A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts

November 1, 2020
A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts

Edgar Award-winning travel writer spends an autumn living in oneof America's spookiest tourist destinations: Salem,MassachusettsSalem, Massachusetts, may be the strangest city on the planet. Asingle event in its 400 years of history—the Salem Witch Trials of1692—transformed it into the Capital of Creepy in America. ButSalem is a seasonal town—and its season happens to be Halloween.Every October, this small city of 40,000 swells to close to half amillion as witches, goblins, ghouls, and ghosts (and theiradmirers) descend on Essex Street.For the fall of 2015, occult enthusiast and Edgar Award–winningwriter J.W. Ocker moved his family of four to downtown Salem toexperience firsthand a season with the witch, visiting all of itshistorical sites and macabre attractions. In between, he interviewsits leaders and citizens, its entrepreneurs and visitors, itsstreet performers and Wiccans, its psychics and critics, creating apicture of this unique place and the people who revel in, or merelyweather, its witchiness.