The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005
Museums of Witchcraft
Places: A witch’s Travel Guide
Although many occultists have famed personal collections, notably Raymond Buckland, the following museums are open to the public:
Castle Halloween in Benwood, West Virginia houses the collection of the Halloween Queen, Pamela E. Apkarian-Russell, author and renowned authority on Halloween. The collection consists of over 15,000 items of Halloween and related memorabilia from the 1860s until the present. Among the exhibits are over one thousand Halloween costumes, a fortune-telling display, a Harry Potter exhibit and a section devoted to the Salem Witch Trials. Apkarian-Russell’s extensive Halloween postcard collection is also on display as well as many games, toys, and paintings. Website: www.userpages.cheshire.net/~halloweenqueen. Telephone: 304 233 1031.
Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft
The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft in Hólmavík, Iceland, is open between June 1st and September 15th and at other times by special appointment. Hólmavík is 273 miles north of Reykjavík in the region of Strandir. The museum is devoted to traditional Icelandic sorcery and witchcraft as well as the history of Iceland’s seventeenth-century witch-hunts. Website: www.vestfirdir.is/galdrasyning/english.php.
Museum of Witchcraft
The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, has for fifty years housed the world’s largest collection of witchcraft-related artifacts and regalia.
Originally opened by Cecil Williamson in 1951 on the Isle of Man, it coincided with the repeal of the Witchcraft Act; Gerald Gardner was briefly employed as “resident witch”. (See HALL OF FAME: Gerald Gardner, Cecil Williamson.) After several moves—local communities were, to say the least, less than welcoming to Williamson and his extensive witchcraft collection—he relocated finally to Boscastle, where the museum has been since 1960. Williamson ran the museum personally until he sold it in 1996 just shortly before his death aged 90.
Graham King, the present owner, bought the museum from Cecil Williamson at midnight on Samhain/Halloween 1996. His mission statement is “to educate and entertain.” Website: www.museumofwitchcraft.com. Telephone: 01840 250111.
Several museums devoted to witchcraft in general or the Salem Witch Trials specifically are located in the towns of Salem and Danvers in Massachusetts. Please see Magical Places, page 665 for further details.