Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hunters Moon Morris delight Museum visitors

Over the weekend we were honoured to welcome Hunters Moon Morris.  Most years they do an Easter tour of North Cornwall, and on Sunday they performed some fantastic routines outside the Museum in beautiful sunshine (and a bit of rain)...

Thanks to all involved!

Check out their website here:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

May Event, Saturday 14th

We have a great selection of speakers for this year's May event so please book your hotels/B&B's early.  Open to everyone.  

Friday, March 25, 2016

New windows for the new season

The museum opened today and has been very busy with people on their Easter break. Our new windows are also being installed and the museum will be secure again by this evening. Which is good news as the weather this weekend is not supposed to be good!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Graham's Extraordinary Journey

Graham King, former owner and director of The Museum of Witchcraft, has just started his extraordinary journey from the toe to the top of the British Isles. 

The walk will start at Lands End near his home in the South West of England and will end at John O’Groats in the North of Scotland. Graham hopes to wild camp in his tiny, light weight tent for most nights on his adventure but will use B&Bs occasionally if the weather is bad or if he is in desperate need of a shower.

Graham has just published his first book The British Book of Spells and Charms (Troy Books)

His next book will be about the sacredness of the landscape he discovers on his walk to John O’Groats.  

It is expected he will take about 3 months to walk the 1200 miles of footpaths.  Good luck Graham!

See Graham's progress at

Hunter's Moon Morris to visit the Museum this Saturday

We're looking forward to re-opening tomorrow and having a morris side perform outside the Museum on Saturday.  We expect them to be here about 3pm.  If you're in the area, why not pop along to see the Museum refurbishments, the new exhibition on Halloween and a fantastic morris side?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Museum opens for the season on Friday March 25th!

We look forward to welcoming you at the Museum from March 25th.  We open at 10.30am, last entry is at 5.30pm and we close at 6pm.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Glitter and Grave Dust: Halloween Past & Present

Simon has just returned from a trip to New York to gather many items for the forthcoming exhibition, Glitter and Grave Dust: Halloween Past & Present, which opens on Friday 25th March. It promises to be a bold and colourful exhibition charting the history of this popular festival across the ages.

Remembering Mike Howard

At last year's Friends of the Museum AGM in November, a suggestion was made that something in the Museum should be dedicated to Mike Howard.  After discussion with Graham King and Kerriann Godwin the Museum team decided to dedicate the archive to Mike's memory.  To that end, we have put up new shelves creating space for the archive to grow in future, put a bit of information about Mike on the windowsill for archive users to read and commissioned a carved wooden sign for the door (not installed yet).  We also put a painting at the end of the archive room from the early days of the Museum: "And it still goes on today" which we thought he might have liked.

The archive is free to use and available to all.  It can be viewed electronically (email the Museum to arrange access/a passcode) and in the library by appointment.

The following memorial is on display in the archive and also in the Shrine.  Many thanks to Graham King for providing this text.
Michael Howard 1948 -2015

Michael Howard will be sadly missed by all at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. He spent many hours researching in our library and archive and was a prolific author of esoteric books. His journal, The Cauldron, ran for over 30years.

Mike was incredibly knowledgeable on occult matters and despite being somewhat secretive was always generous with his advice to the museum. He was also quick to tell us if we made a mistake! 

He generously donated hundreds of documents and books to our archive and attended most of the talks and gatherings hosted by The Friends of the Museum.

He leaves us with fond memories and a wealth knowledge that would have been lost without him.

We will miss your wit and wisdom Mike but I suspect you will continue to visit the museum and library on occasion just to keep an eye on us.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Exciting Donation

While in New York, Simon received a very exciting donation from the author, Elizabeth Guerra, who wrote the biography of Stewart Farrar, 'Writer on a Broomstick'. Two pieces from the sale of Gerald Gardner's items from the 'Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum' will take their place next to our other pieces of Gardner's collection. We are unsure as to whether the Seal of Solomon is actually 14th century but as an object which could have been created by Gardner himself, it is hugely interesting.  Even more to see when we re-open on March 25th.

New Jewellery to be stocked

We are all working hard to get the museum ready for the new season. When we re-open on March 25th the shop will feature some new posters and new jewellery some of which are similar to our charms, pierced hearts and Richel collection.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Photographs of Halloween divination filming

For the Museum's 2016 exhibition (Glitter and Gravedust: Halloween Past and Present) we thought it would be a good idea to have a film showing different types of divination traditionally done on October 31st.  Gemma Gary and Jane Cox of Troy Books enthusiastically took up the idea and have done a fantastic job with the filming (which can be seen from March 25th in the Museum).

We asked members of the Museum's Friends organisation to help out and we had lots of volunteers.

Here are some photos of them doing the filming recently (photographs courtesy of Ellie Smart).

Museum manager Peter turns Director.

If you want to know more about what is going on in these photos, you will have to visit the exhibition to find out!

Familiar spirit

The Museum received this photo and text in an email the other day, "Thought you might like this image of a familiar spirit...overly familiar in some ways!"  We really do!

Thanks to Jan Elliot for this photo and to Merlin the cat for being so lovely.

Not long left for Halloween call for papers

We've already had a few papers submitted.  The deadline looms!  We'd welcome papers from anyone and everyone on the topic of Halloween.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Talk at Treadwell's bookshop coming soon

Witchcraft’s Artefacts - An Illustrated Lecture by Sara Hannant

Objects, exuding magic and mystery, emerge from the darkness of Cornwall’s much loved Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. Artist and photographer Sara Hannant  has captured the essence of these carefully selected artifacts, which include wax dolls, wands, statues, daggers, pendants, robes and amulets. Some have been displayed at the museum for years, others have long been hidden in its archives. Using her own magical tool, the camera, she found that “it was best to photograph at night. This enabled the objects to emerge from the darkness, where it is said magic begins.” Tonight’s stunning visual lecture shows what her residency revealed.  Sara’s books are Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids and forthcoming Of Shadows, One Hundred Objects from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.

Price: £8   Ring 0207 419 8508 or book online

Time: 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start.

Wellcome Collection story of an amulet

A really interesting article with an exploration of objects which are very similar to those in the Museum.

British Book of Spells and Charms by Graham King now available to buy from the Museum

We are very pleased to announce that Graham King's book the British Book of Spells and Charms is now available to buy from the Museum's online shop.

Graham was the Curator of the Museum from 1996 until 2014 and this book includes many photos of Museum objects and insights into the Collection.  It is a must for any fan of the Museum!

Chapter Titles:
What is a Spell or Charm?
Good Luck and Protection Charms
Spells, Charms & Divinations for Love
Healing Charms - Wishing you Well
Cruing Animals
Cursing and Removing Curses
Spells & Charms in Songs 
A Magical Medley of Spells & Charms

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Skekler costume on loan

One of the most amazing items in our new exhibition Halloween: Glitter and Gravedust is a skekler costume.  Come to the Museum when we re-open on March 25th to see it in the flesh!

What is a skekler?
“Skekling is an old Shetland folk tradition. A Skekler is the name for a type of disguised person dressed in a distinctive straw costume; it is a variant of the term ‘guiser’. Skeklers would go round the houses at Halloween, New Year, and turn up at weddings in small groups performing fiddle music in return for food and drink.” 
Text and photographs courtesy of Gemma Ovens.
Many thanks to Ewen Balfour for making the costume and to Elaine Lindsay and Gillian Nott for arranging the loan to the Museum.    

This evocative and beautiful picture of a skekler costume was brought to the Museum's attention by Gillian Nott.

Poems of Witchcraft and Magic now available as a digital download

Last year, the Museum's first ever CD of poetry was released.  It can now be purchased as a digital download.  The price is £8.99.

Many thanks to Circle of Spears Production for this recording.

See our advert on the new Pagan Dawn magazine website

Many thanks to Pagan Dawn and all at the Pagan Federation for their continued support of the Museum.

New museum poster

After Charlie McKay's visit to the museum, where he photographed objects from the collection, we will be releasing this poster and several postcards, to help raise funds for the upkeep of the museum. Keep an eye out on the shop or better still, visit the museum when we re-open on March 25th.

Friday, March 04, 2016

'Cunning Folk' at Beach Gallery, London

There was a packed opening last night at the Beach Gallery in London for the preview of their exhibition, 'Cunning Folk' with a collection of new artworks inspired by the museums collection. This fresh take on the collection included a re-imagined Baphomet as Caitlyn Jenner by Wilfrid Wood and a magical peep box showing a mandrake by Rob Flowers. We would like to thank Charlie Hood and Rob Flowers for suggesting the show and all the artists for their imaginative work. The exhibition runs until March 21st.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Exhibition in London inspired by the Museum

Beach Exhibition opens this Thursday 3rd March, London and runs until March 21st. A series of works by contemporary artists made in response to the Museum's collection. All welcome to the PV on Thursday evening 6pm-9pm.