What happens when a town is haunted by its past? Once upon a time, women and men were burned at the stake for witchcraft and wizardry. One town was notoriously famous for this practice and that small town was Salem. Located in Massachusetts, on the east coast of the United States, it is today mostly known for its witch trials. These trials lasted for about a year between February 1692 and May 1693. Out of the more than 200 people accused, 19 men and women were eventually found guilty and executed.
Today it is the witchcraft and wizardry that is making visitors flock to Salem. This is the town that celebrates Halloween year-round. For us, who don’t fancy the many outlets cashing in on the town’s horrific past, there is fortunately much more to enjoy along the town’s shores.
Going to Salem
We decided quite late that we would try to get to Salem. It was actually during breakfast on our second day in the Boston-area that we made up our minds about this. Staying in Revere we were already a fair bit on the way to Salem. There were several options on how to get to the town. As we had not rented a car, trains, buses, and ferries were available. Unfortunately, most of these options were time-consuming, either we had to go to central Boston first or make transfers along the way.
After calculating costs and time, we eventually decided to take an Uber from our hotel in Revere to Salem. This was a ride of about 30 minutes and it took us directly to the center of Salem. What we did was actually just pick one street in Salem that looked like it could be in the center and then get going. You might say that we were lucky, but Salem is not a big city.
Exploring the Town
Once we had arrived in the city, we started walking along the streets in the historic district of Salem. Most local shops and restaurants made some connection to witches and the feeling when exploring Salem was like walking a street in Amsterdam och Manchester during Halloween. All the historical references are, however, interesting. Life in Salem in the 17th century cannot have been easy.
We were soon out of the Halloween-streets and walking towards the wharf and harbor. We wanted to see both the old ship that we have seen on photos as well as check if it was an option to take the ferry back to Boston. The ship is the Friendship of Salem. It is a reconstruction of the East Indiaman Friendship that was built in 1797 and measures 52 meters. Its most symbolic parts were, however, dismantled and lay on the ground. The three masts were missing on the ship and it sure wasn’t impressive in its current state.
Our walk took us closer to the ferry terminal and the ferry to Boston. We were lucky, the next boat was to leave in an hour, so we still had time to explore. What we did was to cancel the plan to walk all the way to Winter Island and instead only walk around the Salem Neck, before getting back to the terminal and heading back to Boston.
Salem Ferry to Boston
Salem Ferry is the ferry operating between Salem and Boston. After taking Uber to Salem in the morning, we wanted to head into Downtown Boston once more. So the one hour boat ride seemed like a perfect option. The beautiful views soon changed to hard winds and we took shelter inside the small ferry. This option eventually rewarded us once we got closer to Boston. Arriving in Boston by sea was really amazing and the view of Downtown Boston made it worth the extra cost for the ferry. We were now also back in Boston to explore some more on this last day on the east coast of North America.
We will continue our trip, read more about our adventure in North America here >>