1. Hocus Pocus actually was filmed here.
2. The stone you touch while getting a picture of your aura taken is actually a button that generates a random colored light.
3. The Gulu-Gulu Café has some awesome drinks and food. You just may have to tolerate open mic nights if you’re not into that kind of thing.
4. Harrison’s Comics is the mecca for all things comics, anime and playing cards.
5. Forest River Park is a beautiful walk.
6. Tavern in the Square and Murphy’s are full of people that smell like cigarettes and the perfume flaps that come with ads in magazines.
7. Some psychic shops actually offer spirituality. Others just offer upper middle class tourists Egyptian, Celtic, and Wiccan trinkets made in China.
8. Despite the town’s terrifying past, most of the store fronts at eye-level would be described as “quaint.”
9. Halloween starts September 1 and ends November 1.
10. A lot of your tour guides are theater or history majors from the local university.
11. The saddest mall in human existence is in downtown Salem.
12. If the building was historically relevant, it burned down or was made into a condo.
13. One of the longest operating jails in America was in Salem. It was later reopened as a condo and a restaurant.
14. Giles Corey was a badass. He was accused of witchcraft, and a Salem sheriff stripped him, put a board on his body, and started lowering stones to slowly crush him to death. When asked for his plea, Giles would simply say, “More weight.”
15. Bridget Bishop was like a 17th century Nancy Botwin. She had two husbands who both died unexpectedly. She was charged for being a witch, but it’s more likely the women around town got pissed their husbands spent so much time at her tavern. She apparently haunts the place now.
16. Salem State University, my alma mater, has the funniest Viking mascot you’ve ever seen. It also has some of the most inspiring and friendly professors.
17. There’s an ugly Bewitched statue that you can climb.
18. There’s nothing quite like being in downtown Salem on Halloween. There are people dressed in crazy costumes, foulmouthed drunks, and Christians with megaphones declaring that we’re all going to Hell.
19. The White Dove is strategically located between two of Salem State’s campuses, so hungry students really have no choice when walking between the two. The staff is mostly nice, but the food is much better when you’re drunk or hungover.
20. Before being sold to Chartwells, the Salem Diner was the closest thing this world could get to JJ’s Diner from Parks and Rec. I didn’t know whether to eat the food or just kiss it a little bit.
21. People who never actually left their small hometown were scared of The Point neighborhood.
22. There’s an old school boat with masts and everything called the Friendship. It’s punderful.
23. There’s always at least six teens that look like they could be the spawn of Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger in downtown Salem.
24. Cobblestones are like the devil’s hands trying to grab your ankles when you’re stumbling around drunk.