Today I wanted to do something a little different than the usual…I figured we could have a little story time and talk about someone who altered my first experience in Salem, long ago. This person set the tone for my trip and helped us so freely, making the visit that much more fun.
The first visit I made into Salem, with my then boyfriend…we came in with absolutely no plan. I’ve talked about this before in blog posts and such. We had no clue, no tickets to anything, grabbed a hotel room in Rockport last minute by the grace of the universe and were flying by the seat of our pants. Honestly, we had no idea what we were in for…we just up and came into the city over Halloween.
As we walked around the city, making loops because we were lost (haha), we kept running into the same guy, dressed up as the Phantom of the Opera. He had the cape over one shoulder and arm, the mask covering half of his face, the whole thing. He was very friendly and would wave every time we saw him. Even in the crowds, for whatever reason we ran into him over and over. Finally, we approached him and asked for suggestions. We explained that it was our first visit and we were basically clueless. He suggested a few things to us, places to eat and said we should catch a showing of Cry Innocent if tickets were still available. So off we went, towards the cart near the Old Town Hall and we scored two tickets to the show. He also suggested the House of the Seven Gables, The Witch House and getting onto the Salem Trolley.
It turns out, our helpful Phantom of the Opera, is Denis. He didn’t live in Salem at the time but lives there now. He is a local that most people recognize and is a busker during peak season, dressed these days as a bloody zombie (see picture above). He was such a welcoming and warm face, when we were overwhelmed by the experience of Halloween in Salem. He was a helpful friend when we were a bit lost. This experience stuck with me (clearly) and has always been a part of my memories of my first go at the witch city.
Salem is full of welcoming faces and locals who are willing to assist. During peak season in the fall, you can stop at the info booth at the top of Essex street with your questions. Locals volunteer to hand out Haunted Happenings guides and assist along the way. Police offers are willing to help and especially in the fall are out in force for support and safety. There is honestly no place like Salem, and I’m sure others have had similar experiences when they were newbies to it all. Feel free to share your stories in the comments and enjoy!! <3