October 11, 2019
As Halloween approaches, thoughts turn to all thing scary, including witches. A museum in Cleveland shows us that witches are more than just storybook characters on broomsticks.
The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick in Old Brooklyn is the home to artifacts related to the occult from around the world.
“We have a number of beautiful jewelry pieces. We have really interesting tarot cards. We also have stuff that veers into the satanic element of it,” said museum owner Steven Intermill.
The Buckland attracts a diverse crowd.
“I get the most diehard Wiccans to just the most open-minded people. I get a lot of groups of seniors that come in and they are like ‘hey this sounds like fun’ along with the general seeker types,” Intermill said.
A few questions crop up regularly with visitors.
“A lot of people ask about Satanism. I get a lot of people asking about ‘are witches evil?’ I just think they’re just like any other subset of society, just because you’re ‘anything’ doesn’t make you a certain way. It’s the person,” he said.
Intermill has run the museum with his wife, Jillian, since 2017. Cleveland is the latest stop for the Buckland collection, much of which was assembled by the museum’s namesake.
“Raymond Buckland and his first wife, Rosemary, had come to the United States in the early 1960s from London. He settles in Long Island and starts working for British Airways. He’s a copywriter. He’s making money for the first time, but there is something spiritually missing. He’s seeking, and he discovers Wicca, which for our purposes is witchcraft through the lens of Gerald Gardner,” Intermill said.
Inspired by Gardner’s Museum of Magic and Witchcraft on the Isle of Man, Buckland opened his own museum on Long Island in 1966. He eventually moved his collection to New York City before relocating to New Hampshire, where the museum closed in 1980. In 2015, Buckland donated his collection to a temple in Columbus, Ohio, where it was purchased by Toni Rotonda. Intermill, who had an interest in witchcraft and the occult wanted to open a museum of his own, so he contacted Buckland who directed him to Rotonda. The two have partnered to display the collection in Cleveland.
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