Witches’ balls in Salem

Bewitched: Samantha Stevens in Salem (Photo: Nance Carter)

Bewitched: Samantha Stevens in Salem (Photo: Nance Carter)

Salem, Massachusetts, is a fun place to be for Halloween/Samhain.  The streets are packed, everyone dresses in elaborate costumes (all day long), bands play outdoors, vendors set up tables, people line up for ghost tours and haunted house tours.  If you’re looking for an authentic way to spend Samhain, I recommend the following:

Laurie Cabot's Witches' Costume Ball

Laurie Cabot’s Witches’ Costume Ball

Laurie Cabot and the Cabot Kent Hermetic Temple Witches’ Costume Ball (circa 1970).  I have attended this real witches’ ball for the past 3 years.  A majick circle and ritual takes place for the new year, there is a huge buffet of delicious home-cooked food (turkey, ham, all the fixings, big dessert table), costume contest with prizes, entertainment (last year the Dragon Ritual Drummers performed and were awesome), dj with dancing, raffles, cash bar – really fun.  This year the costume ball is held on Friday, October 31, 2014 – 8 pm until the witching hour at the Salem Moose Lodge.  You can purchase tickets online at ckht.org,  $75 each.  Again, this is a real witches’ ball, not just a pretend party.

Wizard of Oz characters at the Hawthorne Hotel (Photo: Nance Carter)

Wizard of Oz characters at the Hawthorne Hotel (Photo: Nance Carter)

There is another witches’ ball also on the 31st at the Hawthorne Hotel, the Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball.  This year’s theme is Voodoo Visions.  I have not attended this party yet but it is usually held the day before Laurie Cabot’s ball so we would go to the Hawthorne, drink black cats, take pictures of the elaborate costumes, and hang out for the evening.  This ball has a dj, laser light show, free psychic readings, magic circle, the Dragon Ritual Drummers will perform, belly dancing, food, cash bar, costume contest with prizes.  Tickets to this ball are $154 and can be purchased at festivalofthedead.com.

Dessert table at Witches' Ball (Photo: Nance Carter)

Dessert table at Witches’ Ball (Photo: Nance Carter)

If you’d like something to do during the day, there is also a free Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo on Essex Street at the Museum Place Mall.  Get a psychic reading, make contact with the spirit world, wander an emporium of magical gifts, and meet and speak with real practicing witches.  You will be able to take advantage of (for a moderate fee) tarot card readings, clairvoyant visions, spirit mediumship, palm readings, crystal ball scrying, angels and spirit guides, past life readings and magical products.

Table decoration at Witches' Ball (Photo: Nance Carter)

Table decoration at Witches’ Ball (Photo: Nance Carter)

If you’d like to commune with your long-lost relatives, try Messages from the Spirit World Authentic Seance on Wednesday, Oct. 29, and Friday, Oct. 31. at Omen.  Spirit mediums who were born with the uncanny ability to connect with loved ones on the other side.will be on hand for this seance.  Omen (the store) states they have helped thousands of people reunite with those who have crossed over.  Note this is an 18+ event.  Purchase your tickets at festivalofthedead.com.  The cost is $37.

The séance opens with a blessing of protection and welcome those who have crossed over to visit. Participants are guided through a relaxing meditation to open the channels of awareness and synchronize everyone in the room to the spirit energies present. At this time, the medium will open herself to the messages of the spirits and guides. She may also employ automatic writing, psychometry, and other messages of communication to clarify the messages coming through. Bringing an object worn by the departed can be helpful in making a connection. Time is also allowed for participants to share mediumistic messages that they receive, should they come through. While not everyone will necessarily get a message, everyone will experience the wonders of spirit communication in a classic séance setting and discover that death is not the end but merely a doorway though which we all must pass!  Finally, the séance will conclude with a blessing of gratitude and thanks.


Street performers in Salem, MA (Photo: Nance Carter)

Street performers in Salem, MA (Photo: Nance Carter)

Another option that is free is the annual Salem Witches’ Magic Circle that takes place on Halloween at Salem Common.  Join Christian Day, Lorelei, Leanne Marrama, and the Dragon Ritual Drummers for this magic circle and ritual.  Meet at 5 p.m.

On that most mysterious night when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, the Salem Witches gather on Salem Common—as was done on hilltops of old, for a ceremony to honor our loved ones who have crossed over into the spirit world. This time was known to the ancient Celts as Samhain, or Summer’s end for, as nature began to die, so too it was believed, that the spirits of the dead roam the lands seeking old friends among the living. This is a time to renew connections, mourn those you miss, and to celebrate all that these cherished souls brought to your life. Death is not the end, but merely a doorway to another world.

If you’re going to Salem or have attended any of these activities, drop me a line and let me know how it was!

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October 28, 2014

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