October 14, 2019: Salem as Santa Claus

These days, my family and I treat an October trip to Salem like a December trip to Santa Claus. The kids get dressed up, we find some cool photo opps with them, and that pretty much scratches our Salem itch for the season. After all, we’ve done and seen pretty much everything black and orange and shoved on a broom that the city has to offer.

But that’s fine. What I always tell people who ask me what they should do in Salem is to just walk it, let it flow around you, don’t be afraid to passively enjoy it.

Now, it’s a little different when it’s just me and Lindsey or when we’re meeting up with a friend for drinks or attending an event there. Salem is probably one of the best backdrop cities out there. Every minor chitchat at a polished slab of liquor-stained wood and every movie premiere is that much cooler for being in the shadow of the witch.

Today, my mini-parade of five, three in black witch attire, wandered our familiar paths, reminisced about other times we’ve been, and how much the girls have grown up (we also use Salem as a measuring tape for the girls).

I had a few specific things on my docket, but I didn’t get to a single one of them. I missed the Ouija-zilla, the world’s largest Ouija board that had been installed on the Common on Saturday. Apparently that was an extremely temporary exhibition. It was just a cluster of crates today. I didn’t make it into the new Ouija museum (which is basically a single room full of spirit boards tacked to the wall). And I still, still, still didn’t make it to the Satanic Temple to see the Baphomet statue. This is really my biggest Salem sin, honestly. It’s been there for years, and I’ve just never gotten to it.

It’s just that while we’re in Salem, in October, we wander. Part of it is because my family is a mini-parade these days, making doing anything with them a tactical exercise. A bigger part is that I can return under much less crowded circumstances to shop or do an attraction or eat at a particular restaurant (although you can’t get candycorntinis year-round for some reason) and have a more enjoyable experience than I can in October.

But there were still highlights today. There are always highlights when you visit Salem. Meeting a friend there and actually finding space for six at a restaurant. Somebody nabbing me out of a crowd to sign their copy of A Season with the Witch. Real witches complimenting my kids’ witch outfits.

We were there for four hours total. So only kind of like Santa Claus, as I get uncomfortable sitting on his lap after only two hours.