A spooky scene taken by a masked photographer.Photo: Courtesy of Witch Pix
She describes costume and prop sanitation as the “the elephant in the room” and notes that props are sterilized, costumes and hats are sanitized with steam at 212 degrees to kill viruses, and industrial strength Odoban for fabric. This requires three staff at least on weekend days. This comes at a time when last Hitchcock was set up for success. She had been planning a huge relaunch with three new sets “Witch Cottage”, “Magick Avenue” and “Olde Salem Village”. Each set was hand built, and later hand-painted by Hitchcock herself. “People walk in and say that their jaws just dropped,” she says. “They are very much theatrical sets.” Hitchcock had also noted that pre-pandemic she invested in expanding her women’s costumes, as well. “This year, we have 30 new women's costumes,” she says. “I know 30 is not a huge number, but it is in my operation.”
Employees wearing custom Witch Pix masks.Photo: Courtesy of Witch Pix
Hitchcock notes that crowds of people are still coming into Salem to celebrate Halloween but that has brought in another issue: the City of Salem has instituted sets of COVID-19 rules and regulations regarding crowd-control, sealing off parking lots, and the enforcement of geo-fencing so people outside of the parameters can’t buy tickets to events unless they are already inside the city. (Local train service has been skipping the Salem stop.) “It’s very mixed emotions and different sides of the rationale,” says Hitchcock. Despite the obvious constraints on her busiest month of the year, she is staying positive. “I’m hanging on until the next season, which is spring. I think I am going to be okay by the skin of my chinny chin chin,” she says. “I will do what I can because I know in my heart that what I had planned on what we built this year, it’s in place now, it’s successful, and it’s going to be successful next year. I have to keep reminding myself because there is truly an emotional seesaw.”\
A witch in a custom Witch Pix mask.
Customers getting their hands sanitized before they take photographs.Photo: Courtesy of Witch Pix
A masked photographer taking a photo of a customer in a witch costume.Photo: Courtesy of Witch Pix