Friday, October 29, 2010

The Phillips House Celebrates Halloween

I love this! One of the guides at the Phillips House carved Stephen Phillips into their pumpkin. I love a little heritage injected into Halloween.

You can find more history and Halloween at the Phillips House this weekend, with their second annual Tricks, Treats, and Treasures at the Phillips House.  There will be a special show led by Salem Pirate Ken Harris, including sea chanteys and pirate tales.  5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Sunday, October 31st.  The event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Massachusetts Bay Charter

There is an incredible opportunity to view American history at the Peabody Essex Museum!. The original Massachusetts Bay Charter is on display through January 30, 2010.
From  With the creation of the Massachusetts Bay Charter in 1629, John Endecott, of Salem, became the first governor of the newly established Massachusetts Bay Colony. See the rare, four-panel parchment that helped found the commonwealth and mark the beginning of American self-governance. The Massachusetts Bay Charter is presented in partnership with the Salem Athenaeum and will be installed alongside objects representing American art and culture of the 17th century.

For more information:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween visitors to Salem are urged to arrive via train or ferry

Authorities anticipate record numbers, excellent weather,and considerable traffic during this Halloween weekend

Authorities urge people planning to celebrate Halloween weekend in Salem, Massachusetts, to leave the cars at home, take advantage of public transportation, and bring their common sense.  Increased visitation during the first four weeks of October and a good forecast for Halloween weekend are expected to result in record numbers of people visiting Salem on Halloween and October 30th. 

Parking will be at a premium throughout downtown Salem this weekend, with public and private lots charging an average of $20 cash per car per day.  Visitors are encouraged to take the MBTA Commuter Rail or Salem Ferry to Salem from Boston and points north, avoiding the search for parking and the traffic backlogs that occur once garages and lots are full.  MBTA stations at Beverly and Lynn have ample parking, and are less than a 10 minute ride from the Salem Depot.  Salem’s walkable downtown makes personal vehicles unnecessary once visitors have arrived.

The MBTA has expanded commuter rail service to Salem for the weekend, and created a dedicated web page with schedules and ticket information at The Salem Ferry has also expanded service for Halloween weekend.  Information and the expanded schedule can be found at

Public Safety will be a top priority of the City of Salem, and a strong police presence will be noticeable all weekend.  Downtown street closures are planned for Sunday, and closures will be executed on Saturday if deemed necessary for public safety.  Street closure and parking ban information is available at

Visitors are urged to bring their common sense, and be aware of the following rules and regulations that will be enforced during Halloween weekend:
  • Disorderly conduct will not be tolerated. Salem has tougher sanctions and will be issuing tripled fines, up to $300 per violation, for infractions including public drinking, vandalism, littering, and disorderly behavior.
  • Leave weapons – real or fake – at home.  They will be confiscated by police.
  • Public drinking will not be tolerated. Public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Salem.
  • Know when the party’s over. The event ends at 10:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday night.  Visitors who are not inside private parties will be asked to depart Salem following the Ernie and the Automatics Concert on Saturday night and following the fireworks on Sunday night.  Police and Public Works Department staff will begin clearing the streets at 10:30 pm.
There will be more than 200 police on the ground this weekend, including the Essex County Tactical Unit and the Plymouth County Mounted Unit.  Surveillance cameras are installed throughout the downtown and will be monitored by police officials throughout the weekend. 

Salem is a historic, residential community, and city officials are working diligently to mitigate visitor impacts to residents, provide effective crowd control, and encourage an orderly exit out of the City when festivities conclude.  Visitors to Salem who respect the City of Salem, its residents, businesses, and law enforcement officials will have a great time celebrating Halloween and Haunted Happenings.

Free public entertainment will be provided on the Haunted Happenings Main Stage, presented by Radio 92.9, on Washington Street at Federal Street from 4pm – 10:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.  Additional satellite stages will feature free entertainment on Salem Common, Hawthorne Boulevard, Front Street, and Derby Street.  The month-long Haunted Happenings celebration will conclude with a brilliant fireworks display over the North River at 10:15 pm on Sunday.

For more information on Salem Haunted Happenings visit or call Destination Salem at (978) 741-3252. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mark your calendar for Fall Restaurant Week in Salem

Only five days remain in October, so it's time to start thinking past Halloween and Salem Haunted Happenings.  There is a fantastic Fall Restaurant Week is on the horizon! 

More than twenty restaurants are participating in Fall Restaurant Week, which is presented by the Salem Chamber of Commerce.  Restaurant Week is a great way to experience the best local cuisine at value pricing!  Participating restaurants will offer a two-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $15 and a three-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $25 (not including drinks, taxes, and gratuity). 

Visit for more information, a list of participating restaurants, and links to Restaurant Week menus.

Destination Salem will celebrate Salem's excellent restaurants throughout the month of November with a "Tag and Dine" promotion on Facebook.  "Like" so you don't miss your chance to win gift certificates to dine out in Salem! The give-aways will begin on November 1!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Report on the Most Recent Salem Witch Trials Research

The House of the Seven Gables Presents “A New Look at the Salem Witch Trials: Report on the most Recent Research”

The House of the Seven Gables will welcome Professor Benjamin C. Ray from the University of Virginia to present a talk entitled “A New Look at the Salem Witch Trials: Report on the most Recent Research” on Sunday November 7th, 2010 at 2:00 PM. Professor Ray’s lecture will focus on the new scholarly edition of the court records of the Salem Witch Trials titled Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. This book, of which Dr. Ray is an associate editor, is the first comprehensive record of all legal documents pertaining to the Salem Witch Trials in chronological order. With the inclusion of previously undiscovered manuscripts as well as documents published in earlier additions and omitted from later, Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt offers the most comprehensive historic account of the events of 1692-1693.

Dr. Ray’s roots in Danvers date back to Daniel Ray (spelled Rae) who settled his family on the North Shore in 1630. A later generation would raise their voices in defense of accused witch Rebecca Nurse in 1692. It was this family history that inspired Dr. Ray, a Religious Studies scholar, to begin teaching on the subject and conducting further research. After receiving a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Dr. Ray teamed with another scholar and a team of researchers to digitize all the court records associated with the Witchcraft Trials.During the project, the team uncovered over 30 previously lost original court records making this edition the most accurate and comprehensive record ever published. Dr. Ray’s lecture will discuss the story of the Salem Witchcraft Trials as scholars now understand them.

The lecture will be held on Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 2:00pm at The House of the Seven Gables. Tickets are $10 for non-members and $5 for members of The House of the Seven Gables. For tickets, please call The House of the Seven Gables at 978-744-0991 ext. 104. For more information on this year’s centennial events, please visit

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bread, Salt, Wine...


Chef Antonio Bettencourt of 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar located in Salem, Massachusetts, has partnered with several wine organizations to launch his new ongoing Wednesday night series called “Bread, Salt, Wine.”

Based on the traditional Judeo–Christian blessing and offering brought to a new home, and in an effort to take some of the mystery out of enjoying wine, Chef Bettencourt will open his restaurant up to guests free of charge offering, wine samples, complimentary hors d'Ĺ“uvres and his full “spuntini” – (small snack in Italian, similar to tapas) will be free with the purchase of one of the wines during the tasting. 

We wanted to create a fun unpretentious environment where diners could come in, try amazing wines, eat great food, socialize and learn from these amazing Boston resources,” said Chef/Owner Antonio Bettencourt. The “amazing resources” Chef Bettencourt is referring to are Boston’s premier oenophile groups, associations and schools. Included in the series: Boston Wine School, Red White Boston, Second Glass, Local Wine Events and Boston Uncorked.

Each week a group will come into the restaurant and speak about the wines served and answer any questions guests may have.

The series is offered every Wednesday night from 5:00PM-7:00PM in 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar’s Lounge and is free with RSVP to:  For more information on 62, visit

October Schedule:
The Second Glass – October 27th, 2010
Boston Wine School – November 3rd, 2010
Boston Uncorked – November 10th, 2010
Local Wine Events – November 17, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Heaven & Hell Halloween Ball at Rockafellas

A new costume ball to add to your schedule in Salem!  Rockafellas will be hosting their first Heaven & Hell party on Saturday, October 30 and again on Sunday, October 31.

Celebrate Halloween on a new level in their all-new 2nd floor ballroom, “heaven” and downstairs, “hell,” in their restaurant lounge converted into a Halloween bash like no other. Featuring two levels of entertainment, including live bands on one floor and DJs on the other.

Ring in midnight with a champagne toast at the October 30 party!  And enter to win the $1000 grand prize for best costume, and other prize giveaways. Grand prizes to be judged at midnight.   Passed hors d’oeuvres tickets are $50 In advance which includes VIP Treatment(no waiting in line and Rockafellas Gift Bag to first 100 people).

The details:

October 30 and 31, 8pm-1am

$50 in advance, $60 at the door
Reserve tickets at 978-745-2411
231 Essex Street, Salem

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Full Moon and Pirate Paddles

Here are two great upcoming events from our friends at Salem Kayak!  Hurry, get out on the water before it's too cold! 

Date: Oct. 22 OR 23 from 6-8 p.m.
Fee: $55 per person for a single kayak, $50 per person for a tandem, $40 tag-along rate (bring your own gear and kayak).
Place: Salem Willows
For those new to sea kayaking, as well as seasoned kayakers. Follow the coastline into Salem Harbor and take in the full moon. Includes all necessary gear. Visit or call 978-270-8170.

Date: Oct. 30
Time: 4-6 p.m.
Fee: $55 per person for a single kayak; $50 per person for a tandem; $40 tag-along rate (bring your own gear and kayak).
Place: Salem Willows
After an easy launch from the Willows, paddle to Derby Wharf and take part in our storming of the beach!  All costumes must be able to incorporate a PFD. Visit, or call 978-270-8170.

Thursday is the last Farmers' Market of the season!

Thursday is your last chance to buy fresh local fruits, vegetables and baked goods at the Salem Farmers' Market.  To celebrate the end of an incredibly successful season, the Farmers' Market is having a Harvest Fest from 3pm - 7pm.  There will be fun for all ages!

The first 100 children will receive a free small pumpkin.  There will be a performance of the Thriller dance by Dance Etc. at 6:00 PM.  Children are encouraged to wear their costumes and participate in a costume contest.  The winner of the contest will receive a gift certificate to Mud Puddle Toys.  There will also be a face painter and balloon twister (both for a fee). 

The market is in Derby Square from 3pm-7pm, Thursday, October 21st.  Visit for more information.

Join us as we say good bye and thank you to the Farmers' Market! 


Monday, October 18, 2010

The Hawthorne Hotel Blog

I get a fair number of questions about the flags that fly outside the Hawthorne Hotel each day.  General Manager Juli Lederhaus publishes the "Flags of the Week" on the Hawthorne Hotel blog each week.  So, if you're wondering which flag is which or what flag is coming up, Juli's blog is the place to go.

Juli explained on May 16 that the Hawthorne Hotel changes the flags on the face of the building daily, in alphabetical order, to recognize the member countries of the United Nations, and the states and territories of the USA.  They also recognize and honor special requests, so if you see the French flag flying, there's a good chance the hotel has a special guest from France staying overnight!

Today the Hawthorne Hotel published the form for requesting a room for Halloween weekend 2011.  If you're planning to come to Salem for Halloween NEXT year, it's time to start planning!

The Hawthorne Hotel blog is a very useful resource for visitors to Salem!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The return of the Bronze Witch

We were walking down the Essex Street pedestrian mall yesterday and was delighted to see the return of the Bronze Witch.  She must have had fun last year, because she brought a friend this year!

These women are so talented, and so much fun to watch.  While we admired the ladies, Cry Innocent pulled Bridget Bishop down Essex Street to her examination.  The two statue's reactions to Bridget and Cry Innocent were very entertaining!  They are so expressive.

Essex Street is always so exciting!