BOSTON (CBS) – Costumes are welcome in Salem, considered one of the most popular Halloween destinations in America. Certain accessories, however, are not.
Salem will have heightened security as the Witch City wraps up its annual Haunted Happenings this weekend.
Baseball bats, samurai swords, knives, guns, and other weapons, whether they’re real or fake, are not allowed.
Barricades are in place around Salem Square and police are in position for a very busy weekend.
“We have a very large police presence, more than 200 officers and more plain clothes officers in the downtown area,” Salem Police Captain Conrad Prosniewski said.
The recent mass shootings in Las Vegas has both authorities and workers on high alert. “Safety is the main thing and local enforcement and workers are all on their toes,” vendor Derek Andrade said.
Salem Police caution everyone to be careful and use common sense when it comes to costumes. “If you’re going to dress up don’t carry a weapon or anything dangerous. It will be confiscated,” Prosniewski said.
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll says it’s about keeping everyone safe.
“Police do have a right to search bags. If you’re coming off the trains, areas like that you’ll see a number of officers deployed,” Driscoll said. “They’ll be on bike, they’ll be on foot, and you’ll see them deployed at various sectors throughout the downtown. But we’ll also have folks positioned who may not be as visible, just keeping an eye on things and monitoring the situation.”
Driscoll encourages the public to be aware of their surroundings.
Even a highly visited Charter St. Cemetery is doing things differently this year. To protect history they are only allowing 100 people in at a time.
“Respectful behavior, don’t lean on the tombstones, don’t climb on the tombs, the gravestones,” Destination Salem Executive Director Kate Fox said. “These have been here for hundreds of years and this is a place of respect and contemplation.”
Mayor Driscoll also reminds those looking for Halloween fun that the crowds will lead to a significant increase in traffic. “Bring some patience if you’re coming here. Take the train,” Driscoll said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports