Are you obsessed with Harry Potter? Love witchy things? Or maybe you are a practitioner of magickal crafts? If you identify with any of these labels, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll explore seven fantastic places worldwide that anyone interested in the occult will love to visit.
So let’s hop on our broomstick and fly to our exotic destinations.
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1. Salem, Massachusetts
No list of witchy destinations can be started without talking about Salem. This small town in Massachusetts has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. The infamous witch trials of 1962-1963 took place here, resulting in many innocent people’s deaths. The city has been almost left as it was – with its gothic buildings and eerie atmosphere – to preserve the memories of the late 1600s. If you visit, you’ll find many witchcraft-themed museums, occult stores, and centuries-old architecture that will result in shudders down your back as you walk past them.
2. New Orleans, Louisiana
Another American city famous for its association with the supernatural is Louisiana’s, New Orleans. The city’s most well-known festival – Mardi Gras – has deep pagan roots. Some believe that Mardi Gras is a new age rendition of the ancient Roman rituals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia, which celebrated Spring & Fertility. New Orleans also has a rich history of Hoodoo and Voodoo, which, although not technically witchcraft, lends magic and mystery to the air. Witchy lovers will be thrilled to find healers, shamans, voodoo priestesses, and tarot readers in this magical city, even today.
3. Siquijor, Philippines
When the Spanish colonized Siquijor in the 1600s, they dubbed this Filipino island the “Island of Witches.” That’s because of the island’s long heritage of being home to mananambal (healers) and mambabarang (hexers). Walkthrough the narrow pathways and look into the tiny shops, and you’re likely to find small bottles of herbs, potions, amulets, and more dotting the shelves. Even today, Siquijor celebrates an annual Folk Healing Festival for a week before Easter at the foot of Mt. Bandilaan. Many healers from across the island bring their herbs and potions, offering visitors age-old, local remedies for various conditions. If you didn’t secure enough OWLs to make it to Professor Snape’s potions class at Hogwarts, you could visit Siquijor to learn about potion-making.
4. Catemaco, Mexico
While the popular belief worldwide is that witches are always women or female-identifying, the truth is different. Men and male-identifying individuals also practice witchcraft, as can be attested to by the Brujos from Catemaco, Mexico. During the late 1900s, this town was home to the famous Mexican sorcerer Gonzalo Aguirre. Gonzalo would perform rituals for his clients – who happened to be businessmen and politicians. He also organized an annual conference celebrating magic and witchcraft – a conference that still takes place today. Most of the Brujos in Catemaco is trained in traditional Mexican magic – which involves practices like spiritual cleansing and healing. You’ll be able to partake of a cleansing/healing should you wish, or wander around exploring the beautiful natural landscapes and beaches.
5. Holmavik, Iceland
Iceland has an ancient history of pre-Christian pagan traditions. While most locals may have forgotten about it, the land remembers. The town of Holmavik is steeped in the country’s magical mythos. Plus, it is home to the world-renowned Museum of Magic and Witchcraft, which has a variety of talismans, altar tools, clothing, and other materials believed to have been used in magical workings before 1000AD. Bibliophiles will love seeing translations and transcripts of ancient Icelandic spell books designed to help users with anything from home protection to attracting a spouse.
6. Mayong, Assam
South Asia doesn’t typically feature on “witchy” lists because of the general lack of information about occult practices in the region. Yet, for those interested in seeing a South Asian magical community, the village of Mayong in Assam holds the moniker of being “The Land of Black Magic.” The village is home to one of the largest number of witch doctors, palm readers, and sorcerers in the region. What makes Mayong particularly special is how magic is generational knowledge passed on from parent to child, like any other trade. Locals say they have spells for everything – even such ones that can change a leaf to a fish and back. Wildlife is a very core component of the cultural beliefs of Mayong. The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is located right next door. When here, you can also attend the annual festival called Mayong-Pobitora Festival, which combines tantra, mantra, and healing.
7. Lome and Togoville, Togo
The neighboring cities of Lome and Togoville in Togo are famous for their Voodoo practitioners, rituals, and heritage. Voodoo – traditionally called “Voudon” – originated in West Africa. It is a practice that honors and worships local spirits (called loa) and ancestors of the land. Unlike witchcraft (a “craft/practice”), Voudon is a religion. People who enjoy learning about non-mainstream religions and esoteric practices such as spirit veneration and ritual work will love visiting Togo. The town of Lome holds one of the largest Voodoo markets, which sells a variety of ritual supplies, from herbs to crystals to candles that Voudon practitioners use as part of their work. You’ll also find “Fetishes,” which include animal hides, bones, severed limbs, etc., which are used for protection, healing, warding, etc. Those interested in receiving healing from the Boko (Voudon sorcerers) can seek their service at the market.
Grab your ticket to your magical journey today!
Don’t these places and practices sound fabulous? So book your ticket today and get started on your magical adventure. We recommend the bus, train, or airplane, as a broomstick is bound to get uncomfortable soon.