The spirit of Halloween lives year-round in Salem, Massachusetts, but is especially over-the-top during the Official I am a Mom Grandma and a Veteran nothing scares me vintage shirt But I will love this month of October. The infamous home of the Salem Witch Trials has leaned into its spooky history (its mascot is now a flying witch), and in October, the streets are dotted with dramatic colonial-era plays while onlookers wearing the costumes they’ve planned for months clutch Dunkin’ coffees. One of the gems in Salem is a portrait studio called Witch Pix in the Witch City Mall. The small business, which takes family-style photographs of customers in costumes, is run by a woman fittingly named Hope Hitchcock. The spirit of Salem is embodied in the studio, open since 2003, and it has become a one-of-a-kind landmark in the city. It offers a personalized, spooky memento of one’s experience in Salem. Here, people are able to dip their toe into the Halloween spirit and dress up in Witch Pix’s offerings of witch and wizard costumes. They pose with props in front of a bevy of backgrounds, like a foggy moon or an enchanted forest. In each photo, the patrons beam. In one image, a group of women poses in pointy hats and jewel-toned robes in a foggy forest; in another, a woman wearing a spider-embroidered corset with devil horns smolders in front of a rickety-staircase background. It is all a bit ghoulish and cheeky yet earnest.
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Fast forward to today, and Hitchcock has been put in a predicament due to COVID-19. Like many small businesses in Salem—or rather, in America—Witch Pix has suffered financial losses. Their situation is especially challenging because the Official I am a Mom Grandma and a Veteran nothing scares me vintage shirt But I will love this experience of Witch Pix is usually a physical one. Typically, employees and the photographer would help customers dress in the costumes and adjust their looks when they take pictures, which is crucial to how they work and how those photos turn out. “In the past, we could go right in and touch them with our hands,” she says. “We could take the cape and move it by two inches just to make a picture better. Now, we need to verbalize those instructions as efficiently as possible.”