It all started in a Bay Shore basement. It was the mid-1960s, and Raymond Buckland, leader of what became known as the Long Island Coven, had been collecting historical witchcraft objects, oddities, and occult paraphernalia for years. He amassed hundreds of pieces, and with shelves bursting he eventually moved into larger quarters, opening the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick.
Buckland was inspired by his mentor Gerald Gardner, and the gallery has many objects originally owned by the father of “Gardnerian” Wicca. Alongside are items from the Salem Witch Trials, Egyptian funerary figurines called “ushabtis,” and artifacts owned by magicians, astrologers, fortune tellers, and pagan community elders.
In addition to being a coven leader, Buckland was a busy writer and lecturer on the move, and his collection came along with him. Over the years it lived in New Hampshire, came through some legal disputes in New Orleans, and eventually ended up in storage in Columbus, Ohio. Now, with a new curator and small gallery to show it off, it has been reborn as the Buckland Gallery of Witchcraft and Magick.
Although space is limited, a large portion of the collection is on display. There’s even room for the Demon in a Box, captured by Buckland in the 1970s with the help of a ceremonial magician.
Know Before You Go
The museum is located about 10 minutes from downtown.
Parking in the back, street, and in the lot behind Tattoo Cafe (around the corner off of Searsdale Ave.)
Photos are allowed (no flash) but the curator respectfully asks no video.
Check the museum's website for current opening times and tickets.