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      Connected | September 26, 2022

      Inside the Peabody Essex Museum’s new Halloween pop-up shop

      Victor Oliveira

      Written by

      Victor Oliveira


      It's about that time of year — days are getting shorter, summer flowers are starting to fade, school has started and the occasional chilly evening indicates that autumn is upon us.

      For most New Englanders, that means a bit of mourning that summer is over, but we trade that for the excitement and change of season that fall brings. Fewer places are more beautiful than the North Shore of Boston in autumn, but if you live in Salem, there is something a bit extra about the season. Everyone who lives in Salem has differing opinions regarding the subject and what it brings. Still, however one feels about it, we can all agree that there is nothing like Salem, Massachusetts in October.

      This year, the Peabody Essex Museum is embracing the season like never before. We have scheduled many fantastic programs and events, from the spooky to the thought-provoking, so keep an eye on the PEM Eerie Events calendar to keep updated.

      When you think about it, Halloween is the perfect event for a museum to be part of because, at its core, there is so much creativity involved. What other holiday has people not only thinking of the most festive lawn display and decorations but also about the critical question — what are you going to be?

      Fox mask at the pop-up shop

      Our new pop-up shop — now open at 181 Essex Street, a short walk from PEM on the pedestrian walkway — can help with these big questions. We have stocked it with some great finds from around the world that will help you decorate your home and yourself! Hours are Thursday–Sunday, from 11 am–6 pm

      Pop-up Shop Salem plate
      A Glitterville Halloween

      A Glitterville Halloween

      We think our friend Stephen Brown and his company Glitterville consistently design the best Halloween decor on the market. Beyond orange and black, his highly collectible decorations employ unexpected colors infused with his cheerful style. In his own words, Halloween doesn't have to be dark and scary – it's about smiles, candy and fun.

      Daniel Low & Company

      Locals might remember Daniel Low & Company and their Washington Street store, now occupied by Rockafellas restaurant. The store was known for classic Salem souvenirs. The brand was recently revived and some of the old favorites have been reproduced, thanks to some of the original companies that made them back in the day.

      Sterling silver by Daniel Low & Company from PEM’s collection and on view in the Salem Stories exhibition. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Sterling silver by Daniel Low & Company from PEM’s collection and on view in the Salem Stories exhibition. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      We have partnered with the new proprietor to offer all of the classic reproductions they provide and even some updates! You can learn more about Daniel Low & Company and their witch souvenirs from Curator Paula Richter as part of the Salem Witch Trials Walk, our brand new self-guided audio tour.

      Curator Paula Richter in the Salem Stories exhibition for recording for the Salem Witch Trials Walk. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.
      Curator Paula Richter in the Salem Stories exhibition for recording for the Salem Witch Trials Walk. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      What does the Fox say?
      OK, we couldn't resist. But, really, what does the fox say anyway? In our fox mask, anything it wants to. We have a great variety of paper mask kits, including fox, raccoon, unicorn and others.

      Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.
      Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.
      Be the butterfly you have always wanted to be

      Be the butterfly you have always wanted to be

      One of our favorite finds is our new capes; the larger version includes wires that will allow you to spread your wings and flit fearlessly! Each is constructed from an exceptionally lightweight fabric that gives the impression of floating in the air.

      Cocktails from the other side
      Having trouble thinking about what kind of drink to make? Get a little help from beyond with our Ouji board drink diviner. If you are planning a Halloween gathering, this item pairs perfectly with our palmistry cheese board.

      Cocktails from the other side

      The Salem Halloween Wreath

      Our friends at All For Knot rope weaving have created an exclusive wreath for the PEM Shop to celebrate the Halloween season in Salem. Each is handcrafted in Nova Scotia from recycled lobster rope and ready to bring seasonal color to your doorway.

      A lot of Hocus Pocus

      Our little shop is packed with brand new official Hocus Pocus merchandise. But we also have items inspired by the Ropes Mansion, including placemats, mugs and an exclusive Hocus Pocus wooden house block by Cats Meow village that recreates the set from the film and includes a QR Code that links to the Salem Witch Trials Walk.

      Ropes Mansion
      Ropes Mansion decorated for Halloween as the Hocus Pocus movie scene. Photo by Diana DiRamio/PEM

      Ghost Ships and Shipwrecks

      We also feature items that celebrate PEM’s maritime tradition but in a slightly eerie way. Did you know that our maritime collection features items found on the Mary Celeste, possibly one of the most famous ghost ships in history? Inside our pop-up shop, you will find objects, books and other stuff inspired by the 1872 tale of this ship simply disappearing on a journey from New York to Italy.

      Witch Trial Print Reproductions
      Do you have a blank spot on your wall that you are looking to fill? Well look no further, shop our print-on-demand site to find dozens of options to Salem-up your home. Included in the selection are the two famed 19th-century witch trial inspired oil paintings that are currently on view in the museum, The Trial of George Jacobs and The Examination of a Witch.

      The Trial of George Jacobs
      Tompkins Harrison Matteson, Trial of George Jacobs, Sr. for Witchcraft, 1855. Oil on canvas. Gift of R. W. Ropes, 1859. 1246. Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Mark Sexton and Jeffrey R. Dykes.

      In addition to our pop-up store, we will be holding a trunk show with Dora Marra. The artist creates fantastical headpieces that can be integrated into the ultimate costume. Marra has worked with designers such as Dolce and Gabbana, and more recently helped to create headpieces for the character of Moira on the beloved and hilarious Schitt's Creek.

      We have also invited authors JW Ocker, Daniel Gagnon and Laurie Albanese for book signing events. Check out the events schedule for more details. These writers of the macabre have penned gems such as Ocker’s A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts.

      So please drop by our first pop-up shop at 181 Essex Street to discover many more things that will make your season colorful, exciting and fun! And here is to looking forward to another fantastic and challenging season! And in those moments when it's a bit overwhelming, remember, when November 1 hits, it's like someone rings a bell that sends the crowds home, and all will be (somewhat) quiet in Salem again.

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