Halloween is the holiday that continues to grow (at least as measured by dollars spent) both domestically and internationally.
And my city, Salem, Massachusetts, is perceived as the center of the Halloween tradition, due to the fact that way back in the summer of 1692, its leaders convicted and executed nineteen citizens by hanging—and pressed to death one who refused to plead.
Some current residents of Salem regret the big focus on Halloween—basically all of October is devoted to the holiday. They’d rather the tourists stay home—or visit for our great architecture, maritime history or world-class museum.
But the majority—including me—embrace the holiday. It’s all in good fun, the money is good for the city, and we get to see lots of great costumes, like these.
Early in the evening I sit on the front step of a friend’s house where there’s lots of foot traffic and give out candy. Some of the little kids are afraid of me, and that makes their parents laugh.
And then I talk a walk into the center of town with friends and join the thousands of revelers, who are listening to live music and eating fried dough, but mainly walking around and checking each other out.
Here’s a picture of me from last year, with some other celebrants I met on my walk downtown.