Is the Spooky Mystique of Salem, Massachusetts, Overrated?
I'm not going to bury the headline or make you wait for the response, because I know this article is very opinion-based.
Even though I know plenty of people who are borderline obsessed with Salem, Massachusetts, and the mystique it brings every year around Halloween -- and, for the record, I'm all about them living their best lives -- quite bluntly, yes.
I think Salem, Massachusetts, is horribly overrated.
Actually, let me clarify first. I think the town as a whole is great. I know people that live in Salem and I've gone to some really great restaurants there -- great as in both scenic views and food quality -- Salem itself is great.
But it's the whole Halloween hype of Salem that's just a real letdown, at least to me personally. And it hasn't just been one time, either.
I remember back in college, a small group of friends and I decided to randomly head to Salem on Halloween night. We rolled in probably around 8p all dressed up in costumes, beyond hyped up and ready for an unreal night. We got out of my car and started walking.
And kept walking around.
And walked some more.
And that was literally it. We walked around checking out and complimenting other peoples' costumes for maybe 90 minutes, looked at each other really disappointed, and decided it was time to head back. It just didn't live up to the hype.
Fast forward to this past weekend, when I had a friend visiting for a few days from Tulsa, Oklahoma. We lucked out with great weather and decided it was time to check off "Salem, Massachusetts" from her bucket list.
We made the trek from Midcoast Maine all the way down to Salem, fighting horrible traffic along the way once we crossed over into Massachusetts (as expected), and much like when I was in college, again rolled in all hyped. I had my personal reservations, but both didn't want to taint her experience and also thought maybe it was just a fluke.
What followed was much of what I remembered from college -- walking around, walking some more, popping in a store here and there, turning around and walking some more, and then looking around with a very, "That's it?" feeling. And I wasn't alone -- my friend, who was beyond excited to finally check out THE SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS, also felt let down.
And, honestly, maybe that's on us, for overhyping it in our minds. Granted, we made the trek down there with still over a month left until Halloween, but still. If you're hyped up as the spot for Halloween, you'd think being just over a month out would still have some of that mystique (hell, Halloween candy has been out in stores since the end of July.)
That's not to say it wasn't a nice day to be walking around outdoors in a nice little downtown area with pleasant people and beautiful weather. But when you're hoping to feel the mystique and spirit of Halloween in Salem and you just don't -- even on Halloween as a college student -- it's just a bit disappointing.
Now, all that said, please no one that practices witchcraft or anything release demons on me. I'm not saying Salem isn't great, just that there's a chance I/we overhype it in our minds.
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