We decided to go into Salem for the eveing this year because last year it rained after dark. We stayed at the Homewood Suites in Peabody which is newer and very nice. Staying in Peabody is convenient to Salem without paying as much. We had a designated driver and planned to check out the local bars in Salem and walk around. The weather was great but it is really different after dark! Not many people walking around...they are all inside the bars/restaurants! We arrived approx 7pm and started out by finding plenty of parking (which is impossible during the day). We had bar food and beer at the Tavern in the Square. The service, food and atmosphere were great. We watched some of the playoffs and headed out. We were unsure of the weather forecast and did not make a tour reservation in advance. We called several advertised tours from our hotel and found everything sold out. We should have taken that as a clue....the one place who still had availability was Spellbound Tours. I have read bad reviews about them but figured that we had waited too long and would take a chance for $13 pp. Bad idea.....listen to the Tripadvisor posters! What a waste of time and money!! We went on the 10 pm tour and it was a joke! Within the first 30 minutes people were dropping out of the tour!!! We lasted about 40 minutes and gave up. We had probably walked 10 minutes! THe tourguide would walk a couple of blocks and tell you about the jail that used to be here, walk a couple more blocks and stand outside the walls of a cemetary and talk some more. We saw large groups here and there milling around the same area on other tours. I wish we had made advanced reservations for this time of the year and taken a trolley tour.
We headed over to Boston Beer Works and had one more beer. When we headed back out to walk around around midnight, the streets were mostly empty and shutdown.
Last year we went to Hammond Castle and enjoyed that. Next year we may try Nightmare New England or WItches Woods in the evening. Salem is great during the daytime.