Salem is known as the Halloween Capital of the World for a reason–and not just because 20 witches were executed there in the 17th century. With nearly 200 haunted happenings, it sees more than 300,000 visitors in October alone. But if you live within a 50-mile radius, you may feel as if you’ve seen or done it all. We checked in with Kate Fox of the tourism agency Destination Salem to fill us in on what’s new for 2014.
1. Ouija: The Mystery Behind the Game!
This could be your chance to summon the undead. Do you have the nerve? Boston-based Ouija historian Robert Murch and paranormal researcher Jeff Belanger will educate up to 200 spectators about the history of spiritual contact and then conduct an interactive psychic experiment using dozens of Ouija boards. It’s happening Wednesday night at the Salem Waterfront Hotel. You do not need a ticket, but the event will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
Ouija: The Mystery Behind the Game!, Salem Waterfront Hotel, 225 Derby St., Salem, Mass. Oct. 22 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Free. www.winning-moves.com
2. Haunted Dinner Theater at the Hawthorne Hotel
Hop on that broomstick and head to the iconic Hawthorne Hotel for “Ding-Dong, the Witch Is Dead!,’’ an interactive adventure for the entire family. This table-side performance uses dry ice and other props to play up the city’s historical ties to witches, while bringing in modern elements like a certain witch named Hermione. “We had a lot of fun trying to figure out ways to bring history into the present and make it all come to life,’’ said company manager Shannon Lane DuPont. Aspiring actors, be ready: You just might be asked to hop into the show.
Mystery Café Haunted Dinner Theater Presents “Ding-Dong, the Witch Is Dead!,’’ 18 Washington Square W, Salem. Runs through November 7 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Check website for dates. $55 per person including dinner. 617-307-4998. www.mysterycafé.com
3. The History of Halloween 3-D
So you’re reading an article on Halloween events in Salem, but have you ever wondered about the origins of the holiday? Like why kids go trick-or-treating? Why do we carve pumpkins? And why is death a focus? “The History of Halloween,’’ a 3-D cinematic experience at Cinema Salem, will answer those questions and more with a fun and informative take on how Halloween became what it is today.
“The History of Halloween 3-D,’’ Cinema Salem, 1 East India Square, Salem. Debuted fall 2014. Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays in October. $9 for adults and $7.50 for children, seniors, and students. Check website for schedule. 978-744-1400. www.cinemasalem.com
4. Tent Talks
Are you a fan of TED Talks? This year, the Salem Award Foundation is presenting “Tent Talks,’’ 16.92-minute presentations (yes, that’s 16.92 minutes per presentation) inspired by the famous nonprofit Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Join state rep John Keenan to hear about what it means to be a descendant of those accused of witchcraft and Salem’s own mayor Kimberley Driscoll on modern-day Salem as a city of inclusion.
The Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice Presents Tent Talks, Salem Witch Trials Memorial, Charter St., Salem. Thursdays in October from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Free. www.salemaward.org