Birdseye view of Central Street in Salem from the early 1900's. Part of the history of the best Salem walking tour.

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  Chris Dowgin, tour guide, sneaking into  another tunnel that bisects the on under the Downing Block. Part of the best Salem walking tour People on the Salem Tunnel Tour. The best Salem walking tour.Chris Dowgin in the tunnel unnder the downing block. Part of the Salem Tunnel tour. The best  Salem Walking Tour. This tunnel was used to lead runaway slaves to compartments they were able to sleep in for the night. Walking tour. Guided Tour. Tour Guide

"Salem Secret Underground :The History of the Tunnels in the City" Available on $14.99

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Opens March 1st



We offer a Salem walking tour and a truly unique Salem ghost tour illuminating the history of our ancient smuggling tunnels built by our founding fathers within the Federalist Party and their ghosts. Salem walking tours are available on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 4pm and 8PM touring the above ground route the tunnel takes pass the homes, stores, and banks of the famous smugglers, privateers, and politicians who built them. You will learn on your journey through Salem about the American architectural style that was built just to hide the tunnels entering the buildings. On this truly unique Salem tour we will pop open the cover of two old tunnels and peer in (unfortunately someone filled them up.). See the haunted buildings attached to the tunnels and hear the stories about them. Take a trip though the above ground route of the Underground Railroad in Salem. Learn about the man who recruited the first black regiment during the Civil War. On your expedition through Salem you will pass the homes that Presidents George Washington, John Quincy Adams, and James Monroe entered into the tunnels from! See the buildings the architect of the National Capital built that are connected as well. Learn how our nation's first National Guard filled in 5 ponds in the Commons just to hide the dirt from digging the tunnels. Along the way you will also see photographs of orbs, tunnels, sealed entrances, and the people who built them. The Salem walking tour of the tunnels in town lasts 60 minutes. One of the leading Salem, Ma tours!

We will also be posting special events in buildings attached to the tunnels as they become available, so keep checking the Ticket Page for new walking tours...



A Salem Walking Tour of our Founding Fathers Corruption

In 1801 a series of Senators, Congressmen, Collectors of Customs, Generals, Murderers, Pimps, Gamblers, Privateers, Pirates, Bootleggers, a Supreme Court Justice, a Secretary of the Navy, and a U.S. President conspired to extend the tunnel system in town to avoid paying Jefferson's Custom Duties on Imports. Elias Hasket Derby Jr. , son of this countries first millionaire, constructed an elaborate plan with 144 subscribers to fill in the ponds in the local commons and flatten the hills while hiding the dirt from the tunnels. This plan connected the wharfs to a secret underground train station. Along the way the tunnels would connect to the homes, stores, and banks of these subscribers. All in full view of Joseph Hiller who was head of the Custom House. He was a fellow Mason and subscriber as well. After Elias' improvements in the Commons he convinced a series of politicians and merchants to construct two grand Federalist brick mansions next to each other at fixed distances throughout town. These brick mansions had three reasons to be built. One was to hide the purchase of bricks needed to construct the tunnel to that point. Second they needed the exterior chimneys to provide structural support through their fireplace arches in the basement to connect the tunnels to. Lastly the flues in the fireplace arches was used to create a draw system to circulate air into the tunnels from various manholes. These subscribers moved cargo from their ships to their homes to store. From there they would move the cargos of raw materials to their clients or finished goods to their stores. All duty free. This is truly a one of a kind Salem tour. A highlight of Massachusetts tourism.

Each generation since then has found new uses for these tunnels. Leading up to the Civil War, abolitionist used these tunnels as part of the Underground Railroad. Charles Lennox Remond and his sister Sarah Parker Remond used the smuggling tunnels that led out of their fatgher's catering business in Hamilton Hall to move runaway slaves through. In one old bank two runaways had died and are still interned in a cement coffin in a basement of an old bank. The tunnels were also used during Prohibition. The basement of Bunghole Liquors is attached to these tunnels. During Prohibition it was a funeral home with a speakeasy in the basement amidst the formaldehyde tubes in the wall and the corpses. A local museum still uses these tunnels to move their artifacts from building to building. In fact this museum has always had a tunnel leading to the sea to move their treasures from foreign ports. Are they still using them? They recently have bought up three buildings that are attached to the tunnels in which their museum used to reside in. Are they keeping secrets? The founders of this museum still have a secret clubhouse on top of the local hotel. A very exclusive club with strict membership requirements. Do our local Masons still use these tunnels? They did in the nineteenth century. In fact many help build them, like Elias Hasket Derby Jr. and Joseph Hiller!

Salem Ghost Tour

Also along the way on this Salem walking tour we will show you the haunted buildings connected to the tunnels for a truly haunted ghost tour! Places the other tours do not know about! Ghost stories mixed with smuggling and illicit politics! Just let your guide know you are interested in our Salem ghost tour and he will incorporate more paranormal stories into the tunnel tour. Our tours can be shaped for your preference which has helped us become one of the leading Salem tours in town!

Click here for tickets for our Salem walking tour pass the sites connected to the tunnels!

Several orbs captured while on the Salem Tunnel Tour, the bet Salem walking tour. orb in the basement of the old Essex Bank during the best Salem walking tour, Salem tunnel tour. Ghost hunter with orb photographed on his belly in the tunnel under the old Essex Bank. Taken on the best Salem walking tour.


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"Salem Secret Underground :The History of the Tunnels in the City"

by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin

Salem House Press Purveyors of fine publishing and facilitator to the arts.

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