Where Is Salem in 'Days of Our Lives'?

'Days of Our Lives' is one of the longest-running TV series ever

Soap operas by necessity have to be filmed in studios. So if you're asking where Salem on "Days of Our Lives" is located, the lazy answer would be its long-time filming venue: The Burbank Studios in California. In fact, "Days of Our Lives" has been shooting in the facility, formerly known as the NBC Studios, since 1965. It is the only original NBC series still filming in the studios.

In the more than half-century that "Days of Our Lives" has been on TV, it never explicitly showed what state Salem is in until one episode in May 2013. In it, John was seen looking at a travel itinerary with the words "Salem, MN."

But that has not stopped the real city of Salem, Illinois from laying claim to the fictional soap town. The real Salem even held the Salem Days fest for several years, with several cast members in attendance. The townsfolks had good reason to as "Days of Our Lives" would often mention Chicago as a neighboring city, among other clues. On the 50th anniversary of the series, some cast members confirmed to the Today Show that Salem is in Illinois.

The real-life Salem, IL. Photo via Paul Sableman

The town on "Days of Our Lives" has many namesakes in the US, actually. Around 36 places are named Salem in America, and one of them trumps the others in historical infamy.  

Salem, Massachusetts is known for the 1691-92 witch trials, in which tens of people were executed for sorcery. Now here's where "Days of Our Lives" ironically veers close to real life. During the show's 1990s run, Salem briefly became a hotbed of supernatural activity as Marlena (Deidre Hall) featured in a now-iconic demonic possession story arc, levitation and all.

Salem, MA was the site of mass hysteria towards the end of the 17th century. Via denisbin

Soaps are not really known for their seamless continuity, and in one episode, viewers spotted the flag of Missouri in a courtroom. Incidentally, there is a Salem, Missouri in real life.


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