Photos and Words by Amanda Barone, Marisa Catapano, Jordan Rozenfeld
This weekend, ⅔ of The Trio (Amanda was there in spirit) visited the notoriously spooky town of Salem, Massachusetts. Famous for its haunted history of seventeenth century witch trials, Salem is the perfect place for a classic Halloween adventure. The town is just a short ride away by commuter rail, which makes it an ideal destination for a day trip.
Nestled on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, Salem is a quintessential New England town– marked by colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and unpredictable weather. As adopted New Englanders, we braved the rain and chilling wind that persisted all day and into the night. Although the weather wasn’t necessarily conducive to sightseeing and outdoor photography, it certainly added to Salem’s ominous atmosphere. Trudging through the storm, we followed a red path that led to the center of town. Within the first few minutes, we stumbled upon a cute ice cream parlor, The Salem Screamery. Just looking at the advertisement for their apple cider floats made our stomachs rumble. Making a mental note to stop by and grab dessert later, we continued to walk down Essex St., passing historical monuments like Salem’s Town Hall and the Peabody Essex Museum. We also wandered into a few of the many shops that lined the street. These boutiques offered everything from psychic readings, to hand-made chocolates, to witch paraphernalia. Marisa, being the huge Harry Potter fanatic that she is, was in all her glory in one of the magic trick shops that showcased wands, spellbooks, and even a Nimbus 2000 hanging overhead.
We easily could have continued walking and window shopping all day, but alas, our hunger got the best of us. We found reprieve in the Gulu-Gulu Café. This hip restaurant featured interesting wall decorations, such as twinkling Christmas lights and colorful chalkboards that depicted their vast coffee selection and the endless amounts of brews they had on tap. Upon seeing this, Jordan immediately ordered a spiced chai latte with the hopes of warming up. Soon after, a bookshelf in the corner collectively caught our eyes. It was piled with board games, and we noticed the table next to us engaged in a heated game of Scrabble. The Gulu-Gulu Café seemed like the perfect place to spend a cold and rainy afternoon with friends catching up and playing games. But before we could start up a game of our own, our food arrived. Marisa enjoyed a delicious cranberry salad, complete with goat cheese, pecans, and golden raisins. Jordan dove into a Barcelona panini adorned with smoked turkey, Manchego cheese, arugula, apple butter, and Dijon mustard. Overall, the Gulu-Gulu Café really hit the spot.
We left the warmth of the café in search of the perfect dessert to top off our meal. We picked up the red trail again, leading us to the front of the Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company. The store was located on the first floor of a house and was divided into two spaces; one showcased their old-fashioned hand-turned candy making machines and the other displayed their vast selection of handmade candies, chocolates, and fudge. Truly feeling like kids in a candy store, it was almost impossible to choose just a few sweets. After much deliberation, Jordan decided on an almond turtle, dark chocolate-covered cranberries, chocolate pretzels, and peppermint patties. We indulged in one treat after another, with each more delectable than the last. Their candy-making methods may be old-fashioned, but the Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company’s chocolates certainly stand the test of time.
As night fell, we braced ourselves for Salem’s Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour. We followed our tour guide through the streets of Salem, as he stopped periodically to recount the legends of the town’s most famous historical and modern hauntings. This tour is a must-see for history buffs and thrill-seekers alike. If you think you’re brave enough, you can even stay at the Henry Derby House, which is haunted by Sarah- the spirit of a nineteenth century servant who is known to have visited many guests of the B&B.
Even though we never made it back in time to get those apple cider floats, we left Salem feeling completely content, even if we were a little bit scared. Our trip to Salem was the perfect way to spend a day of our Halloweekend, and it is definitely a trip that we will be taking again next year for our fill of magic tricks and sweets.