Witchy in Boscastle

Would you visit a witchcraft museum? Would you even know where to find one? I certainly never really thought about it and nor did I know such a thing existed. But on a visit to a little village in Cornwall, England, I stumbled across just that. And I couldn’t not go in…

Boscastle, a fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall, England, is a pretty little thing. Stone buildings built up around a stone harbour that dates to 1584…it is no wonder that the place is part of “Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”. The village is a popular place to visit in the region and it’s easy to see why as one wanders around the narrow streets and generally pop out by the harbour front or in the countryside. But Boscastle is not just well-visited for its beauty. It is also popular because of one museum in particular.

The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic (when I went, it was just called the Museum of Witchcraft – they’ve recently tacked on “and Magic”). It’s dedicated to, obviously enough, witchcraft and magic – European style only, though. It was founded in 1951 on the Isle of Man. Drama and danger (falling out between the two original owners, violent opposition by various members of the public, etc) meant that by 1960, it became the museum we see today in Boscastle.

The museum is apparently highly regarded by the British occult community, not only for its exhibits but also for the library that is available by appointment. The exhibits feature folk and ceremonial magic, Wicca, Freemasonry, alchemy, modern Satanism, and modern Paganism. I don’t know much about any of this stuff, but even I have heard of the magician Aleister Crowley, so it was pretty neat to see his ritual chalice in the exhibits. Wandering around the dimly lit museum was both amusing and slightly gruesome at points – dried out husks of cats isn’t exactly appealing nor was reading up on how mankind has treated those deemed to be “witches” throughout the ages. Overall, though, this was a fascinating place to spend an hour. So if you’re in the area, why not check out this unique museum? It doesn’t bite…

Have you visited a witchcraft museum before?

8 responses to “Witchy in Boscastle

  1. Enjoyed this post… I would have gone in too! There is a witch museum in Salem and I would find it very interesting to visit 🙂

  2. very interesting museum, I would like to visit it. enjoy your photos, the maze one on the rock…it is challenging to draw that maze without crossing lines. The cat carcasses are pretty creepy. interestingly, the star on the outside of the building, pentagram, is upside down for witchcraft. in Salem, Mass, there is an interesting diorama as well as museum.

    Your posts are always fascinating, this is one of the first I started following, and it is still high on my favorites list. 😃

    • A friend of mine mentioned the one in Salem – would be neat to visit that one, too. And thanks so much for the wonderful compliment, Gradmama2011! I’m so happy you’re enjoying the posts and photos!

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