Salem, Massachusetts, is called “The Witch City” for its macabre role in the 1692 persecution of more than 200 men and women accused of witchcraft, 20 of whom were executed.
Today, the specter of witchery continues to hover around the town in its street signs, museums and shops. The fire and police departments even feature a broomstick-flying, cone-hatted crone on their official logos. It’s no surprise then that Halloween in Salem is practically a public holiday.
But the city’s deep ties to the spooky celebration also boast a connection to the holiday’s more recent sweet side: Salem is home to Ye Old Pepper Candy Companie, the nation’s oldest commercial candy manufacturer. Appropriately, its headquarters at 122 Derby St. is just across the road from The House of the Seven Gables, made infamous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 gothic novel about the cursed descendants of one of the city’s witch trial “hanging judges.”