Posts Tagged With: Salem

Spooky places to spend your Halloween

Halloween is my favourite time of year. I love all the decorations and costumes and how everything seems just a little spookier as the leaves change colour and the carved pumpkins glow.

It’s also a great time to explore some of the world’s creepier destinations.

Here are a few of my favourite spooky spots to check out this time of year:

The Catacombs of Paris.

Exploring the Catacombs of Paris

Exploring the Catacombs of Paris.

“The City of Love” has a darker side waiting 20m below the city streets. Here, in the underground ossuaries lie the remains of more than six million people. The bones are laid in a small part of a tunnel network built to consolidate Paris’ ancient stone mines.

During the late 1700s, many of the city’s cemeteries had reached capacity. Some, including the Saints-Innocents (Cemetery of the Innocents) had gone beyond capacity. Here, people were buried in mass graves, piled one on top of the other until it became a source of infection for those nearby. In late 1785, the Council of the State closed the cemetery and decided to remove its contents.

Millions of bones

Millions of bones found in the underground ossuary of Paris

This transfer began in 1786 after the blessing and consecration of the site and continued until 1788. The moving of remains took place at nightfall, where a procession of priests sang the service for the dead along the route taken by the carts loaded with bones and covered by a black veil. Until 1814, this site received the remains from all the cemeteries of Paris.

Nowadays, the 2kms of bone-filled tunnels is a perfect place to spend a couple of hours on Halloween!

 

Wat Rong Khun, Thailand

Koi fish

Koi fish swimming in the pond surrounding What Rong Khun

Better known as the “White Temple,” Wat Rong Khun is one of the most famous temples in Thailand. Located in Chiang Rai, this temple looks like something out of a fairy tale… until you get a closer look.

There are demons and villains popping out of the ground and hanging from trees all around the temple. To enter the main chapel, you cross a narrow bridge over a pool of hands and faces reaching up, trying to claw their way back to the surface, representing suffering souls in Hell.

And they sure are creepy to walk across!

 

Walt Disney World, Orlando

Mickey Halloween Lanterns

Mickey Halloween Lanterns

While it may be known as the happiest place on earth, Disney World turns into a spooky night out with Mickey’s Not- So-Scary Halloween Party.

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Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas with Mary Poppins and Bert!

It may not be as creepy as some of the other spots on this list, but with all the Halloween decor, characters like Jack and Sally out for photos and special shows like the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” and the “Boo-to-You” Parade, it’s definitely a fun night out. Plus, it’s the one time of year that as an adult you can dress up as your favourite character at the park – and you get to trick or treat along the way, no matter how old you are!

Disney is truly a place where you never have to grow up, and that makes celebrating Halloween there even more fun!

 

And then, of course, there is Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is widely known as the site of the witchcraft trials of 1692, and the history and stories surrounding the hysteria of the witchcraft trials is found everywhere here, from museums to historical re-enactments to haunted walking tours.

During the month of October, this small town of 40,000 doubles in size as Halloween enthusiasts make their way here to explore the haunting history

You can visit the memorial dedicated to the 19 innocent people who were killed during the witch trials and you can also check out some of the film locations of my favourite fictional witches, The Sanderson Sisters from “Hocus Pocus ” 

Allison's Mansion from Hocus Pocus

Allison’s Mansion from Hocus Pocus

Salem has something for everyone and should definitely be on your Halloween travel list!

Zombie Prom

All dressed up for Zombie Prom in Salem

Next on my list of places to visit for Halloween are New Orleans, and of course, Transylvania!

What’s on your spooky travel list?

Categories: Asia, Blog, Europe, North America, Photo, Where in the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Salem-Witchcraft Hysteria to Halloween Escape

If you’re a huge Halloween fan like myself, do yourself a favour and take a trip to Salem, Massachusetts during the month of October.  img_6969Salem may be most widely known as the site of the witchcraft trials of 1692, but this colourful coastal city has a lot more to offer: impressive historic architecture, maritime heritage and a rich history spanning nearly four centuries.img_6958

The history and stories surrounding the hysteria of the witchcraft trials is found everywhere here, from museums, to historical reenactments, to haunted walking tours.

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Hocus Pocus Tour of Salem

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My favourite time of year is upon us. Time for spooky decorations, pumpkin beer, carving pumpkins, gorging on candy and dressing up in fabulous costumes! The time of year when ghost stories come to life and witches take over the silver screen.

Over twenty years have gone by since one of the greatest Halloween movies, and my personal favourite, premiered. My yearly Halloween celebrations aren’t complete without watching Hocus Pocus at least once.  This year, I decided to take this celebration one step further and set out for Salem, where the film is set.

If you haven’t seen this movie starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Nijimy, you should stop what you are doing and go watch it….immediately.

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Hocus Pocus tells the story of the Sanderson sisters, three witches who are hanged during the Salem witch trials. After 300 years, the spell the witches cast the night they were hung resurrects them when Max decides Halloween is all a bunch of hocus pocus, and lights the black flame candle on Halloween night.

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Now it’s up to Max, his sister Dani and his crush Allison, along with an immortal cat named Binx to put an end to the Sanderson sisters once and for all.

While most of the filming took place in Los Angeles, some sites in Salem and neighbouring towns made an appearance.

Being such a huge fan of both Halloween and this movie, there was no way I was leaving Salem without tracking down as many of the film sites as I could.

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1.  Max & Dani Dennison’s House– 8 Ocean Ave.  In the film, the Dennisons recently moved to Salem from L.A. into  this amazing house at the end of Ocean Ave overlooking the water.  Today, it’s a private residence, but still looks exactly as it did in the movie when the witches burst out of the amazing rooftop tower.

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2. Old Town Hall– 32 Derby Square- This is the spot where the Sanderson Sisters ‘put a spell on you’ as the adults spent the night dancing away at the town Halloween party. Today, the Salem Museum is located on the first floor of the building. It also hosts the plays Cry Innocent and History Alive.

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3.  Allison’s Mansion – 318 Essex St – The gorgeous house where Max’s crush, Allison, lives is the historic Ropes Mansion, which was built in the 1720s. Today, the mansion is operated by the Peabody Essex Museum and is open to the public. (The film only used the exterior of the house.)

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4.  Sanderson Sister’s Cottage/ Thackery Binx’s home – Salem Pioneer Village/ Salem Forest River Park- The pioneer village is the first living history museum. The “1630 Pioneer Village’ is open to the public from from mid-April to  September 30th – just watch out for black flame candles!

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5. Jacob Bailey High School – Salem Commons- The school Max Dennison attends with Allison.  The exterior of the former Phillips Elementary School made an appearance in the movie when Max, Dani and Allison trick the witches into the furnace to burn them.

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6.  Park outside the school – Salem Common- the scene where Max tries to trick Allison into taking his phone number after school takes place here. Like most New England settlements, Salem had a plot of land where residents could graze their livestock. In 1850, the city enclosed the Common with the wrought iron fence and renovated its structures.

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7. The Graveyard-Old Burial Hill, Marblehead– The daytime shots of the graveyard, where Max is bullied by Jay and Ernie and where Max, Dani, Allison and Binx, hide from the Sanderson Sisters, is located in neighbouring Marblehead. The Old Burial Hill cemetery was established in 1638 and is one of the oldest cemeteries in New England. (Night filming took place in Los Angeles.)  Sadly, we didn’t make it out to this one…guess I’ll just have to make another trip!

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So next Halloween season, if you’re looking to chase down some fun and celebrate one of the greatest Halloween films ever, sail into the Sanderson Sisters’ witching ground and take your own walking tour of these Hocus Pocus filming locations!

Categories: Blog, North America, Photo, Where in the World | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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