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Travel: Salem for Witch Lovers

A longtime escape for those who don’t quite fit the mold (witches, pirates, Hawthorne), Salem, Mass., is Covet + Lou’s kind of place. It’s strange, dark, and never takes itself too seriously, all reasons we chose the town to serve as the backdrop for our Fall lookbook, shot at Salem Willows.

Halloween, obviously, is Salem’s most festive time of year, packed with parties and witch tours and psychics giving readings on every other corner. At just 16 miles north of Boston and easily accessible by train it makes for a great day or weekend trip from most spots in the Northeast. Costumes optional.


Peabody Essex Museum
You don’t want to skip the usual haunts, so to speak, like the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and the New England Pirate Museum, which honors, among others, the last woman hanged in Massachusetts and New England’s only female pirate. But you can’t leave town without a visit to the Peabody Essex Museum, recently renovated and right now hosting the very cool “Beyond Human: Artist-Animal Collaborations,” featuring works either on or by animals (for real) in the museum’s new Art & Nature Center.

Salem Open Market
Thursday’s the final day for the Salem Open Market at Haunted Happenings, where the founders of Boston’s popular SoWa Open Market bring together more than 50 indie artists and designers outside on Derby Street, Essex Street, and Hawthorne Blvd. Go and buy some stuff.

Haunted Harbor Cruise
A 90-minute open sea peek into the minds of pirates that once sailed the waters of Salem Sound. With: fortune telling and full bar! Phew.

Salem Witches Magic Circle
Some of the local witches get together on Salem Common every Halloween night “when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest” to cast spells, followed by a candlelight procession that we’ll probably skip because, well, we only go home with witches we know.

Red Lulu Cocina + Tequila Bar
If you’re left shivering for a stiff drink, the folks at Red Lulu are there for you with nearly 50 kinds of tequila and a fried chicken taco so good it’ll give you nightmares for weeks.

Photograph by Rob Coshow