Haunted houses bring the dead—and Salem—to life each fall, but you don’t need to wait until the leaves turn to visit this historic port city north of Boston
. The site of the infamous Salem Witch Trials isn’t shy about playing up its past: The Salem Witch Museum
presents a notably cheesy re-creation of the infamous witch hunt, and the town is also home to a pair of wax museums, exhibits devoted to horror films, and a significant population of real-life practicing witches. On the more serious side, the Peabody Essex Museum
is located in downtown Salem; founded as the East India Marine Society in 1799, it has an excellent collection of maritime art. A guided tour of the House of the Seven Gables
, darkly portrayed in Nathaniel Hawthorne's supernatural novel of the same name, is another Salem staple.