Saturday, November 03, 2012

Latest News

Last day of the Museum's season today as we prepare to close over winter. There will be some work as usual while we are closed so expect a few new exhibits next year.

We are really looking forward to The Friends' Annual Get Together an AGM next Saturday. Looks like a great lineup and people can join on the day if they would like to attend. Damh the Bard is playing in the evening in The Welly Bar and that is open to all.

It was lovely to see Mark the Wand today. Mark has donated more of his beautiful hand made Devon wands and hag stone charms. The Hamilton bottle moon scrying staff is amazing !

A huge thank you to Ann and Peter for the donation to 'Friends' in memory of Kat their daughter who loved the museum. The Friends is all about helping the Museum preserve artifacts, documents and memories - this seems particularly fitting.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Television Appearance

Joyce Froome, the museum's historian, will be appearing on the Alan Titchmarsh Show tomorrow if all goes to plan. She will be taking a few items to show the audience.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Friends AGM & Geet Together Gets Closer

Only a few weeks till Friends of Museum of Witchcraft Get Together and AGM 10th November - should be a great day with Damh the Bard playing in the evening as well as speaking during the day. Also Josephine McCarthy, Scarlet Imprint, and Graham is putting together a film of 'Men, Myth & Museums'. This is open to Friends of the Museum only but you can join on the day. Friends is a registered Charity No 1120014

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Latest Acquisitions

We've just had a couple of new donations which are now on show in the Museum. Upstairs in the horned God section you will find Steve Madog's beautiful phallic piece Ram Pan T which depicts 'the power of Pan' and in Modern Witchcraft you'll find a selection of tools recently discovered in a house in Cambridgeshire. The tools are a bit of a mystery and they are beautifully made - if anyone can shed any light on them we would love to hear from you.

Winner of Short Story Competition

As some of you may know The Museum of Witchcraft held its first short story competition this year and as promised (as it's now September) I am publishing the winner, runner up, and the two other short listed entries online. The story had to relate to the museum in some way and the opening line was set as 'Mother told me not to come...' We had a great response and the standard was very high. Thanks to Morgan from Pagan Dawn, and Hannah and Joyce from the museum for judging this year's competition. All entries were judged anonymously so our judges did not know who had written each story. Graham had the deciding vote from the short list. The winner received a copy of The Museum of Witchcraft ~ A Magical History and was published in the Friends newsletter along with the runner up. We will be having another competition next year so we'll be announcing that around May 2013.
Please remember copyright remains with the authors. Hope you enjoy them...


Mother told me not to come. She had always warned me against entering this place, said that no good could come of it. And so, it was with no small amount of trepidation that I stepped defiantly inside the front doors of the Museum of Witchcraft, heart hammering in my throat, wondering what to expect.

“Please, come in,” a smiling man with a bushy beard said, welcoming me to step further into the building with a grand sweep of his hand.

Uneasily I handed over my entrance fee, and then did just that – moving further from the sounds of families and everyday life echoing from the harbour outside, and passing into an older, more secretive world of pagan gods and magic. The building seemed to wrap itself around me like an old cloak, whispering of charms and enchantment, spells and curses, and love and dreams, hope and anger. Each little charm, each pierced poppet and dusty bottle spoke their own story, called to me to learn more and to understand the passions that had gone into their crafting. And so I moved deeper in, my eyes travelling in curious astonishment over jars of twisted roots and dried herbs, over the carved faces of mandrakes, and over old bellarmine witch bottles that once had been so carefully hidden away in walls and under floors.

What had I expected to find here? Perhaps a group of haggard and ancient crones with hooked warty noses and tall black hats, cackling cruelly as they stirred vast cauldrons bubbling and hissing with toxic fumes? There was none of that. There were certainly charms of anger and malice, but also of healing and of hope, and of love too. Mother had never told me that I might find things like that here. Perhaps she had never known.

I wandered silently through the displays, pressing my face as close to each case as I could, absorbed in the tale being told by each curious thing held inside, my breath frosting the glass. Time no longer seemed to exist here.

The further I went the more a hidden world was opening up around me, showing me a glimpse of a reality that was all around us, and yet that most people were oblivious of. I marvelled at the spells of the cunning folk and root magicians, and also at the ritual tools of the witches, Wiccans and Pagans still practising their craft in the modern age.

“Are you enjoying the museum?” a voice asked suddenly, and I turned to find the bearded man had appeared beside me, still smiling. There were leaves caught in his beard, and I reasoned he must have been outside in the breeze.

“It’s not what I expected,” I admitted, realising that the unease that I had felt earlier had all but vanished, replaced by a growing sense of wonder. “I thought it would all be curses and tarred babies.”

He laughed at that, turning to gaze across the room, and I frowned. Was it me, or were those leaves actually growing from his beard, not merely caught in it?

“Many people come with misconceptions,” he nodded, his eyes sparkling as he turned back to me.

“My mother didn’t want me to come at all,” I confided, “but I’m glad I did in the end.”

“That’s good to hear,” he chuckled.

“So, do you own this museum?” I asked.

“No, not me – but I have been here a very long time.”

I smiled, but tried not to stare – it looked like there were green shoots growing out of his mouth and nose. I shook my head and blinked – I must have been in here staring at these cases for too long, I reasoned, my eyes were obviously playing tricks.

“Well,” I said, glancing back around the room, my eyes settling for a moment on the representation of a goat-headed deity sitting nearby. “It’s very impressive.”

When there was no reply I turned back, only to find myself alone once more.

Perplexed, I glanced quickly around – wondering where he had gone. My confusion grew when I realised there was nowhere for him to have gone. It was at that moment that I heard a voice say: “Excuse me?”

I turned to find a lady crossing the room toward me, an apologetic look on her face.


“I’m very sorry, but I’m afraid the museum is closing now.”

“Closing? What time is it?” I frowned, checking my watch and blinking with astonishment when I realised somehow the whole afternoon had passed by without me noticing. “I didn’t realise it was so late,” I murmured.

I made my way quickly back toward the main entrance, and was just leaving the museum when my eye fell upon something hanging on the wall close to the door – a small carving of a green man, his broad smiling features staring down at me with eyes that seemed to twinkle out from the mass of foliage sprouting from around his face. I recognised him at once, and oddly enough, though I should have been startled and unsettled, somehow a part of me wasn’t surprised to see it was the face of the man who had welcomed me, and spoken to me when I had been browsing the displays upstairs. Instead I smiled back and whispered a small ‘thank you’ before slipping out and into the cool air of the late afternoon.

It seemed mother had much to learn, after all.

Runner Up Sally Case THE VISITOR

Mother told me not to come but I haven’t listened to her. I always feel this museum pulls me back, or maybe it’s what you have here that does. You’ve got some of our old things from home and I like to drift back in from time to time to have a look at them. It’s funny how we have connections to things isn’t it? I mean, if a fire had burned our cottage down years ago and destroyed everything it wouldn’t have really mattered as long as the people were safe. Things are just things at the end of the day. And, you know, how much stuff does a person need? Not much at all. These days people seem to think that to practice the healing arts or magic you have to have a this or a that but back in the old days we were lucky to have a cracked cup to brew something up in. Mother says that in her time life was all about living from day to day and never mind your fancy ornaments.
When I was young I liked to walk on Crackington Haven beach and look for nice pebbles. There is nothing like a smooth, round pebble to feel in your hand, a piece of Mother Earth to pull your spirits back to where they should be. Right from when I was a little girl I used to line pebbles up on the windowsill at home. Mother was always throwing them outside again but I didn’t really mind that, it was where they belonged after all, mingling with the sand and the soil. There were always more.
When I was older people often used to come to me asking for cures and help with all sorts of things. Bless them, there’s so much that can go wrong in life but then there’s much to celebrate too. I didn’t have a wand or a knife or many of the tools like you’ve got in your display cabinets. Sometimes I wouldn’t even do anything, I’d just advise people to go and walk along by the edge of the sea. Where the waves break on the shore is an enchanted place, a proper world between the worlds, being neither land nor water. Tide’s reach is another such place. And with the sun warming you from above and the breeze blowing away the cobwebs, a person has all they need to get by and get on.
So you see somebody like me didn’t really need any thing. I mostly listened in my day. Lots of people just need somebody to talk to and then when they’ve got it all out they feel a lot better. I was like a cooking pot filling up with their worries and cares. After they had gone I would go for one of my walks along the shore and gently tip out all they had said into the waves. After all, they were not my secrets to keep, only to carry to a safe place. I put them back where they belonged to tumble with the elements and get all smoothed out.
But when you do have things that you keep, you can get a bit attached to them. That ornament you have there, the fortune teller looking at the girl’s palm, that was my mother’s mother’s, you know. She won it at the fair one year. The thing itself is pretty enough but I think I like it just because it reminds me of my grandmother. She would have chuckled if she had known her fairing was going to be in a museum. It was her pride and joy sitting on the mantelpiece in the old days. Then, when she died, my mother had it but she didn’t like it, she said it was superstition to believe you can read a life in a palm. I sometimes wonder if the art of healing skipped a generation and missed my mother or if she just chose to ignore it.
That poppet there was one my grandmother made when her sister took ill. It didn’t make any difference, you know, great aunt Biddy died just the same. When it’s a person’s time to go on, it’s the Goddess’s decision, not ours, and we have to respect that. You have to let go because a person has a right to die and that’s how it should be.

The little black mirror here was something I bought from a travelling peddler many moons ago. I seldom used it. It is a fearsome thing to look to the future. It takes a brave soul indeed to risk foreseeing a death or a loved one going off, or barrenness in a woman who wants a child. I know it can be useful but I suppose I didn’t have the heart to look ahead too much. I always told people to be glad of today and count their blessings.

Well, I must be going. It’s been nice to stroll around and see the old things. I know you look after all these bits and bobs here so well but I just want to say, I’m really glad somebody is looking after the Old Ways. There are so many people out there who need a bit of help and a bit of magic in their lives. You can save all the things in the world but it’s the caring and the blessings that count at the end of the day. And I just want to say, well, thank you for what you did for me. I like it up there in the woods; it’s so peaceful under the trees. I didn’t feel quite like a person when I was on show in my coffin here but I do now, I am Joan Wytte again. Bless you for your kind burial and for setting me free. I feel I’m where I belong, with my pebbles and all the whispered secrets of the past.

Highly Commended Donna Hircock The Mermaid Of St Meachard

“Mother told me not to come” said Jan with a nervous twitch, in between supping his pint.
“Get on, boi. Yer mother talks nonsense” replied Saff taking a big bite from his steak pasty. “Tis all silly talk….”

“Ahh, but Mother said, ‘tis all magic dust and buxom wanton women with D cups down at that there Museum….’”

“Yeah well, might be, but that there Graham King said, if we could catch that there damn Mermaid out at Meachard’s Rock for his new display case, we’d have that pot of gold that’s always at the end of that God damn rainbow we always seez. Think how many pasties and pints we cud buy with that JAN!” he exclaimed, getting rather excited by the thought of it all.

“Ere, you got pasty crumbs all in yer pint Saff,” said Jan while turning to stare out at Meachard’s Rock…..”Anyhow, how we gonna entice that god damn Mermaid? Sheem’s always wailing and ollerin’, enticing us at night with her golden locks all luscious and shimmerin….Tis gonna be one hell of job…Saff"

“Well see here. We gonna get ourselves a kayak” said Saff, “A bledy gert yella one! I tell ‘e boi, that bledy Mermaid, her’s bound to be impressed with tha’….Tis all what those peskie emmets love…We’ll go and catch ourselves a few pollocks and we’ll pack that fancy drink called gin….WE SHALL WINE AND DINE HER! She’ll be mazed! That’s what we’ll do!......Boodee!”

“Hey Saff, where did ‘e get that gert big yellow plastic banana from that’s sittin on top of yer van?”

“Ssshhh…tis called borrowing Jan. Tis one of those fancy emmet’s toys.Them’s stayin long Paradise! Anyways, I told ‘e, tis called a kayak. Tonight’s the night boi, tonight’s the bledy night we ‘come rich as kings!”……

Saff peered into the inky blackness.

“Cor tis bledy dark. It’s as dark as a darkie on Darkie Days down Padstow out yere. Where’s tha’ Trago torch? Bugger! Bledy battieres flat! Bledy cheap rubbish! Tis typical of that Trago crowd. Should hav’ gone to The Range down Truro!” cursed Saff.

“Eeer Saff, I’m’s feelin a bit queezzy yere, should never have had tha’ third pasty! Cor, tis hellish out ere. Never thought it would be so lumpy this time year.” Jan said going the colour of a Mermaid.

“Can ‘e hear the maid? She be callin’ me Jan, her’s callin’ me alright….” Saff’s voice started to quiver!

“I can’t hear a bledy thing boi, ‘cept slap slap slap of that bledy water. Tis making me need a slash sumin hellish!...I tell ‘e tis nothing, tis all in yers ‘magination, boi!”

“No, no I can hear ‘er, ‘er’s be saying, ‘come here me hansom, come here me lover’, she be ‘toxicating me with her secret Lovett charms and ‘er D cups! That’s what ‘er’s doing Jan.”

“Wha’ you witterin’ on ‘bout boi? T’be honest with ‘e Saff, I think we need a bit of dutch courage. Have a drop of this here fancy gin……”

It has been reported tonight on the local news that 2 inebriated men from Boscastle were found drifting 1 mile off St Meachard Rock on a big yellow banana sorry Kayak, with1 empty bottle of gin while wearing seaweed on their heads.

It had been a Mr Graham King from the coast guard unit who had rescued these young rascals and said it had all been a load of pollocks…

Highly Commended Fiona MacDonald Mother Told Me Not To Come ...

Mother told me not to come to the Witchcraft Museum. Of course I took no notice, being long past the age where parental instructions have any validity whatsoever.

I found it a most attractive and informative museum, but it was when I went upstairs that it got really interesting. Coming across an impressive model of Baphomet, I courteously inclined my head. And was stopped dead in my tracks when he winked and said, “How’s your mother?”

“I beg your pardon?” seemed inadequate, but it was all I could come up with at the time. “Your mother, Polly, how is she? It’s a long time since our paths crossed but I remember our dalliance together very fondly.” A singularly obscene laugh followed.

“Erm, well, yes thank you, she’s well” I stuttered, still somewhat taken aback. “Getting old now of course” I added, “and a bit arthritic.”

“Well, she certainly wasn’t arthritic then” he went on, smirking in a peculiarly suggestive way. “We danced all night and made love all day to my recollection – or it might have been the other way round. But she was certainly a goer, was Polly. Didn’t even need any stimulants - a cheap date really. And very inventive in bed, taught me a thing or two.”

By this time I was rendered virtually speechless, but rallied somewhat. “Are you sure this is my mother you’re talking about? And when was this anyway? And where, for heaven’s sake?”

“I don’t think heaven had much to do with it! But it was a magic 48 hours - out of this world, you might say.”

“You disgusting old goat” I spluttered, finally taking in what he was saying. He cackled horribly and waved away my feeble protestations. Some more visitors arrived upstairs and I thought I could make a decent exit at this point. But curiosity kept me there, looking at other images of this unholy being and trying to collect my amazed thoughts.

“Well, it was obviously some time ago, by your human reckoning. Because she didn’t have a husband or children then. And you’re no spring chicken yourself, obviously. She was only a girl really, just like a young goddess - and believe me, I’ve known a few! I was incarnated on Tyneside for some reason - causing trouble somewhere, probably the shipbuilding industry. Or fishing maybe, I don’t remember now. But Polly I do remember - with her slim figure and a naughty twinkle in her eye. Not to mention that lovely skin, those pert breasts, those delicious thighs ...”

“Stop, stop, I can’t cope with this” I yelled, blocking my ears, but nonetheless wanting to hear the rest of the story. It just didn’t tally with the mother I had known for some 60 odd years. On the whole she gave every impression of not knowing sex existed - and it certainly wasn’t to be encouraged.

“Maybe I was a hard act to follow” said Baphomet, clearly reading my mind. “I was at the Palais, looking for a pick up” he continued. “Seemed like her crowd went there all the time - too young for pubs, only one film a week at the Roxy, and the beach isn’t much fun in the rain. And how anyone can swim in the North Sea was always beyond me.” Surprisingly, he looked a little wistful as he recalled the innocent pleasures he had broken into.

“I took her out of time and I don’t think she regretted it. In fact she gave every impression of leading me by the nose, as it were. Couldn’t wait for me to have my wicked way with her - and vice versa of course. No reluctant virgin that one. Oh, it takes me back seeing you here. Thank you for coming.”

And curiously with that I was dismissed. He clearly wanted to stay in his reminiscing without further interruption, as his eyes returned to what was obviously their customary glassy state.

So I continued my tour of the Museum, though somewhat shattered. Of course I told my mother I had been to the Museum and had encountered Baphomet. She batted not an eyelid and simply said “Well, I told you not to.”

Friday, July 27, 2012

This is in response to a query on a Facebook page

As has clearly been stated on official Museum sites before - there is NO TRUTH to any of the rumours that have been made the museum collection is being broken up and sold to America - the museum collection is in trust and cannot be broken up at all. Graham is making plans for the safe transition of the museum to its next owner, whoever that may be, when he retires in a few year's time. Whilst we can understand people's concern for the future of the museum we would ask that you contact the museum directly on 01840250111 or if you have any specific queries!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

1612: Northampton's witch trials

NOTIFICATION OF EVENT held by Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

21st July-23 September

Admission Free

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP
Tel: 01604 838111
Tomorrow there is a special event to mark the opening

Join Donna Scott (first Bard of Northampton), and Anne-Marie Sandos (Storytellers with Stabilizers) from 1pm - 2.30pm on July 21st for poetry and readings and character storytelling around the exhibition.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


As well as recently gaining an award of Excellence from Tripadvisor the museum has just been 'Recommended' by Lonely Planet 2012. Our sticker has just arrived in the mail - here is a scan...hoorah!!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Short Story Competition Now Closed

Thanks to everyone for their entries to our first ever short story competition. Our judges will be going through the entries over the next couple of weeks and the winner will be announced and in the August Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft Newsletter and also announced on the blog and Twitter. A copy of the Museum's anniversary book will be sent to the winner.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Review of John of Monmouth's New Book

'Genuine Witchcraft is Explained' by John of Monmouth is a fascinating insight into the history of Robert Cochrane's Royal Windsor coven and the formation of the 'Regency' which followed his early death. This book describes clearly the involvement of various characters including George Stannard and Ronald 'Chalky' White in the formation of this 'traditional' path, and is written by practitioners who knew Cochrane or others in the Royal Windsor coven personally. A 'must have' for anyone interested in witchcraft practice in Britain during the 1960s & 70s. Available from The Occult Art Company

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gardener Items Return to Museum

For Simon Costin's report of the return of Gerald Gardner's items to the Museum of Witchcraft click here .

Friday, May 18, 2012

Decoration and Donation

It's been a busy week with the chaps in painting the library, builders fixing rogue downpipes and Graham putting together a new display of recently donated items from the Isle of Man Museum. After Gerald Gardner died, the artifacts from the museum he took over from Cecil Williamson eventually ended up at Ripley's Believe It or Not in the USA. These items were then obtained by a person in New York who has very kindly donated them to the Museum in Boscastle. A Circular route indeed! Simon Costin was good enough to organise the collection and transfer of items from the US to Cornwall so we thank him very much for that. A Press Release on the donation will be coming out soon with more details but in the meantime, below is a picture of Graham's efforts with the display.
To the right we have some pics of the lovely Martin and Paul painting away in the library.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Divine Amusement

Graham was very amused a couple of days ago when a representative from a South Western leaflet distribution company came into the Museum to ask him if he would like to have a leaflet stand in the front entrance. The representative looked rather distressed when Graham said he would not entertain the idea even if he was paid a million pounds. It turned out this was the same company that had recently refused to take the museum's business and place leaflets around the North Cornwall area - on religious grounds!! Looking embarrassed and suggesting he knew exactly who Graham had spoken to, he apologised and left. I wonder how many times this poor chap has been knocked back due to the actions of his boss.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Leaflet Experiment supported by Friends

The museum recently received a cheque for £2,916.20 to cover the cost of new leaflets and distribution throughout locations in North Cornwall. Thank you for allowing the museum this opportunity, without 'Friends' this scale of advertising would be impossible, and of course we hope this will result in a substantial increase in visitor numbers, and give tourists a further awareness of our location and existence!

thanks to all our 'Friends' for your support
Graham, Hannah & Joyce

New Book from Dave Evans et al

A new book which Dave Evans has edited is now out! It is listed on Amazon,

and available for pre-order. It is an intelligent collection of essays

by some leading names and some new writers, and I hope you will find

it interesting.

The Enduring Problems with Prophecy: from Early-Modern Times to 2012 and Beyond

Dave Evans (editor)

Lionel Snell (aka Ramsey Dukes) Julian Vayne Dave Lee Cynthia Dunn

Alexander Cummins Helen Frisby Siobhan Monroe Francis Breakspear Dave

Evans (contributors)

Have you ever wondered why prophecies are, well, usually pretty off

target? It seems that every few years we have an impending 'end of

days' scenario (there were two in 2011 alone), with all manner of

prophets of doom foretelling a grim future, and then.... on the

appointed day the world continues to turn, the sun rises as normal,

the birds sing and nothing much is changed. Then a few days later, up

springs another prophet, with news of the grisly details of another

impending Armageddon on the way. This timely, intelligent and

entertaining collection of essays by a heady mixture of well-known and

new writers, including Julian Vayne, Ramsey Dukes, Al Cummins, Helen

Frisby, Cynthia Grannon, Dave Lee, Dave Evans, Siobhan Monroe and

Francis Breakspear,examines this recurring phenomenon from a variety

of perspectives, academic, scientific, economic, esoteric,

philosophical and historical, and comes up with some surprising

conclusions, both about modern doomsayers (2012, the Y2K bug etc) and

older historical instances of the end of the world, and muses on why

nobody, of all the modern prophets and psychics alive today, was able

to predict 9-11. Along the way we examine John Dee, British Civil War

women prophets, class war, oil spills, aeonic succession, a new way to

date our calendar (and how 2012 might already have passed us by

without anyone realising), portents of doom in Victorian England,

Terrence McKenna and the Timewave theory, the Mayan Calendar, economic

meltdowns and much, much more besides Read it now, just in case the

next prophecy is right...

Available worldwide, this is the Amazon UK link.

For the USA here at

if the the link shows as "unavailable at present" - this is because the stock

is still on the way to Amazon. Pre-order with confidence : )
If you are not a fan of Amazon please take these ISBNs and support

your local bookshop:

ISBN-10: 1905524382

ISBN-13: 978-1905524389

New Exhibits to watch out for

Scarborough Museum has an interesting exhibit at the moment called Fears Foes & Faeries which Tabitha Cadbury has worked on. Tabitha has been doing a lot of research on charms at various museums around the country including Scarborough & the Museum of Witchcraft. Follow the link for more information.

For those interested in Folklore & the Doc Rowe archive, the Museum of East Anglian Life in  conjunction with the Museum of British Folklore, the first exhibition of Doc's photos and videos is currently on in Stowmarket
I was lucky enough to attend the opening last weekend where Simon Costin interviewed Doc about his collecting days past and present, and we were treated to some fabulous music, wine and nibbles. Thanks to Simon and all at the museum fro making us feel very welcome. I recommend a visit if you are in the area.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weekend Tryptich

I'm off to London this weekend for a threesome of activities: Firstly to attend Belostra in Balham on Sunday - I'll be there with Deborah selling wares from the museum and talking about Friends of the Museum to anyone who's interested, secondly we'll both be visiting Simon Costin who has recently been to New York and picked up some intriguing artifacts for the museum (more of that later), and thirdly we'll both be going along to the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket on Saturday to attend the opening of Simon's Doc Rowe exhibition. Should be a good weekend!

A Charming and Magical Day

The day is filling up fast so let us know if you'd like to come along.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Joyce in Accident

This morning Joyce was involved in an accident when a car failed to stop at a junction and ploughed into both her car and a rather large Mercedes towing a caravan. Luckily no one was seriously injured but it looks like her car is  write-off. Joyce was understandably very shaken and will be taking the rest of the week off. We all send her calming thoughts after this stressful experience and hope she can get back to her adoring fans at the museum as soon as possible.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Easter Serenade

We had a special treat today when Carole Talboys (who many will remember from her days working in the booth at the museum) came down to the harbour to play her dulcimer. She has been studying this instrument for a couple of years now and her dedication is really paying off as her playing was, dare I say, divine!! Carole is fundraising for Lifeboats and you may see her playing outside the museum over the summer. Here we see Hannah looking on in awe:)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Bickies

Everybody's loving the new bickies so far. Get your tube when you come along to the museum. They're yummy as well.

Short story Competition

Having recently discovered the publishing bug I have decided to run a short story competition based around the Museum.

The competition has been advertised to Friends first and is now open to others via the museum blog and Facebook page.

Rules are as follows:

Theme - it must be a fictional account of anything to do with the Museum and the opening line must be ’Mother told me not to come….. ‘

Word Count - 500 to 1,000 words and word count should be shown at top of first page. Any piece which exceeds the word count will automatically be disqualified.

Deadline - June 30th 2012, entries received after this date will not be considered.

Submission - send by email to or by mail to The Museum of Witchcraft, The Harbour, Boscastle PL35 0HD.

Entrant’s name, email address, phone number and submission title should be contained in body of email or covering letter and the submission attached. Do not put your name on the submission as it will be judged anonymously.

Font - Times New Roman or Arial 12.

Charge - free to enter.

Copyright - Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but the Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft has unrestricted rights to publish the winning entry in the friends of the Museum of Witchcraft newsletter, Museum website or any future Museum related publication.

Judging - The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Winning Entry - will be published in the August Friends’ newsletter and online on the Museum of Witchcraft blog. The winner will also receive a paperback copy of The Museum of Witchcraft~A Magical History.

So get your creative witch’s hats on and get writing. Remember this is fiction we want! I know there is a lot of talent out there and who knows we may be able to get enough material for an anthology of witchy writings.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hunters Moon Performance

Hunters Moon Morris Side will be performing outside the Museum on Easter Sunday April 8th at 1130am and 330pm. They will be in Tintagel & Port Isaac on the Saturday. check out their website: . We're very much looking forward to seeing them soon!

John of Monmouth Book Signing

Last weekend the Pagan Federation South West held its annual conference in Kilkhampton and was a great success with everyone commenting on the lovely atmosphere during the proceedings. The Museum always opens for the Sunday after the conference for the attendees to come & be the first to visit for the new year. This day coincided with the launch of John of Monmouth's new book 'Genuine Witchcraft Explained, The Secret History of the Royal Windsor Coven & the Regency' so we took advantage of the sunshine and had a book signing outside the front of the Museum. the book, has had some good reviews and I'm looking forward to reading it. It can be purchased from The Occult Art Company website. Here is a pic of John enjoying his booksigning with brigitte (top) & Deborah.

New magic & the Military Exhibit

Graham has been having great fun putting together a new exhibit about magic & the military especially around the Second World War. he has acquired a Hitler pincushion which was used as a cursing poppet. There is a rather interesting Reader's Digest article from the early 40s which has a cursing Hitler song. He's also just picked up a Kaiser Wilhelm poppet to add to the display. Here are some pics:

Friday, March 16, 2012

May Magical Day & Friends AGM

There will be a day of talks at the Wellington Hotel for the Museum on May 19th - more info on Sunday but please email with questions or to let me know you would like to attend.
This year's Friends AGM & Get Together will be held on November 10th. Damh the Bard will be giving a talk during the event and performing in the evening. more information on speakers etc shortly.

Paperback MOW book

The paperback version of The Museum of Witchcraft~A Magical History is at the printers as we speak! Will announce here as soon as it is available. I will shortly be putting some pics of last weekend's Pagan Fed Museum open day & The Occult Conference in Glastonbury this weekend. Apologies for radio silence recently - there's been a lot happening before we open, publishing books, attending conferences, new displays, international visitors etc etc etc..........aaah excuses excuses. National Geographic filming next week as well. May be able to breathe shortly:)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Children of Cain by Mike Howard

Hannah has enjoyed reading Mike Howard's latest publication 'Children of Cain' she comments;

I must say it the most informative, thoroughly researched, all encompassing book I have read in ages. It has conjoined the threads of various individuals mentioned in books and articles over the years, showing the similarities and differences between 'Traditional' groups, including The Clan of Tubal Cain, The Regency, The Pickingill and Sabbatic Crafts.

I think this publication will be enlightening to many, especially as the word 'Traditional' appears to have become fashionable recently, and the glossary at the end is second to none. It is beautifully produced by and available from .

Sunday, February 05, 2012

New book by John of Monmouth

As promised here is the information about John of Monmouth's new book. It is called Genuine Witchcraft is Explained - the secret history of the Royal Windsor Coven and the Regency and it will be out Feb 10th published by Cappall Bann for £17.95. I believe you can preorder it through Cappall Bann.

2012 Update So Far

Happy New Year to all out there. Just wanted to update you on what's happening so far this year. The museum will be opening on Saturday March 31st this year so we're currently working on some ideas for our new window display.
Due to popular demand the anniversary book will be reprinted in paperback. I'm just waiting on the last few permissions to come in then it will go to the printers to be ready for the opening at the end of March.
Steve Patterson is working on an event for the museum in May as last years 'Guardians of Cornish Magic' was such a success. This may involve an author's evening.
Mike Howard's new book Children of Cain has recently been published by Three Hands Press. Gemma Gary has released a new version of 'Traditional Witchcraft' and Cassandra Latham Jones has her latest book Village Wisewoman is also out.
I have also just heard from John of Monmouth that his book will be released Feb 10th. It can be ordered through Cappall Bann. More on this when I get the details.
If you're on Facebook we have a Museum of Witchcraft Fans page
If you wish you can follow us on Twitter at @witchmuseum

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jacky Dowding

It was with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Jacky Dowding in a car accident just before Christmas on December 13th, she was just 43 years old. Jacky had joined Friends last year and many of you who attended the November Friends' Get Together will remember her very bubbly and friendly presence. She loved Boscastle and the Museum and we are happy that we were able to share a small part of her life. Deepest sympathies go to her friends and family, particularly her 3 children, her partner, and her good friend Lyn Berriman. Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry Meet Again.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Notification of witchcraft talk in Exeter

At a recent meeting for the British Association of Friends of Museums I met some attendees from Exeter who informed me of an upcoming talk on Witchcraft in March this year. It sounds very interesting so I thought I'd let people know about it. Hoping to get along myself.

Witchcraft in Exeter 1558-1660

Using new reserach, Mark Stoyle, Prof of Early Modern History at University of Southampton, will tell the story of some of the unfortunate Exeter men and women who were accused of witchraft by their neighbours and show that executions of supposed witches in the city began more than a hundred years earlier than the history books suggest.

Tickets price £5.00, for this lecture, at 7pm on 29 March the Royal Albert Memorial Musem will be available from 16 January.

Apply by post to Friends Ticket Sales, RAMM, Queen St, Exeter EX4 3RX. Please enclose a cheque made out to Exeter City Councill and enclose an SAE.

New Publishing House to Look out For

Thought some of you esoteric writers out there might like to hear of a new publishing house starting up - here is more info and the website for further details:

WyrdBooks is a new publishing house (a virgo, born in September 2011), specialising in literary esoterica and run by non-fiction writer Sinead Spearing and Sian Thomas (poet & editor). We welcome fiction and non-fiction manuscripts on folklore, magic, myth, gnosis, transformation and the transpersonal. So far we've had some interesting manuscripts, but we're looking for something we love. Submission guidelines can be found on our website:

Sian Thomas did a stint as poet in residence at the museum a year or so ago and we wish them both success with their new venture.