Tips for a Safe & Fun Celebration of Halloween in Salem

Events are rain or shine; take public transportation and plan ahead to make the most of your visit

As the 39th annual Salem Haunted Happenings heads towards its conclusion on October 31, event organizers have final recommendations and reminders for revelers planning to visit the Witch City this weekend.

The forecast includes rain on Saturday, October 30. Salem Haunted Happenings events run rain or shine, but some modifications may be made to outdoor programs due to downpours or high winds. Check the Destination Salem App notifications, and @hauntdhappnings on Twitter for any event changes.

DO NOT DRIVE INTO DOWNTOWN SALEM 

With Halloween falling on a Sunday, Salem anticipates significant crowds throughout the day. Visitors are strongly encouraged to take the MBTA Commuter Rail, which has expanded service on the Newburyport/Rockport Line for October 30 and 31.  Visitors who plan to drive into Salem should take advantage of the free satellite parking and shuttles provided by the City of Salem. Shuttles will run 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM on Saturday and 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM on Halloween, Sunday, from lots at Salem High School (77 Willson Street), Salem State University’s O’Keefe Center (225 Canal Street), and 108 Jefferson Avenue (behind Salem Hospital). The downtown pick-up/drop-off location is in Riley Plaza.

Downtown lots and garages charge $30 or more and fill up early on weekend days. As pedestrian traffic swells, Salem Police will close downtown roads to vehicular traffic. The eastern and western ends of Essex Street, around the Pedestrian Mall, will be closed, as well Church Street and Washington Street. Avoiding driving in downtown Salem will save visitors time and frustration when traffic builds throughout the day.

The final trains to Boston depart at 10:41 PM, the final train to Beverly/Newburyport departs Salem at  10:30 PM, and the final train to Beverly/Rockport departs Salem at 11:00 PM.  Note, the MBTA and Keolis change pedestrian access points to the MBTA Commuter Rail Station on Halloween night. Pedestrians will walk to the vehicle entrance at 252 Bridge Street and will be put in queues for northbound and southbound trains.  Vehicle traffic in and out of the MBTA station, including the garage and surface lot, will not be permitted between 6:00 PM and 11:30 PM on October 31.

HALLOWEEN NIGHT IN SALEM: BE SMART, BE SAFE, HAVE FUN 

Visitors are reminded to be vigilant in crowds and if they see something, say something.  Salem Police Department will be assisted by uniformed and plain clothes officers from neighboring communities, as well as the Massachusetts State Police and NEMLEC.

Suspicious activity can be reported to a detail officer or by calling Salem Police at (978) 744-1212. On Halloween, orange public safety tents will be located around the downtown. In the event of an emergency, dial 911.

Entertainment stages and beer gardens will be located at Charlotte Forten Park, 289 Derby Street, Salem Common, Washington Street at Federal Street (near the MBTA station) and Washington Street at Front Street.  Entertainment will conclude at 10:00 PM so people can get to the top of Washington Street to watch the closing fireworks.

GUIDELINES FOR A HAPPY HALLOWEEN IN SALEM

  • Seek Alternate Routes! Do NOT drive to Salem on October 31. Take the MBTA Commuter Rail or the Salem Ferry.  Park in Lynn or Beverly and take the MBTA Commuter Rail right to Salem.
  • Plan to arrive no later than 8:30 PM so you have time to make the most of your Halloween experience in Salem.
  • Do not park in “Resident Parking” zones. The fine is $50, and you may be towed.
  • Be patient!  Road closures and details are numerous on October 31. If you must drive, expect delays.
  • Be prepared to leave at the end of the evening. The street party concludes after the fireworks.
  • Don’t get stuck. To accommodate pedestrian traffic, the MBTA closes the garage at the commuter rail station to cars from 6:00 PM— 11:30 PM. No cars will be permitted to enter or exit during those hours.
  • Do not bring weapons, real or fake, as they will be confiscated.
  • Public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited.
  • Be considerate of private property and Salem’s downtown residents.
  • The party ends after the fireworks at 10:15 PM. Plan to depart at 10:30 PM, as police and public works department will be clearing the streets and sidewalks.
  • Visit HauntedHappenings.org for complete information on Salem Haunted Happenings and Halloween night in Salem, Massachusetts.

Please help us maintain a fun and safe downtown environment on Halloween evening. The City of Salem strongly discourages disorderly behavior, including drinking in public, littering and random acts of vandalism. Triple fines are in effect on October 31, which means citations for illegal behavior, including public drinking, vandalism, and littering, could have fines up to $300. Offenders will be penalized to the maximum amount allowed under the law both civilly and criminally.

Plans for downtown road closures have not been changed and will be addressed in real time based on public safety needs and crowd size.  Visitors are encouraged to take public transportation and are reminded that the public celebration of Halloween in Salem ends at 10:30 PM. All lines to get into restaurants will be cut at 10:30 PM, which is when final trains begin departing Salem depot.