Salem Smugglers' Tour
Downtown Smugglers' Tour:
Salem Smugglers' Tour is one of the best things to do in Salem and also one of the city's best Salem attractions. All of the tours in Salem talk about the tunnels, but we are the original tour based on the book Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City. Plus our tour guide is the author of the book. Our above ground Salem walking tour of the downtown is a ghost tour that highlights the history of the tunnels and the smugglers who built them.
Historic Salem Commons Smugglers' Tour:
Our tour of the historic Commons (New England phrase for a central town park used historically in common with towns people) goes over its history, the tunnels around it, and its ghost stories. In 1801 the Commons was transformed from the town swamp that watered the animals to the public park that we know it as today. The five ponds and the river leading to the sea were filled in by leveling the hills on the property. At least that was what most people thought. Truth be told, most of the dirt from digging the tunnels around the Commons filled them in. Who did it? The descendants of the first National Guard Unit in the country. Why? Because, Thomas Jefferson imposed new duties on imports and commanded local militias to help collect them. So a defunct militia was called into duty that would be in the pocket of the wealthy before a legit one could be formed. Take this tour and find out who paid them to dig the tunnels around the Commons. It will surprise you! Also you will see homes that were frequented by Longfellow, Lowell, and President Monroe which were connected by tunnels. You will hear the tale of America's first elephant, the Stoned Elephant. See two tunnel entrances we can look inside and hear a few ghost stories along the way. Take this tour at night and stroll under Victorian lamps under trees planted by Olmsted. May be you might even see the phantom band on the gazebo...