On the Enfield Haunting site, we frequently explore places you can visit. There are entertaining haunted houses, real haunted houses and even museums of the paranormal.
If you’re planning a trip to New England this year, consider visiting the Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Read on to find out more about this historic museum, and information about visiting.
The Salem Witch Trials
From the 1300s to the 1600s, a witch hunt craze spread across Europe. And as it died down across the Atlantic, the Massachusetts were just beginning.
We discuss the Salem witch trials in depth elsewhere on this site. But, to make a long story short, there were a couple of years which weren’t the brightest for New England history. In the late 1600s, 20 people were executed and many more tried for their alleged practice of witchcraft.
Fear of “the Devil” ran rampant in colonial America, and men and women both were accused of consorting with him. These people were tried in very unusual ways, and twenty (likely innocent) people were killed when found guilty.
The Salem Witch Museum offers visitors insight into what, exactly, took place all those years ago. Ready to visit the Salem Witch Museum? Here’s what you need to know.
The Salem Witch Museum
The Salem Witch Museum, as you might imagine, is located in Salem, Massachusetts. Nearby to the Peabody Essex Museum and the historic Hawthorne Hotel, the museum boasts staged exhibits of the witch trials of 1692.
The building which hosts the Salem Witch Museum actually used to be a church. Towering over the street, the museum itself looks ominous. Once you step inside, you’ll feel as if you’ve entered colonial New England. Salem Witch Museum tour guides are dressed in full costume, and visitors say the reenactment exhibits are very lifelike.
So what are others saying about the Salem Witch Museum? When is the best time to visit, and how much does the Salem Witch Museum admission cost?
Salem Witch Museum: Admission and Visiting Information
The Salem Witch Museum is open year-round. They do, however, close for a couple weeks each year in January. So if you’re planning a winter visit to New England, be sure to call ahead. The museum is also closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
The general consensus is that fall is the best time to visit New England. The foliage and the weather make for a vacation like no other. Unfortunately, that means the area is crowded in the autumn months. For the most enjoyable trip to the Salem Witch Museum without the crowds, visit in the spring or early summer.
Admission to the Salem Witch Museum is, at time of writing, $12 for adults and $9 for children. Senior discounts are available as well.
If you’re planning to bring a group to Salem Witch Museum, it’s a good idea to call first. You may be able to get discounted admission rates. Furthermore, there’s an additional cost to park busses and coaches on the property.
If you do decide to visit the Salem Witch Museum in the fall, shoot for October. The area does get very crowded this time of year, as people from across the country visit to watch the colors change. But if you can stand the crowds, you’ll love the Salem Witch Museum at Halloween.
Salem Witch Museum Reviews
Reviews of the Salem Witch Museum are mixed. A majority of people say that the museum is great – the staff really knows their stuff, and the exhibits are realistic and lifelike.
The museum is intended to be historical, not scary. It’s appropriate for schoolchildren, so if you’re looking for a haunted house, this isn’t the place to go.
That said, visitors to the Salem Witch Museum do have a common complaint: the museum is dated. People who have toured the museum say that it has potential to be great… but it’s not great yet.
One other common complaint was the cost of admission. For a family of three, the price is okay. But if you’re bringing a larger family or even a group, visitors to the Salem Witch Museum said the price was very steep, even prohibitive.
Overall, the Salem Witch Museum is an informative, entertaining historical museum. But if you’re looking for modern day special effects and a scary experience, you’d do better to find a different attraction.
Salem Witch Tours
There are two types of tours at the Salem Witch Museum: the self-guided tour and the group tour.
The self-guided tour is just what it sounds like. Visitors to the museum are given free reign of the museum, and as they stroll through they’ll read information about the Salem witch trials.
Included in the price of admission is the Witches Evolving Perceptions exhibit. This is a display of how the popular perception of witchcraft has changed throughout the centuries. From Hansel and Gretel’s witch to modern day Wiccans, visitors can read about and view lifelike representations of these witches.
The Salem Witch Museum group tours also include admission to this exhibit. But, additionally visitors who travel in groups will be guided by a knowledgeable member of staff, who will explain each of the exhibits and answer questions. The guided tours take between an hour and an hour and a half, and school groups are welcome.
Whether you take the guided or the self-guided tour you are, of course, welcome to visit the gift shop. In the store, you’ll find just about everything you can imagine related to the history of witchcraft. Teachers can purchase teaching tools, and adults might enjoy the home décor. There are card games, spell books and even clothing available for sale.
Your Visit to Salem, Massachusetts
If you’re visiting Salem, your tour shouldn’t stop at the Salem Witch Museum. There are dozens of other locations across the village which pay tribute to and teach the history of the Salem witch trials.
Visit the Witch House, former home of Judge Jonathan Corwin and his family. Or, you may choose to take a trip to the Witch Dungeon Museum. The Witch Dungeon Museum offers live reenactments of the witch trials. The building also has a replica of a dungeon.
Salem Witch Village is also called the Haunted Neighborhood. Throughout the year, this little neighborhood offers seasonal attractions as well as year-round walking tours, gift shops and presentations.