My family and I visited Salem, Mass. last weekend so we could see some of the Witch City's most iconic landmarks, historic Puritan-style homes and look at hundreds of people dressed in Halloween costumes roaming the streets on a cool, crisp fall day.

For people who love to celebrate Halloween, a trip to the Witch City is a must. After all, it is the place where the infamous Salem Witch Trials took place in 1692 and is teaming with all things Hallows Eve.

If you are able to get away from the throngs of tourists and really connect with this city's history and true soul, the shadow cast by the witch trials and everything that happened here more than 300 years ago is still keenly felt. It's an eerie place at night full of people who claim to be real witches and warlocks. Salem draws a quarter of a million people a year who come to see places like the House of Seven Gables, the Salem Witch Museum, Pickering Wharf, the Customs House and Gallows Hill on the outskirts of town where those who were convicted as witches were hung.

It is the city where the movie "Hocus Pocus" with Bette Midler was filmed in 1993 and has long been the home of Laurie Cabot, the Witch of Salem. There is also a statue of Samantha, the character who played a modern day witch on "Bewitched."

If you truly love Halloween, a trip to Salem is a must. If you don't think you will be able to go there for Halloween, you should come to our Spirit of Portland Halloween Party on Oct. 31 closer to home.

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