Haunted Happenings Grand Parade in Salem, Massachusetts

The Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade is a central event within the larger “Haunted Happenings” celebration in Salem, Massachusetts.

Salem is known for its historical association with the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, which makes it a popular destination for Halloween enthusiasts. The Grand Parade is a significant and highly anticipated part of the Halloween festivities in the city.

Have you been to this parade in Salem? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it!

Here’s an explanation of the Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade:

Event Background:

The Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade is an annual event held in October. First established in 1997, the parade is a featured attraction of the month-long Haunted Happenings celebration, which includes various Halloween-themed activities, events, and attractions throughout Salem.

Parade Theme:

Each year, the Grand Parade has a specific theme, and participants are encouraged to create floats, costumes, and displays that align with that theme.

Themes can vary from year to year and often draw inspiration from Salem’s historical, spooky, and witch-related associations.


The parade features a diverse array of participants, including local businesses, community groups, schools, nonprofit organizations, marching bands, performance troupes, and individual residents.

Participants often put significant effort into designing elaborate floats, costumes, and displays that reflect the parade’s theme and showcase their creativity. The parade is sponsored by local businesses in the city and is organized by volunteers.


The parade usually follows its traditional route which starts at Shetland Park, continues through downtown, and ends at Salem Common.

The route passes by historic landmarks and significant locations in Salem, adding to the overall experience.

Spectators and Visitors:

The Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade draws a large crowd, about 10,000 people in total, of both local residents and visitors from across the country and around the world.

It is a family-friendly event, and spectators of all ages come to enjoy the festivities, admire the creative displays, and immerse themselves in the Halloween spirit.

The parade creates a festive and vibrant atmosphere in Salem, with music, dancing, and entertainment throughout the event.

Many spectators dress in costumes to join in the Halloween fun, adding to the overall atmosphere of the celebration.

The Grand Parade serves as a way for the Salem community to come together and celebrate its unique history and Halloween traditions. It also provides an opportunity for local businesses and organizations to showcase their contributions to the Halloween season.

The Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade is a highlight of the Halloween season in Salem, Massachusetts. It combines elements of history, creativity, community, and celebration, making it a must-see event for anyone interested in experiencing Halloween in a city with a rich and spooky past.

In 2018, National Geographic named the parade one of 10 great Halloween celebrations in the U.S.

For more ideas on fun things to do in Salem, check out this article on haunted house attractions in Salem, Mass or this article on the best attractions in Salem, Mass.

“10 great Halloween celebrations in the U.S.” National Geographic, 19 Oct. 2018, nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/10-great-halloween-celebrations-in-the-u-s

About William Briscoe

William Briscoe is a seasoned travel blogger and adventurer based in Massachusetts. With a passion for exploring hidden gems and sharing his travel experiences, Briscoe's website, "Mass Attractions," has become a go-to resource for those seeking seasonal attractions in Massachusetts. In addition to his website, William has contributed travel stories and articles to various travel publications, and his work has been featured in several magazines and online platforms. He also collaborates with tourism boards and travel companies to promote sustainable and responsible travel practices. William enjoys exploring the scenic beauty of New England, spending time with his family and two rescue dogs, and experimenting with classical New England recipes in his kitchen. He holds a degree in English Literature from Boston University, which he believes laid the foundation for his writing skills.

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