery from 12pm-3pm. Maria Shaw is a psychic to the stars and she will be doing readings for people from Salem and taking calls for her show from afar.

Cape Cod Community Access TV is filming in Salem today, too, and they will be broadcasting a 30-minute program about Salem during the month of October.

Chronicle, a favorite show on WCVB-TV out of Boston, was filming in town this week - so look for that to broadcast later this month.

And TV Diner with Billy Costa is going to be filming at the Salem Waterfront Hotel on Sunday afternoon.

You know why all of this media is in town, don't you? It's because October is truly a magical time in Salem and in New England. The air is crisp, the sun is shining, the cinnamon buns at the Wax Museum's haunted neighborhood smell awesome, there are buskers on the street entertaining the crowds, and all of the sites are extending their hours and stretching their staff to guarantee a great time for all of our visitors this month.

Happy October!