Video by Koeun

There’s a myth among locals in Salem, MA that venturing downtown during the month of October leads to stress, driving around in circles looking for parking, and hours-long wait lines to get into restaurants.

This myth is partly true, but it’s only on the weekends.

Monday through Friday in October presents a whole different feel than Saturday/Sunday exhaustive press of crowds trying to get into Haunted Houses and ghosts tours circulating throughout the city. While, sure, you’ll see some of that, especially later in the month, some days there’s hardly anyone downtown.

Some days, it looks like it could be late March on the Pedestrian Mall.

Knowing this, Creative Collective came up with an idea that would bring all the best parts of the Saturday/Sunday markets and madness into a time of the week that is more accessible and generally less scary. These are the Night Markets.

The Creative Collective Night Markets are a brand new addition to the Salem Vendor Fair that happens on the last three weekends in October. But instead of being marketed to tourists, the night markets were created with locals in mind.

There are three components of the Night Markets. The first is the vendor fair. All through Derby Square specially selected vendors sell their wares. Some of the participants in the October 12th Night Market included VampFangs (special effects makeup, custom fangs, and spooky accessories), Shady Tree Maker (Turkish marbled goods, hand bound books, and faerie wings), and Hypnovamp (custom-made gothic and alternative jewelry) to name a few.

In addition to the vendors, Creative Collective also provides interactive entertainment on the Fountain Stage featuring out-of-the box dancers, musicians, and live performers. Tonight’s Performance is Baile Afro-Latino de Palos! The Dance of Palos symbolizes ritual pursuit. It is said that during the ritual the spirit of the dead dances among us.

The third component is engagement. The faeries of Moonrise Fae float about to interact with guests, LED flow artists dance through the night, The Belly Dancers of the Mona Shoola Dance Ensemble perform along the Pedestrian Mall, and Retonica lights up the spaces with colorful lights that keep the market going long after sunset.

The Creative Collective Merchant Marketplace is sponsored by OctoCog, North Shore Bartenders, The Cabot, Jolie Tea Company, Peabody Essex Museum, Haunted Happenings Salem Magazine / Guide, The Lobster Shanty, Goodnight Fatty, and Ledger Restaurant.