7 Spectacular Attractions in Historic Salem ...

Since moving to Massachusetts, I've discovered most of my favorite state attractions in Salem – right next door to Peabody! Honestly, I've been in love with Salem since my parents and I visited right before I started college. The more time I spend there, the more I love it. Its historical relevance is unmistakable, but visitors tend to get duped into taking tours to see the attractions in Salem when it's not really necessary. There are so many of them, and they're all more or less the same. In truth you can learn so much more simply by walking around yourself – and with this list, you don't need to pay any money to the guy dressed up like a pirate, or the lady dressed up like a stereotypical witch.

1. Cry Innocent

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Cry Innocent is part history lesson and part theatre production, and it's one of my favorite attractions in Salem. It's especially fun in the fall, because once the leaves start to turn, the city really gears up for Halloween. Costumed actors mix in with visitors and tourists on the cobbled streets, and once they spot your ticket, you're pulled in as a participant, not just a viewer. The show reenacts the accusations of witchcraft that swept through Salem in the late 17th century – and once the group leads you into the old Town Hall, you can hear the accusations, examine the evidence, ask questions, and decide for yourself if the accused is a witch. The Gallows Hill Museum is slightly similar, but that show's always been a little campy to me. Try it if you like, but don't miss out on Cry Innocent!

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