I have always wanted to spend Halloween in Salem, MA. I’ve often talked about it, but it never happened until now. We found a campsite on Cape Ann in West Gloucester, 20 miles north of Salem and 30 miles north of Boston. The folks living there call it there secret gem. I, myself, had never heard of Cape Ann before. Everyone talks about Cape Cod, but not Cape Ann.
It was pouring rain and pitch black as we entered this cape, driving along a winding, narrow country road. Needless to say, we missed the entrance to the RV park, turning just before we should have. Thanks a lot GPS. One of the secrets of full timing is how much fun it is to arrive at an unknown location in the dark and in the pouring rain. Priceless.
Part of the problem was that they had removed their Welcome/Entrance sign since the season was about to end. Thanks Cape Ann Campground. However, we were delighted the next morning to see the sun peaking out amid the clouds and to meet our friendly neighborhood wildlife.
We took a drive north to Wingaersheek Beach. Apparently, it is the place to be in the summertime.
We took a walk along the beach to the rocks near the surf.
That evening, we drove to Danvers, MA, to meet my niece Chrissy for dinner. We ate at 9 Elm Bistro, an excellent seafood restaurant with great atmosphere.
The next day was Halloween! We became locals and took the train south from Gloucester to Boston. It was exciting to pass through Manchester-By-The-Sea, knowing that the movie of the same name was filmed there, yet I thought is was closer to Boston. Casey Affleck won an Academy Award for Best Actor. Great film. Anyway, I had been to Boston before, but got lost driving in the city. It felt good to be a napping commuter as opposed to a crazy driver.
We met my grand nephew for lunch. He is a student at RIT and experiencing a full-time co-op work experience in Boston for the Fall Semester. We didn’t eat at Coogan’s, but we stopped for a photo-op.
We walked the short distance to Quincy Market and enjoyed a delicious Asian meal at Wagamama Restaurant. I highly recommend it.
We had to say goodbye to Marlon, and then boarded the train again. This time we would be traveling north to Salem. It was raining (again) but at least the temperatures were in the low 60’s. We arrived in Downtown Salem around 2:30 p.m. The area was not nearly as crowded as it would be later tonight. At 7:30 p.m., I would be attending a seance in Witch City Mall, which is located on the section of Essex Street that is for pedestrians only.
We walked down to Salem Harbor and were surprised to learn of two National Park Service Historic Sites, “Friendship of Salem” (a 171-foot replica of the Friendship a 1797 East Indiaman, built in 2000 in the Scarano Brothers Shipyard in Albany, New York. The ship usually operates as a stationary museum ship during most of the year.), and Derby Wharf Light Station 1871 (a historic lighthouse on Derby Wharf in Salem, Massachusetts that is within the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. It was built in 1871 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. Who knew?
As the day wore on, the crowds gathered in costume. Here are a few that caught our eyes.
We grabbed a beverage at an Irish Pub and took note of the huge police presence.
We walked over to the Salem Witch Museum only to learn that there was a 2-1/2 hour wait. Scott wasn’t interested and I had a seance to get to.
The seance ended by 9:30 p.m. Scott stood outside of the Witch City Mall for two hours people watching. When I got outside, I couldn’t believe how crowded the streets had become. When we got to the train station, there were several hundred people waiting on line for Boston. Fortunately, the line for Rockport was short. As the train pulled up, hundreds of people in costume came off in droves. It was ten o’clock at night! Boy, are we getting old. Tomorrow, we head north to New Hampshire.