Hawthorne Hotel’s 2022 Halloween Ball: “An Encore from the Grave”

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A must on your Salem “to-do” list? The Hawthorne Hotel’s annual Halloween Ball on Saturday, October 29. The event, introduced in1990 and hosted by the Hawthorne, features music, a costume contest, stationed hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. A live band (the Ward Eights) and multiple DJs will lift “spirits” on three floors of the hotel, playing music across all genres. Dance, people-watch, take selfies in front of our photo backdrops and enjoy being part of the premier bucket-list Halloween event in New England.

Before purchasing your ticket, please know that tickets are non-refundable. This is a 21+ event. All tickets must be purchased via Eventbrite. Tickets are NOT available at the hotel.

The Theme:

Our theme this year, An Encore from the Grave, is a tribute to musical legends who are no longer with us, many who died too soon. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Elvis, Bob Marley, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Prince, Buddy Holly, Tupac, Selena, Keith Moon, Joey Ramone, John Lennon, Whitney Houston, Freddy Mercury, Meatloaf, Eddie Van Halen, Chester Bennington, Taylor Hawkins and Chris Cornell to name a few. The hotel will set the stage (!) with décor representing some of our favorite musicians. When considering a costume, we encourage you to think outside the box: perhaps you design a costume around a song (Judy Garland’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow; Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light), a musical instrument (Prince’s purple symbol electric guitar from his Super Bowl performance), an element from a music video (the “bee girl” from Blind Melon’s No Rain video) or the band (want to pay tribute to Delores O’Riordan from the Cranberries? Your group could come as, well, cranberries.)

Costume Details:

This is a costume party. You may wish to follow our theme, An Encore from the Grave, or select a costume completely unrelated. A panel of judges will award both cash prizes and complimentary gift certificates for a number of exemplary, homemade costumes. Please refrain from incorporating real or fake weapons into your costumes, as these will not be allowed in the building. Also remember that this event draws upwards of 800 people, so you want to be sure you are comfortable and able to move about the hotel. If unsure if your costume is appropriate, please call the hotel at 978-825-4337 or email kpetty@hawthornehotel.com.

Ticket Details:

This is a ticketed event. Non-ticket holders will not be allowed entry to the hotel. Please note that tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable (unless the state or city introduce COVID-related cancellations.) This is a 21+ event. If you are under 21, you will not be allowed to enter, even if you have purchased a ticket. Doors will open by 7:30 p.m., last call is at 11:15 p.m. and the lights come up at midnight.


The Hawthorne Hotel takes the safety of staff and guests seriously. We hope that all of our guests contribute to this effort by being fully vaccinated and boosted prior to arrival. If you are not feeling well the weekend of the Ball, please stay home. If we want to continue to enjoy parties, social gatherings and traveling, we must all do our part to ensure the safety of ourselves and others. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Event Details:

Assisting the hotel’s management team the night of the event are private security, police details and a fire marshal. Prior to entering the building we will ask for your ID (no exceptions), check bags, and scan you with a metal detector. Wrist bands will then be given out. Backpacks, real and fake weapons, alcohol, and outside food and drink of any kind are not permitted inside the hotel. Please leave them at home or in your vehicle. The Hawthorne Hotel is a non-smoking building. We will have a smoking area outside until 11: 00 p.m. No re-entry for any reason allowed after 11. Cash bars (credit cards accepted) will be located on each level of the hotel. The hotel does have an ATM. As there are many Halloween-themed events happening in Salem during October, please be sure you are purchasing tickets to the correct event as tickets are non-refundable.


Please be mindful that weekend traffic in and out of Salem during October will be a challenge. We strongly recommend using public transportation. The Salem commuter rail station is 2 blocks from the hotel, and there is also the option of taking the Salem Ferry from Boston. The City of Salem hosts free satellite parking with shuttle service to downtown. Please review https://www.hauntedhappenings.org/maps-info/parking-directions/ for complete details. Do not assume there will be available parking in or around the Hawthorne as most spots will be taken by our overnight guests.


All of our guest rooms are sold out the weekend of the ball; however, we MAY receive cancellations so please call the hotel directly (978-744-4080) to inquire about last-minute room availability. There are also many hotel options on the North Shore and Boston (near North Station.) The commuter rail is less than a 10 minute walk from the Hawthorne, making it a convenient mode of transportation if staying outside of Salem. For suggestions on alternatives to staying in Salem, please call 978-825-4337 or email kpetty@hawthornehotel.com.