21+ Salem Haunted Happenings

(Last updated in 2019)

With a local cidery and brewery in town, Salem has a lot to offer the 21+ crowd this October. Read on to discover some of this year’s Haunted Happenings 21+ events, or start planning now for next year!

Live Performances


Looking to kick back with some live music this October? A number of restaurants and bars around Salem offer live music on most weekend evenings. Gulu-Gulu Café, located at 247 Essex Street, hosts local musical acts and supports Salem artists while serving up a wide selection of hard to find craft beer. At Gulu-Gulu Cafe the entertainment isn’t limited to weekends either as Wednesdays are open mic nights!

Just around the corner from Gulu-Gulu on Washington Street are Opus Underground and Koto Asian Grill. Opus Underground, at 87 Washington Street, features karaoke on Tuesdays, live music on Thursdays, Friday night dance parties, and cover bands on Saturdays. Across the street at 90 Washington Street, Koto hosts live music weekly and is home to events like the annual Zombie Prom.

For a more relaxed live music scene, check out the acoustic music series at Far From the Tree Cider at 108 Jackson Street. Can’t make it on a Saturday? Far From the Tree has other special events planned for other days of the week including cider talks, new cider releases, trivia nights, movie nights, and more.

On the Water

Mahi Cruises

Mahi Mahi’s Boo’s Cruise sets sail out of the Pickering Wharf Marine select weekend nights during Haunted Happenings! Grab a costume and hop aboard for a party on the water featuring a full bar, DJ, and fresh eats from the grill, along with hot beverages including Mahi’s famous Grandma’s Spiked Cider. Tickets for the cruise are $25, and we recommend purchasing them in advance through MahiCruises.com.

Samples & Tastings

Tales & Ales at Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre

For a weeknight excursion into Pickering Wharf, stop by the Regatta Pub at the Salem Waterfront Hotel. Each week, the pub hosts Wicked Wine Down Wednesdays, where a new selection of “wickedly spooky” wines will be available in the pub. During the weekends, visit the Regatta Pub for a Sunday brunch complete with a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar as part of Wicked Bloody Mary Sundays.

For samples in a more theatrical setting, plan on attending Tales and Ales at the Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre. This presentation includes chilling stories of ghosts and madness recounted by Arthur Hennessey in a dark and eerie theatre. Arrive early for samples of three different local ales prior to the performance! Tickets are $24 and may be purchased in advance through GallowsHillSalem.com.

Festivals & Beer Gardens

For the largest festival on the North Shore celebrating wine, mead, craft beer, and cider, head over to the annual Salem Harvest Fest. Event takes place Saturday, October 19 and features product samples, complimentary snacks, live music, and a souvenir Harvest Fest glass for each ticket holder. Tickets to Harvest Fest are available in advance through SalemHarvestFest.com.

On Halloween night, live music stages are set up around town and Salem Haunted Happenings comes to a close with the fireworks over the North River at 10:00 pm. Check the events calendar as we get closer to Halloween for details on this year’s performing acts.

Halloween Balls and Parties

Photo by Patrick Cornelissen

For the ultimate 21+ Halloween event, start planning early and purchase advance tickets to one of the many balls hosted in Salem during Haunted Happenings. Rockafellas, located 231 Essex Street, is hosts themed balls throughout October (check back here later for all the details!)

Festival of the Dead hosts the annual Official Witches Ball on October 25, with this year’s theme being The Gods of Olympus, The event includes a magical evening complete with a laser light show, DJ, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar complimentary psychic readings, photo room, live performances by Dragon Ritual Drummers, prizes for best costumes, and more! Tickets are $150, and may be purchased in advance at FestivaloftheDead.com.

The Salem Waterfront Hotel hosts the annual Wicked Night on the Wharf, a costume ball on October 26. Back towards the Common, the Hawthorne Hotel hosts their very popular annual Halloween Party, this year themed around Alien Invasion. Each year this party takes over three floors of the hotel with live music, DJs, dancing, psychics, food stations, and a costume contest with cash prizes.

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