Witch hunts, trials, hauntings - the dark days of Salem are behind us but the streets are still humming with its past. You can't make it a block without passing clusters of shops celebrating its roots in witchcraft and the supernatural. Costumes, crystals, books, spells, and so much more. The town buzzes with the bizarre all year round but is a special kind of spooky in October.

And while the novelty of the storefronts is enough to get you into the spirit of the season, it's the occult and witch museums that will enchant you. Each is a destination filled with fun and macabre, and dedicated to preserving the eerie history and culture of the area.

Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum (pictured above) guides visitors through the drama of the witch trials of 1692 with a presentation that includes 13 life-size stage sets narrating they hysteria and intrigue of the Salem witch hunt.

The museum has a second exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions, where you will learn about the changing interpretations of witches, the truth behind the stereotypes, witchcraft practice today and the frightening phenomenon of witch-hunting.

19 1/2 Washington Square North, Salem, 978-744-1692, salemwitchmuseum.com

Witch House.jpg
The Witch House
Amy Meredith

The Witch House

The Witch House was home to Jonathon Corwin, a judge who investigated claims of witchcraft from 1692 - 1693 and served on a court that sent 19 people to their deaths.

The house is an excellent example of 17th-century New England architecture, although historians are unsure of the exact date it was built. It's been preserved, moved, and investigated by several paranormal experts. Today, it is the only remaining structure from the 1692 Salem witch trials.

310 Essex St., Salem, 978-744-8815, thewitchhouse.org

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Wax Figure of Dorothy Good at the Salem Wax Museum
Josh McGinn

Salem Wax Museum

The Salem Wax Museum features realistic wax figures depicting notable people and historic events, including Author Nathaniel Hawthorne, the notorious witch trial judge Colonel John Hawthorne, and an accused witch. The museum is adjacent to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and the Charter Street Burying Point, and has a shop brimming with cool gifts and Pagan and Wiccan supplies.

288 Derby St., Salem, 978-740-2929, salemwaxmuseum.com

Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery | Spooky Museums To Visit In Salem In October
A sneak peek at Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery
Courtesy of Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery

Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery

Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery is a monster museum that commemorates cinema's creepiest creatures. Visitors will walk through elaborate hallways chock full of incredibly detailed, life-size replicas of their favorite nightmare-inducing characters and movie scenes.

The Gallery also hosts live events with some of the horror genres most famous icons, including Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees, "Friday the 13th") and Tony Moran (Michael Myers, "Halloween").

217 Essex St., Salem, 978-740-0500, nightmaregallery.com

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Witch Dungeon Museum
Elizabeth Albert

Witch Dungeon Museum

At the Witch Dungeon Museum visitors will witness a live reenactment of a witch trial from 1692 historical transcripts. Professional actors retell the story of two children who accused their neighbors of being witches, spreading fear through their village and setting off a trial that prosecuted over 150 people and hanged 19. One man was also pressed to death, and two dogs hanged because the children said they gave them the "evil eye". The immersive experience is not only entertaining, but also educational.

16 Lynde St., Salem, 978-741-3570, witchdungeon.com

Salem Art Gallery
The Baphomet at the Satanic Temple at the Salem Art Gallery
Marc Nozell

Salem Art Gallery at The Satanic Temple Salem

The Salem Art Gallery features exhibits about witch hunts and Satanism and is home the most politically-charged sculpture of our time. The Baphomet, a pagan idol whose most popular image is a “Sabbatic Goat," is constructed in bronze, weighs over 3,000 pounds, and stands eight and a half feet tall. You have to see it!

64 Bridge St., Salem, 978-744-0693, salemartgallery.com

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Witch History Museum
Lisa Jacobs

Witch History Museum

The Witch History Museumfeatures life-size scenes depicting events from the 1692 Salem witch trials. The stories are told through a historically accurate live presentation and tour where you'll walk thru the forest, meet Tituba in Rev. Parris' kitchen, visit Olde Salem Village, and learn that the witch hysteria not only enveloped Salem but all 34 towns and villages of Essex County.

197-201 Essex St., Salem, 978-741-7770, witchhistorymuseum.com

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Halloween Museum Salem
J.W. Ocker, oddthingsiveseen.com

Halloween Museum Salem

The Halloween Museum Salem celebrates the beloved holiday all year long. It features vintage Halloween pieces, replicas of historical Salem landmarks, and is decorated with glow in the dark paint and lit with black lights. Every guest gets 3D glasses to use throughout the immersive experience.

131 Essex St., Salem, 978-741-1170, halloweenmuseumsalem.com