This year, we’re sharing the people and places that make Salem Salem; the shopkeepers, housekeepers, cooks, tour guides, maintenance, museum greeters, restaurant servers, and more! Join us on Instagram each week as we share a new tourism star each #TourismStarTuesday, and be sure to share your experiences when you meet someone who makes your visit to Salem, Massachusetts special by tagging us (@destsalem) and #SalemTourismStar in your posts!
Ingrid Barry from Essex Heritage
Ingrid is a Danvers resident and faithful Bakers Island volunteer, who can be seen at the light station almost every Wednesday with her husband, Tom. If you need a door painted, a garden tended, or curtains sewn, Ingrid is your woman! Essex Heritage runs tours all summer like their Myths and Misconceptions Walking Tour and boat tours to Bakers Island, take one to meet wonderful volunteers like Ingrid and maybe even Ingrid herself.
Jon from Witch City Walking Tours
Jon joined Witch City Walking Tours in October 2020, in the midst of a pandemic and during the busiest time of year, and hit the ground running. Perhaps this is due to Jon’s extensive background in acting, theatre, and tourism. He is a professional actor and director and has taught theatre in high school, university, and adult settings. He even has owned his own acting studio! Jon holds a BA in Theatre Education, a BFA in Acting, and an MFA in Directing. His favorite spots in Salem are the Peabody Essex Museum and the House of the Seven Gables. When asked why he loves giving tours, his response was “I love doing tours because it combines my love of acting, education, and history and I love meeting people from all over the world.”⠀
Doreen Wade from Salem United, Inc
Doreen’s work as President of Salem United, Inc. supports the organization’s mission of preserving cultural history and protecting ethnic traditions while building social awareness. Through the organization, Doreen unveiled her first exhibition earlier this year, “Unmasking & Evolution of Negro Election Day and The Black Vote.” Doreen used the exhibition to share the history of Negro Election Day beginning in 1740 and early Black voting systems that have been celebrated within the community for 281 years.
Paige Curtin from HausWitch Home and Healing
Paige is the retail manager and spell specialist at HausWitch Home and Healing but when she’s not creating DIY spells, she can be found answering customer emails and working with speakers to create virtual events. Visit HausWitch Home and Healing next time you’re in Salem to meet Paige and hear from her expertise on DIY spells and her favorite products around the shop! ⠀
Ella and Emily from Longboards
Hosts like Ella and Emily are an important part of the Longboards team– They are the first and last person guests see and are vital to the restaurant running efficiently. Longboards’ hosts are all between the ages of 16 and 21, and they are appreciated by the whole team for their outstanding work ethic and enthusiasm with locals and visitors.⠀
Dr. Vitka from Spellbound Tours
As both a Salem resident and a professional paranormal investigator, Dr. Vitka shares his passion for local history and ghost stories with guests from around the world on each Spellbound tour. In addition to sharing stories of voodoo and vampires, plus the history of the Salem Witch Trials, Dr. Vitka invites guests to capture their own ghostly images while sharing photos from his own collection and tips for capturing paranormal activity on your own. ⠀
The Staff of Adriatic
Adriatic is a staple in downtown Salem offering Mediterranean and seasonally inspired dishes including fresh seafood and homemade pasta right at the corner of Front and Washington Streets. Their restaurant has become a favorite for locals and visitors and is a go-to spot for many to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, plus small functions like rehearsal dinners, showers, and more.
The concierge from the Greater Boston Concierge Association
Each year, concierge from Boston take the ferry up to Salem and spend a day exploring downtown and learning about what’s new downtown and revisiting some old favorites. Since 1990, Greater Boston Concierge Association has been providing quality service to visitors and guests from around the world, and we appreciate their work in sharing what’s happening in Salem with their guests in the city.
Mark Scalia from Salem Trolley, Salem Comedy and Spirit’s Festival and more!
Mark has over 30 years of experience in acting and comedy, having performed everywhere from local clubs and restaurants to Comedy Central. He is the founder of the annual Salem Comedy & Spirits Festival, which showcases comedians from across the country right here in Salem, and he performs the role of Ebenezer Scrooge each year during the Salem Trolley’s Christmas Carol events. In addition to all of the above, he can be spotted giving tours aboard the Salem Trolley and along with his wife, Karen of Salem Food Tours, is a Salem resident and active member of our local tourism community. ⠀
Patricia Norton Medina from The Hawthorne Hotel
Patricia shared with us “The Hawthorne Hotel is a wonderful organization and the best part of working here/in the food and beverage industry is meeting great, joyful people…such as yourselves!”⠀
Ryan from Witch City Walking Tours
Originally from the South Shore of Massachusetts, Ryan has called Salem home for the last 14 years. Ryan had worked in a variety of industries before becoming a Witch City Walking Tours guide; including janitorial work to landscaping and even child care. However, being a guide is “the best job” he has ever had! A New Liberty Innovation school graduate, Ryan’s favorite spot in Salem is Winter Island. He loves giving tours because “history is important; it’s literally a tool to improve our societies.”
James Bostick from Salem Arts Association
James is the director of the Salem Arts Association, an entirely volunteer-run nonprofit supporting local art and artists working in all media and disciplines. James is an artist himself, primarily focused on fine art photography, with images of his having been exhibited locally and globally. Under his leadership, Salem Arts Association offers a rotating schedule of exhibitions, plus member-exclusive offerings, internship opportunities, and more in support of local art and artists.
Jeff from Better Than Fiction Tours
Jeff was born in Canada and grew up in Groton, MA. He later served eight years in the U.S. Marines and earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in Bath, England. He had years of tour experience under his belt before making his way to Salem, through his work as a guide at his college and with city tours both in Bath and in Key West. After spending a couple of years giving tours in Salem he decided to branch out and start his own tour company, Better Than Fiction Tours! Most recently, Jeff also worked with the City to name Houdini Way (the alley near 15 Front Street) for Houdini’s 1906 escape from a jail cell at that location.
Karen from the Salem Witch Museum
Karen has worked at the Salem Witch Museum since 2019. Her colleagues shared that is caring, hardworking, and extremely creative. In addition to wowing us with her fabulous flying monkey costume, she is also a talented seamstress! She has created a variety of beautiful masks over the past year, which many staff at the museum wear regularly to work.⠀
Eric from Salem Main Streets
Eric is just one part of a team of friendly locals from Salem who volunteers to help staff Salem Main Streets‘ info booth during October weekends. Eric has also assisted visitors to Salem Haunted Happenings at the Howl-o-ween Pet Parade, and he is always happy to help with any questions you may have about visiting in October.
Francis Sweeney from Turner’s Seafood
Francis recently published a book! “Witch City” is a collection of cartoons all about Salem. While downtown you can pick up the book at Pamplemousse, Marble Faun Books & Gifts, Partridge in a Bear Tree, Derby Country Store, Witch Way Gifts, and Silver Moon Comics. And be sure to wish Francis congratulations if you see him at Turner’s! ⠀
Claire Kallelis from The Hawthorne Hotel
Born in Salem, Claire earned a bachelor’s degree in Businesses Administration and later an M.B.A at Salem State University. She began working at The Hawthorne Hotel when she was 19 years old as a banquet server, and she was promoted to banquet manager and then to director of food and beverage just a few years later. Her latest promotion came in 2018, where she’s focused on bringing the history of the hotel to the forefront for both guests and locals as the hotel’s General Manager. During her time managing the hotel, both the lobby and ballroom have undergone renovations to freshen up the hotel’s interiors while still retaining a timeless charm that comes with managing a 1925 hotel. ⠀
Tim Maquire from Salem Night Tour
Tim is the owner of Salem Night Tour which runs daytime and evening tours of Salem with historical and ghost tours offered year-round. In addition to ghost tours during Salem Haunted Happenings (and their new adults-only tour that debuted this October) a favorite tour for visitors to Salem and locals comes up in February with their Anti-Valentine’s Tour all about love gone wrong throughout Salem’s past. ⠀
Categorised in: Learn
Tags: Salem Tourism Stars