One hundred objects, exuding magic and mystery, emerge from the darkness of Cornwall’s much loved Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in this book of haunting photographs. Artist and photographer Sara Hannant has captured the very essence of these carefully selected artifacts, which include wax dolls, wands, statues, daggers, pendants, robes and amulets, all used in the practice of witchcraft and magic. Some have been displayed at the museum for years, others have long been hidden in its archives.
Says Hannant: “It was best to photograph at night. This enabled the objects to emerge from the darkness, where it is said magic begins. Superstition and magic have encircled photography from the beginning. In many cultures the word for photography / photographer translates as ‘soul taker’, ‘shadow catcher’, or ‘face stealer’. The camera itself was perceived as a magical object, and photographs were thought to possess supernatural powers."
Accompanying the images are informative texts from Sara Hannant and the Museum director Simon Costin, and an illuminating introduction by the leading historian of British witchcraft and magic, Ronald Hutton.