By Rachel Holt

SALEM (CBS) – Since it started seven years ago, Witch City Walking Tours is seeing numbers like it has never seen before.

“If we can cap out tours at something like 40 people and we’re running 10 tours a day, we might be getting at least 400 people here at Witch City alone,” said tour guide Sean O’Brien.

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Fellow tour guide Derek Mattuchio added, “it is the most busy fall I believe the tour company has ever had.”

The Salem business is open year-round but says October is without a doubt the busiest month of the year.

History and Hauntings of Salem Guided Walking Tour visits Ropes Mansion (WBZ-TV)

Founder and owner Beth Crowley said, “last year was actually really busy even with the pandemic. This year we’ve already tripled last year’s numbers.”

Tripadvisor’s Fall Travel Index backs that up, ranking the company’s History and Hauntings of Salem Guided Walking Tour number 1 on the list of the ten most booked experiences in the country this fall. The full list can be found HERE.

“With the number of people we see, it doesn’t really surprise me, but it is a great honor and it’s kind of flattering to have that reputation,” said O’Brien.

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The list is based on bookings on the website from June 1st to August 31st for activities taking place from mid-September through Halloween.

“During the month of October, it gets a little crazy. We will start off usually with maybe 5-6 tours a day but usually by the end of October we can be running 12 tours a day, every half hour,” said O’Brien.

Each tour lasts about two hours and includes stops at various spots throughout the historic downtown, including the Ropes Mansion.

“Basically, the tour consists of history, architecture of the city of Salem, of course hauntings because everybody likes a good scare, and then of course the witch trials,” said Mattuchio.

A couple taking part in the tour Thursday afternoon was visiting from Florida. When asked how they found out about it, Della Mandel said, “I went online for the 10 best things to do in Salem. This was the number 1 thing to do.” Ed Mandel added, “And I do what she tells me to do.”

According to Tripadvisor, Salem is the #3 trending destination for experiences this fall, behind Nashville, Tennessee and Honolulu, Hawaii.

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For more on Witch City Walking Tours, visit: www.witchcitywalkingtours.com

Rachel Holt