Fashion Art Installation 'Enchanters' inspired by Salem’s Retail Era is Creating Chic ‘Instagramable’ Moments at the Haunted Neighborhood

This month, those coming through the Salem Wax Museum’s Haunted Neighborhood, located on Liberty Street adjacent to the Charter Street Cemetery and the Witch Trials Memorial, will be confronted by the ‘Enchanters’. 

Made up of eight figures constructed of PVC and cast-iron piping, the Enchanters have pumpkin or skull heads and are wearing 1970s inspired fall trench coats. The ‘Leader’ of the group is located ground level to allow visitors to take a close-up photo. The remaining figures float above the crowds attached to the surrounding buildings.

“Salem has long been a shopping and dining destination, so I wanted to provide a whimsical storyline inspired by Salem’s 1970s retail history when it was home to the area’s destination stores attracting shoppers from Boston and throughout the North Shore,” said creator and stylist Madison O’Neil.

The figures’ clothing was all locally sourced, supporting similar retail businesses that provided the inspiration. “The trench coats were thrifted from various stores in Salem, Beverly, and Danvers. Beverly Bootstraps was vital for providing the accessories like scally caps and gloves,” said O’Neil, “Two of my favorite coats in this collection are from Witch City Consignment at the Jerry’s Department Store on Essex Street.”

The idea behind this collaboration began in the spring and it’s a win-win for the Salem Wax Museum and its sister attraction the Salem Witch Village. “It elevates our festive ambiance and encourages visitors to take photos and enjoy our attractions outdoors,” said Taylor Dunn, spokesperson for the Salem Wax Museum. The museum will keep the installation up throughout October with plans to expand next year.

Madison O’Neil lives in Marblehead, Mass., and is currently pursuing her education at the School of Fashion Design in Boston.