In Midnight Mysteries: The Salem Witch Trials, like in its predecessor, the ghost of a classic writer appears to a paranormal detective and asks for help to solve an ancient mystery. This time the apparition is the famous Nathaniel Hawthorne, sending the sleuth into the past to investigate the circumstances surrounding the witch trials that took place in the author's hometown of Salem.
The game is basically a standard point-and-click, first-person adventure game with hidden object challenges. Most of the time, the objective is to explore Salem and its surrounding locations, while collecting and using a plethora of items to solve any puzzles found in the way. The inventory tray slides up after moving the mouse pointer to the bottom of the screen, automatically hiding down when not in use to reveal more of the detailed background graphics. The player receives key items after completing one of the hidden object screens, where the inventory is replaced by a list of items that have to be found and clicked on the scene. The inventory objects are used directly by dragging and dropping them from the slots to logical portions of the scenery. Pairs of items can be combined on two special slots at the bottom-right, to create a new item required to complete one of the pending tasks.
There are several mini-games taking place on separate screens, where a mechanism of some sort has to be manipulated to solve them. They can be optionally skipped after a few minutes. The hint button is a lamp with a perched raven at the bottom-right, that shows the silhouette of a selected list entry, or the position of one of the required items or objectives when activated. Extra hints can be found and collected as ravens discreetly concealed on most locations. An unlimited hidden object mode can be unlocked by collecting all fifty clovers throughout the game. In this extra mode, the objective is to revisit and find all the objects of the previous hidden object scenes.