Museum of Magic and Witchcraft

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Museum of Magic and Witchcraft

Founded in 1951 by Cecil H. Williamson as the Folklore Center of Superstition and Witchcraft at the Witches Mill, Castletown, Isle of Man, Great Britain. It contained witchcraft relics, as well as reconstructed scenes of occult rituals and instruments. Gerald B. Gardner (1884-1964), who developed modern Wicca, the neo-Pagan form of witchcraft, presided at the opening ceremony. In 1952 Gardner purchased the museum from Williamson. In the late 1950s as Gardner's health failed, Scottish witch Monique Wilson (witch name "Lady Olwyn") and her husband Campbell Wilson, both Gardner initiates, began to administer the Museum's affairs. They inherited the museum and Gardner's papers after Gardner's death in 1964.

In 1971 Ripley's International purchased the museum and brought its contents to the United States. The company created a Museum of Witchcraft and Magic at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, California, and another at Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Some of the collection was sold and various items distributed to the several Ripley's museums now located in various cities.


Kelly, Aidan A. Crafting the Art of Magic: A History of Modern Witchcraft, 1939-1964. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1991.