Book this Salem, Massachusetts Witches Tour on Airbnb Experiences

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If you were to visit the seaside town of Salem, Massachusetts in the winter, spring, or summer, you’d probably think of it as the picture of a charming New England town, if a little quirky. But each year, fall descends on Salem with a wild and transformative energy, leaving it filled with a slew of Halloween decorations and visitors clad in witch hats. To come here in the fall is to witness an exuberant intertwining of past and present, the once violent site of the Salem witch trials has become a welcoming haven for modern-day witches. It’s an attractive place to wander alone, but those who simply come for a few photos and magic shop shopping will miss the rich mix of stories that make up the town’s history and explain what it has become.

A better option, if you choose to visit Salem, is to book a guided experience. You can choose from a whole host of cheesy but fun ghost tours or historic tram rides once you arrive, but if you have an interest in witchcraft I recommend it schedule a tour with a practicing witch Skyler Ros via Airbnb Experiences, as I did on a recent Saturday afternoon.

Salem Witches Tour at Old Burial Point
Ros’ tours of Salem run for 90 minutes, and she crams an impressive amount of sights, spells, and tales into that amount of time. | Photo by Kori Perten

Ros has a background in history and magic, and first moved to Salem in 2019 “to work at a Boston-area museum and just engage with my spells, rituals, and honor to nature in context. of this city”. She didn’t expect, she says, that witchcraft would become a career, but she did it anyway, with jobs in magic shops turning into healing, readings and custom spells and potions for her own. clients. Last year, she added tours to her list of services, hoping to “show a behind-the-scenes look at modern witchcraft in Salem while tying it in with the city’s history and traditions.” She accomplishes this deftly, sprinkling friendly, accessible rituals and facts about witchcraft into a comprehensive rundown of relevant Salem history.

Ros’ tours of Salem run for 90 minutes, and she crams an impressive amount of sights, spells, and tales into that time frame, taking guests on a journey from the Rope Mansion (aka the “people’s house”). rich” from Allison to Hocus Pocus), through some of Salem’s classic landmarks, to the town’s peaceful harbor. Throughout my tour, Ros made time for questions, jokes, and moments of appreciation for all the black dogs our group encountered (a symbol of the goddess Hecate, she explained). We emerged from the experience with a better understanding of the city’s Puritan past and magical present – ​​and the lavender-scented sachets we had infused with power over the afternoon.

Salem Witches Tour
Ros hopes to “show a behind-the-scenes look at modern witchcraft in Salem while tying it to the city’s history and traditions.” | Photo by Kori Perten

Our first ritual of the day took place shortly after our first meeting in the garden of the Ropes Mansion. We gathered in a circle, the crowds ebbing and flowing around the garden paths in all directions. End of season flowers flutter in the breeze. “We’ll tune into the energy of the earth and the elements with three deep breaths,” Ros said, then laughed and assured us, “We won’t sacrifice anything.” Instead, there was something to be gained here; we left the garden feeling anchored and ready for the rest of the journey.

We followed Ros’ quick steps to different sites around town. As we walked, Ros frequently rummaged through her shoulder bag and unearthed, Mary Poppins-style, everything from tarot cards to tiny cauldrons, as well as items to add to the celestial-patterned spell pouches she had given us. at the start of the round. We stopped by the eerie structure of the Salem Witch House, the former home of a judge who presided over trials in the 17th century, while Ros guided us through the history of the house. Here she pulled something new from her purse – a jar of salt – and showed us how to sprinkle it on the ground around our feet, creating a circle of protection. “And that way,” she explained, “we stay protected with every step we take.”

Ros showed us how to sprinkle salt on the ground around our feet, creating a circle of protection. | Photo by Kori Perten

Another afternoon, I might have wondered what exactly we needed to protect ourselves, if there was anything I didn’t yet know about restless spirits roaming the streets. That day, however, there simply wasn’t time to think too much about salt; before the idea crossed my mind, we had gone to see local classics like the Witch Trials Memorial and Old Burying Point. We were able to admire the statue of Samantha in the city from Delighted, his bronze face frozen in an eternal smile before a steady stream of admirers. We even stopped at the site of a grisly murder that inspired the game Clue for a lesson in the occult and the Parker Brothers (yes, Monopoly guys).

By the time we reached our final stop at the Port of Salem, our spell pouches were overflowing with token items. “This is actually where we Salem witches will come to make offerings to our gods and goddesses,” Ros said, as we prepared to work a final ritual with the sachets, their lavender aroma. mixing with the smell of ocean brine. Ros explained how to activate our magical intentions and placed a drop of a homemade potion on each sachet as we whispered, “So be it.”

Salem Harbor
Salem Harbor is “where we Salem witches will come to offer offerings to our gods and goddesses,” Ros said. | Photo by Kori Perten

You don’t have to be trained in witchcraft to enjoy Ros’s tour, or participate in any of the rituals she leads, but I think that element of the experience (along with her size smaller group, capped at ten guests) sets it apart from other Salem tours. It can be difficult to focus solely on the town’s history when surrounded by its modern magic shops, psychic reader shops and covens – and Ros’s tours provide an insightful account of the past of the city while providing an interactive opportunity to learn more about what witches are doing in Salem today.

Giving people that opportunity, of course, is the whole idea. “Witchcraft is a type of personal empowerment,” Ros explains. “By giving tours, I want to make it more accessible. It is a power for anyone who has ever been oppressed.

Skyler Ros goes through “Dulce” on Airbnb, where you can currently book your salem tour for $28 per person.

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