The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft

Did I post about this before? No? I should have. The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick is a hidden gem of Cleveland, Ohio.

The museum represents the personal collection of Raymond Buckland, best known for popularizing Wicca in the US.

His collection includes tons of interesting items, many ritual implements he crafted himself for witchery as well as kitsch and tchotchkes related to the occult revival of the 1960s. I recently went to the museum as part of a COVID-conscious celebration of my second anniversary with my ladyfriend. You can book a private tour of the museum, at a very affordable price. The owner, a friend of Buckland, provides a personalized and socially distant tour, answering questions and giving anecdotes about the items on display. This time I only took a few photos.

Not pictured: lots of cool stuff, including ceremonial items used by Aleister Crowley and Gerald Garnder,

One of the cooler displays is a genuine demon captured in a box. The salt circle around the the sealed box presumably keeps it imprisoned — the story is that Buckland himself exorcised the demon and trapped it in the box as a favor for a friend.

Last summer an artist painted an authentic magic circle on the floor of the museum. At the museum owner’s request, he left out the triangle that any real magician would need to place the censer or brazier that the summoned spirit would materialize in. Therefore the circle won’t actually work, much to the owner’s relief — he worried that otherwise, a visitor or burglar might use the circle to summon something they couldn’t contain.

One wall of the museum is devoted to rotating exhibits of artwork. When we were there, it was an assortment of photos, paintings, and artifacts.

First up, a page from a several centuries old grimoire, apparently signed by Gerald Gardner himself. The inscription on the upper right, which looks a bit like a “666” is more likely a “GbG” for “Gerald Brosseau Gardner.”

Next, an original painting that seems to be copy of, or inspired by, one of Milton’s illustrations for Paradise Lost, although the Satan suggests Dante’s image of the devil eating the worst sinners at the icy center of the Inferno.

The next image I didn’t catch the origins of. I think it’s a demon or spirit of some kind.

The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft