Events & Activities

Mask requirements are subject to change based on CDC guidelines. At this time, masks are recommended for everyone indoors, and required for those who are unvaccinated or who are attending as part of a group or meeting.

Ghost Walk returns Oct 1-2: Get your tickets now!

Click here for tickets!

East Hill Cemetery comes alive after dark just once a year! Tour the historic graveyard and meet notable characters from Salem’s past. These walking tours are family-friendly, fun and informative, but not scary. You’ll learn…

  • what the first European explorers found here
  • General Andrew Lewis’ story from his wife’s point of view
  • history of Preston Place, Salem’s oldest home
  • who fired the last artillery shot at Appomattox
  • how a formerly enslaved person made a new life
  • stories of 20th century notables: Knox Martin, John Payne, and Alfreda Peel

Tours leave the Museum every 15 minutes from 6 to 8pm. Good walking shoes are recommended.  In case of rain, the event will be held at the Salem Museum and masks will be required indoors. Ticket tip! The 6:15, 6:45, 7:15, and 7:45 tour times tend to be less crowded.

$10 for adults, $5 for students and free for children three and younger. Tickets are available at the Salem Museum or online.

COVID considerations: Masks are currently required for groups when inside the Museum, and recommended when standing near others outdoors. This year’s Ghost Walk will be entirely outside, concluding in the cemetery. Guests must stay with their groups to be escorted back across Main Street to the Museum’s parking lot. In case of rain, the event will be held inside the Museum and masks will be required at all times.

The Ghost Walk is generously sponsored by Sherwood Memorial Park, BLANCO, Chick-fil-A (Salem), MKB REALTORS, RM Johnson & Sons Jewelers, and SERVPRO. The Ghost Walk is dedicated to the memory of Joe LaRocco and Willie Robertson, who were much beloved Ghost Walk characters for many years.

The Salem Museum’s Speaker Series is usually held on the second Thursday of the month. For the foreseeable future, our speakers will be on Zoom.

For Zoom Meetings: Please remember to mute yourself when you join our Zoom meetings.  We will be recording our session, so please turn off your video if you don’t want to be recorded. Your best view will be Speaker View, not Gallery View. Put questions in the chat and our speaker will answer them after the talk.

Speaker Series:
350 years ago: Batts and Fallam meet the Totera

On September 9, 1671, the first Europeans to explore Southwest Virginia reached the Roanoke Valley. On September 9, 2021, Thomas Klatka, archaeologist with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, described the Virginia they discovered and the Virginia Indians they encountered.

Speaker Series/ Virtual Field Trip:
Roanoke Island: What’s Lost, What’s Found

Roanoke Island, on the North Carolina coast, has been the dramatic setting for more than four centuries of history, including the site of the well-known “Lost Colony” of 1587. As visitors sometimes confuse the Roanoke Valley of Virginia with Roanoke Island, the Salem Museum sponsored a virtual talk and field trip to learn the story of this very different Roanoke. Josh Nelson, a National Park Ranger at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site which includes Roanoke Island, was the featured speaker and tour guide.

Speaker Series:
Walking the Red Line: Residential Discrimination in Twentieth-Century Roanoke

Roanoke College senior Hunter Haskins as he addresses redlining, the organization that enabled it, and more in a brief history of Roanoke’s residential segregation. Haskins defines redlining, a discriminatory practice wherein loans, insurance, and other public services were denied to residents of neighborhoods based upon the area’s ethnic or racial makeup, and how the federal government facilitated this practice in Roanoke’s very own communities.