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Salem, Halloween and fall foliage, oh my!

the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin. (The Witch House)Υou may be wondering how fall foliage fits in with Salem and Halloween.  I mean most people know that Salem is the Witch city and in October, tens of thousands of people travel here to celebrate All Hollows Eve or Samhain.

If you think you’ll get here and experience the fall foliage views of northern New England, then you’ll be disappointed.  Later in October you will come here and get ready to experience a more intimate view of fall foliage. The autumn colors run up and down the roads and intertwine the neighborhoods with the red and orange of fall.

Salem's premier haunted attraction

Nightmare Factory

If you want to see fall foliage and Halloween, (Emphasis on Halloween) you should know that all the weekends leading up to October 31st have the streets full of costumed visitors and all the haunted attractions, like The Nightmare Factory (Salem’s best haunted house)and The Nightmare Gallery are running full tilt. Do you need ideas?  Drop a note in the comments below.

Nightmare Gallery

Nightmare Gallery

Now if you’re coming just for Halloween and the craziness that is Halloween then you can ignore this article.  Or if you want to come and enjoy Salem’s history and see fall foliage up close and personal along with Halloween then try a week or two prior to the 31st.

Historical Salem combined with fall colors

Salem's witch house which dates back to 1692

Witch House

Salem and the surrounding towns are home to many historic buildings and today I’ll talk a little about fall foliage and the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin. (The Witch House)

The Witch House is the last house standing with direct ties to the witch trials of 1692.  I’ll save the history tour so you can enjoy it when you get here.

As you look at the house from Essex Street, you’ll first see two old Maples, which sit to either side of the front door.  The actual entrance is on the back of the house and is where you start your tour.

the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin. (The Witch House)

Side view

What I do when I approach this house (besides avoid traffic) is to start out (like most tourists do), I’ll take the big shot from the front. Then I move in close to get up close and personal with the house.

You see, until you do that, you’ll never get the fall foliage reflections in the windows.  As you can see in my images here the house has been stained black for the past 300+ years.  This dark stain makes a beautiful contrast for the brightly colored, autumn leaves. On a sunny afternoon, the same leaves glow, allowing you to view their reflections in the centuries old, diamond shaped windowpanes.

If I have a choice I would come and photograph the house in the warm afternoon light between 3 and 4PM. The light in the morning is totally different and the house looks completely different.

the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin. (The Witch House)

Morning view

If you choose the morning try to get there before 9AM and look for shadows that aren’t apparent in the afternoon. Also, in the morning the maple tree to the eastern side is the one that is stressed and will most likely be bare or nearly so. This may help you if your days are forecast to be gloomy and then you can take advantage of the gloom to make spooky images of the house.

So depending on what your goal is in visiting Salem, you can have it all foliage, history and Halloween.

If you have questions about Salem and Halloween, leave a note in the comments.

Escape today

Virtual tour of Salem in October
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Jeff Foliage

My name is Jeff Folger,
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as:
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.

I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.
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Salem, Halloween and fall foliage — 3 Comments

    • There probably won’t be a lot at that time and with the drought, I’m not sure how much we will see this year. I think we’ll see some… but how much, hard to say.

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