Fallout 4 is set in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston is pretty close to Salem, the town famous for the wrongful execution of women who were suspected of being witches. Naturally, Bethesda had to include Salem in some way in Fallout 4—and they did!
I don’t remember how I heard about the Salem Witchcraft Museum location in Fallout 4. I think maybe a random NPC mentioned it at some point, in passing. I can’t say where, exactly, but what I do know is that one day I was browsing through my map and there it was: the Salem Witchcraft Museum, a location I hadn’t actually discovered yet on my own. With a name like that, I had to visit.
To my surprise, the front door was chained up. There was no way to get in. So I started exploring around the building a bit, and that’s when I found a mangled body right next to the museum:
The body contained a Holotape, which recorded a poor woman’s final moments. Listening to it, you learn that she was a part of a faction called the Gunners. The Gunners were hired to deliver cargo from the woods somewhere to a robot butler in a city, a job that seemed innocuous enough...except they weren’t actually told what the cargo contained. They were just expected to follow orders and to collect the caps when they were done. Along the way, however, the Gunners got wiped out by a monster that, for whatever reason, had been tracking them down for a while. You can probably see where this is going, right?
After Fallout 4 sets up this mystery, I noticed that the dead body was actually right next to a door for the museum’s basement. The Holotape made it clear that whatever devastated the Gunners was also inside the Museum. So I did the most logical, safety-oriented thing I could do there: I went in, too.
I wasn’t expecting any of what Fallout 4 threw at me. I won’t spoil it, but if you’re curious, you can watch me play through this mission below. It’s fantastic:
I really love how unique this mission is. While Fallout 4 has its share of scary moments, this mission in particular is entirely designed to be a horror level. It plays unlike any other mission I’ve experienced in Fallout 4 thus far. It has jump scares. It has ominous sounds. It constantly teases you of the terrors that await you further up ahead. And when you finally see just what is creeping inside the Museum of Witchcraft? It’s a huge HOLY SHIT moment.
I was not prepared at first, and got wrecked almost immediately. I didn’t mind it, though. The payoff was so juicy! Scary, but juicy. I did end up loading up an earlier save, and came back decked in Power Armor to handle the fiend. Hilariously, I did so with the Cryolator, a weapon that I modded so that it looks like I shoot small snowballs at enemies. Heh. Take that, you wasteland demon!
The Salem Witchcraft Museum is actually one of many different frightening moments hidden inside of Fallout 4, and so far, I’m really enjoying their inclusion. You never know when Fallout 4 will surprise you with a horrible creature, or an unexpected, tense encounter. And it feels so right, too: earlier Fallout games could sometimes feel like horror games, and it’s nice to see that make a comeback in Fallout 4. I can’t wait to see what scares the crap out of me next.