What It’s Like Living in Salem, Massachusetts During October

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Conner Baker on Unsplash

Going Downtown is Like Going Into a War Zone

Have you ever been to a concert where the venue had no seats and it was standing room only? And despite the fact the venue doesn’t go over the capacity limits, there’s still so many people around you that you feel like you’re going to suffocate? Well, that’s what Salem in October is like 24/7. Salem is already a dense city as it is since many of the people here take a bus or walk from one location to another. But once you add Halloween tourists into the mix, it’s nearly impossible to navigate anywhere in the center of town. From the tourists, to the street performers, to the business stalls with witchcraft items, and the walking tour groups, there’s no where to breathe and you feel as if you’re constantly drowning in the worst Tim Burton movie ever.

If You Work Here, Free Time is Nonexistent

I see this happen every year to my classmates and friends. Some of them at one point or another get a job as in food service, retail, or hotel management downtown and they end up saying goodbye to their soul every October and sell it to their job. Bar tenders, tour guides, and waitresses are clocking in from 40 to 60 hours a week for the entire month due to the overwhelming amount of tourists coming to town.

Time Management is Everything

When it comes to making plans, getting to class or work on time, or getting to Chipotle before the lunch rush, you have to plan things much farther in advance and work your ideas around the tourist traffic. Every intersection is backed up, every drive through is clogged, and every store is packed. If it is 2:30 in the afternoon and you were planning to go and meet your friend a few miles away 3 PM, you probably should’ve left 30 minutes ago.

The Pandemic Doesn’t Seem to Exist to Tourists

Regardless of the detailed and numerous guidelines the CDC has been putting out every day relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still thousands of tourists traveling from all over to see Salem during the Halloween season. It seems as if tons of families and friends think that they are completely immune to infecting themselves or anyone else if they just wear mask.

Image for post
Image for post
First weekend of October 2020 in downtown Salem, Massachusetts; photo credits to Cassie Lebeau on Facebook

Written by

College Student in Media Communications. True Crime Fan.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store