Salem, Massachusetts is most known for its infamous 1692 witch trials. The trials were the largest of its kind in North America, with over 200 people accused of being witches. Out of those 200 souls, 19 were found guilty of witchcraft and killed in front of the town's people. Due to the mass hysteria circled around the trials, Salem, Massachusetts brings an onset of documentaries, shows, and movies revolving around the haunted town. Especially around Halloween.
However, there are many movies and shows that take place in Salem but weren't actually filmed there. The 10 projects below, however, are based in Salem and were also filmed in the spooky town.
10 HOCUS POCUS
The most popular movie to come out of Salem is most definitely Disney's Hocus Pocus. This 1993 film revolves around the Sanderson sisters and their bewitching the town of Salem 300 years after being executed.
Every year, hundreds of people travel to Salem to visit all the locations shown in the movie and to take part in a ghost tour or two.
9 MASS HYSTERIA
The 2019 film Mass Hysteria has a simple storyline: a group of Salem Witch Trial actors and actresses perform a reenactment of the trials when things go astray on Halloween night. The film was exclusively shot in Salem, and visited 30 different locations. If you're into small-budget indie films, you can watch the haunting film and revisit the locations seen on screen. Just stay in a group when you go and visit Salem — we don't need another tourist to go missing like in the movie...
8 SALEM WITCH TRIALS
It's been a while since we've seen Kirstie Alley on screen, but she's always been a fan favorite by many. In 2003, the Salem Witch Trials film goes back in time to depict what happened back in the late 1600s that prompted the people of Salem to launch the iconic which hunt.
Kirstie Alley leads the film as Ann Putnam. Putnam was a real-life witness in the witch trials, who accused more than 60 people of witchcraft.
7 THE LORDS OF SALEM
Rob Zombie is a musician who dabbles in haunting thrillers. And one of his movies, The Lords of Salem, took place in its titular location and was filmed there as well.
The movie hit theaters in 2012 and was about a DJ in Salem who finds herself stuck in the wrong crowd. Her new "friends" are devil worshipers who try and convert her. And like every Zombie movie, there's a ton of blood, guts, and gore. With a budget of $1.5 million, the movie made the same exact amount back from the box office.
Bewitched was the hit show about a mortal husband and his witch wife. Samantha (the witch) tries to blend in and be a normal wife and mother in a suburban area of Connecticut. However, her ties to witchcraft make it hard to conform to "normalcy." And although the show depicts the family living in Connecticut and sometimes New York, a few episodes were shot in Salem.
In Season 7, there's a string of episodes where Samantha is brought back in time to the Salem witch trials. And instead of shooting the scenes in Connecticut, they went to Salem for authenticity.
5 HUBIE HALLOWEEN
When Adam Sandler is attached to a project, he goes all in. Hubie Halloween hasn't been completed yet, but they're in the middle of filming now. The upcoming movie will star Adam Sandler, Julie Bowen, and Kevin James, as they live in Salem, Massachusetts. Sandler plays the main character, Hubie Dubois, who's a community volunteer in making the city safe. After witnessing a murder, however, Dubois' night goes downhill. There's no word on when opening day is, so stay tuned.
4 THE INHABITANTS
The Inhabitants is the classic tale of a couple who buys a haunted home that begins to come alive. From exploring the dark tunnels with nothing but a flashlight to finding out they're being filmed by monsters inside the house, this movie makes you want to sleep with the lights on.
Like the others on this list, The Inhabitants was shot in Salem. As creepy as the trailer was, the film was given a disparate score of 71% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but only 12% from the audience.
3 MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Manchester by the Sea wasn't necessarily horrifying, but it was depressing enough to make you too sad to go to sleep. Starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, the plot revolves around death and family. When Lee's brother dies, he now has to care for his teenage son. The audience soon finds out that Lee has a troubled and haunting past and being in charge of his nephew is a new hassle.
The film was shot in a few destinations, including Boston, but Salem was also a large part of filming.
2 HAIL SATAN?
Hail Satan? wasn't a TV show or a movie, but it was a controversial documentary shot in Salem. Revolving around the Satanic Temple, we see how this controversial group started and what they believe in.
Essentially, these Satanists are tired of having their beliefs pushed aside and deserve as much freedom and respect as any other religion. The problem, of course, is it revolves around the Devil — a very controversial figure indeed. The documentary received a bunch of incredible feedback and won a handful of international awards.
1 IN SEARCH OF
In Search Of... is a show that was once hosted by actor Leonard, with Zachary Quinto taking over in the reboot. Each episode dives into different paranormal and supernatural experiences that are hard to explain. From outer space to the Great Wall of China to the Titanic — this show touches base on it all. In the fifth season, the show went to Salem to take a dive into the Salem witch trials. Just another episode depicting one of the greatest mysteries and shame from North America's witch history.