On a wildly Halloweeny edition of After Hours AM/America’s Most Haunted Radio — engrossing paranormal talk Thursdays 9-11pE with hosts Joel Sturgis and Eric Olsen — we visit the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick with owners Steven Intermill and Jillian Slane and dive into their collection of witchy paraphernalia and magickal doodads. We talk with Steven and Jillian at 10pE; at 9pE, Joel and Eric review the latest paranormal news from the America’s Most Haunted Twitter feed.
Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick
Cleveland’s Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick features artifacts from the collection of one of the founders of Wicca in the 20th century, Raymond Buckland along with contributions from many others luminaries of the craft and contextual popular culture items, assembled with the mission to display the tools and imagery of witchcraft and magick, while celebrating the First Amendment and the power of outsider art.
Raymond Buckland started The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick in 1966. After visiting the late Gerald Gardner and his collection on the Isle of Man, Raymond was inspired to start a collection of his own. While working for British Airways, he was able to acquire many of the artifacts in this collection from all around the world. He initially displayed his museum on a few shelves in the basement of his Long Island, N.Y. home. However, over time, Raymond’s witchcraft collection rapidly grew to well over 500 artifacts, ranging from Ancient Egyptian ushabtis to documented artifacts from the Salem Witch trials. This was the first museum of its kind in the United States with an anthropological approach to the world of folklore and the supernatural.
The museum was in existence for ten years in this New York location (1966-1976). During that time, it was featured in numerous magazine and newspaper articles and was the subject of a television documentary. The New York Times, New York Post, Newsday, Look Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Scholastic Voice, and many more, including foreign magazines, had featured articles about the museum. Raymond was also interviewed on a large number of radio stations and both national and international television. The Metropolitan Museum of Art requested and featured some of the pieces in one of its special exhibits.
In 1976, Raymond Buckland moved to New Hampshire where he opened the museum from 1977 to 1980. Unfortunately, because of a rigorous writing and lecture schedule, he then had to place the museum collection into storage, where it remained for a number of years.
The museum collection was briefly reestablished in New Orleans in 1999 where it passed through multiple hands before being salvaged by Rev. Velvet Reith. A bit damaged and somewhat reduced collection, Velvet was instrumental in preventing the collection from degrading further and being lost.
In July of 2015, the museum collection was relocated to Ohio and is now displayed in the newly founded Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick.
The Buckland collection includes artifacts from Raymond Buckland, Gerald Gardner, Aiden Breac, Lady Rowan, Aleister Crowley, Sybil Leek, Anton LaVey, Israel Regardie, Christopher Penczak, Stewart Farrar, Janet Farrar, Scott Cunningham, and many other leaders of the pagan community.
Steven Intermill, Curator of the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft Museum has long been fascinated by the history of the American occult, an interest he has been studying for over 30 years. His favorite thing about the museum is the ability to get lost in Raymond Buckland’s archives – the collection of letters, receipts, and general media gives an incredible glimpse into the modern occult scene and revival.
Jillian Slane, Director of the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick, is a nature lover and museum nerd who has experience as an exhibit project manager and designer, fundraiser, marketer, and graphic designer. She has worked at several art museums around the country, and thinks Cleveland is the best place for a museum of this kind right now. Her favorite thing about the Museum is when people come in unsure, but leave enlightened.