All photos by Creative Collective Unless Otherwise Marked
The cast of characters who line the streets of Salem in October, and at other points throughout the year, are the stuff of wonder. Part of the draw of Salem is the spectacle on the streets during the Halloween season, and the buskers are a big part of that. Here are some of the most well-known and beloved faces and personalities on the streets of downtown Salem. For an overview and to follow along, check out the @salembuskers Instagram account!
PLEASE TIP THE LICENSED STREET PERFORMERS!
Borah the Witch
Borah Brewington Snaggletooth XIII is the witch of your nightmares and one of Salem’s favorite fixtures on the pedestrian mall throughout the year, especially in October. When Borah isn’t bribing children into her cauldron with kindness or playfully abusing passerby on October weekends, she can be found officiating wedding ceremonies, singing terribly, or causing general mayhem.
Follow Borah on Instagram at @salemsblackhatsociety
Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees:
These two Friday the 13th villains are notorious street corner lurkers on Friday the 13ths throughout the year in Salem, and of course, during the spooky spooky month of October. Although they look terrifying, and might just kill you if you look at them strangely, they’re a couple of good ol’ boys who are just looking for a fun time.
The Salem Satan
With so much haunting and darkness afoot, it’s no great wonder that Satan himself has set up shop downtown during the Halloween season. While he’s really just down to grab a beer and trade talents in exchange for human souls, Salem Satan also spends his time next to the preachers who carry on throughout the month, absorbing a lot of their hatred and trying to convince them that he’s really just a regular guy.
Follow on Instagram @salem_satan
Fortified by eating the brains of unsuspecting politicians, Zombie Dennis has made a name for himself by terrifying the bejeebus out of anyone shopping near CVS on Essex St. during the day. Covered in the blood of one percenters, Dennis has survived both the Stonewall Riots and the streets of Salem on Halloween through resilience and hunger for his oppressors.
Steve the Vampire (Mr. Barlow)
Among the most beloved of the Salem busking scene is Nosferatu-esque Steve the Vampire. Lurking outside the Salem Trolley Depot, Steve sneaks up on unsuspecting tourists, startling them out of their socks. It’s a comedic act quite hilarious to everyone watching, except to the tourist who has been targeted. But once they meet Steve, who is more sweet than alarming, truly, even they start to feel like they’re in on the fun.
Joe’s Sax Appeal
Situated outside the armory throughout the year, and donning either a bright orange haired or jester mask in October, Joe the Saxophonist is a delight to see and hear. Spreading jazz throughout the world that could woo the hardest of hearts, Joe makes you wistful and see the world through rose-tinted glasses.
MrBones, the Reaper of Salem
When it comes to Halloween, no one could forget the lovely MrBones, the reaper of Salem. Coming in on the first wind of fall, smelling of death itself, MrBones has a lighthearted, toothy smile and an air of general astonishment – probably because he doesn’t have eyebrows – that make him seem warm and welcoming. How could you be concerned when you get a hug from MrBones, it’s like stepping into the loving embrace of death itself.
These three are ready to run Amok! Amok! Amok! And steal your children to make themselves immortal. Often seen roaming the streets of Salem, making faces, and attempting to put a spell on you, these three Hocus Pocus sweethearts are ready to pose for a photo op and regale you with their adventures of three centuries ago.
Follow along on Instagram @sanderson.sisters
The Addams Family
They’re creepy and they’re kooky and they’re haunting Salem this October. Often found busking on Essex St., sometimes with the entire family (including that old kook Uncle Fester), sometimes with just Morticia, Gomez, and Lurch (Wednesday and Pugsley obviously off doing harm to each other), this family, and their values, are the people you want to see this Halloween.
Follow along on Instagram @addams.family.of.salem
The notorious hockey mask sported by Jason in the Friday the 13th franchise has turned into a full-time hobby for Salem’s Uncle Boogieman. This mask maker spends his time crafting one-of-a-kind masks inspired by the franchise and wears them around town throughout the year. If you’re wondering what’s causing things to go “bump” in the night, it’s probably Uncle Boogieman. But don’t worry, he’s just in your kitchen to borrow some tequila to fuel his creative process.
Follow along on Instagram @uncleboogieman
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