Whether witches exist or not, what we do know is the history of witchcraft is well-storied and tales of their magic ways have existed from pre-Christian times to the present day.
The concept of good against evil – think the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, the Sixties TV series Bewitched and most recently, the world of Harry Potter, have all cast their spell on us.
So grab your broomstick, paint your nails green, don your witches hat and before you can say the words ‘hocus pocus,’ you could find yourself robed in black and visiting one of these mystical settings sooner than you think…
1. Salem, Massachusetts
The place that experienced brunt of the frenzy that took place in the 17th century, when the city was gripped by a witch hunt which saw more than 200 people accused of practicing witchcraft – the Devil’s magic. The Witch Dungeon Museum shows live re-enactments of the trial where 20 were hanged, rather than burned at the stake.
2. Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Cornwall
As one of Britain’s best witchcraft museums, this is a must for anyone spellbound by Cornish folklore and tales of the unexpected. The current exhibition features Objects of Ritual Magic where you can explore the significance of the sun and moon and an introduction to Dew of Heaven – a substance that connects the heavens and earth, and discover how ritual magicians weave it into their magical practices. Spooky stuff.
3. The Woods of Pendle, Lancashire
If it’s sorcery and black magic that makes you curious to learn more, hunting for witches is a thing in the woods of Pendle where witchcraft was rife 400 years ago. Four artists have teamed up to create strange sculptures made out of wood, steel and stone which they’ve hidden in the undergrowth and woods. Along with a weird curving tree carved in wood, 10 ceramic plaques symbolise the people of Pendle who were hanged for wizardry.
4. Museo dei Tarocchi, Riola, Italy
A treasure trove for anyone interested in psychic readings, this tarot museum holds the key to astrology, numerology and all things mysterious. With unusual and very rare tarot decks (some dating back to the mid-15th century), religious works of art, strange paintings and eerie collectibles, there’s much to discover.