Woman crowdfunds to launch witchcraft museum
- Credit: Archant
A woman is crowdfunding to open a new museum dedicated to the history of brutal witch hunts and magical beliefs which have shaped East Anglia over thousands of years.
Amy Terry moved to Colchester five years ago from her native Yorkshire and was shocked to find there wasn’t a museum devoted to telling the story of the witch hunts in Essex and Suffolk.
She said: “The idea for the museum came from my own experience as someone who moved to the region who was keen to learn more about the area’s history.
“I had seen information and artefacts at other cultural venues that touched on the subject of witchcraft but when I looked for the full story, as I was interested to learn more, there wasn’t anywhere that told it.
“I couldn’t believe that this museum didn’t already exist.”
The 37-year-old is a not for profit consultant, specialising in business development in the arts and cultural sector, and launched her crowdfunder on Wednesday, October 28.
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Ms Terry wants to explore how magical practice and mysticism have influenced culture, with discoveries such as Seahenge and Sutton Hoo.
Though much has been written about Mathew Hopkins, the Witch-Finder General who killed hundreds of women in the East of England, she wants to tell the important and overlooked stories of women’s suffering and highlight the role of contemporary witchcraft in today’s society.
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“Most information sources either gloss over the brutality involved, or focus on a small and specific element of the history relevant to that particular location,” she explained.
“In particular, many focus solely on the role of the Witch-Finder General and other men, with the (mostly) women who were tried, tortured and killed reduced to a mere number.
“This removes the victims from the narrative and I feel their voices deserve to be heard.
“My goal is to consolidate these stories in one place and appeal to visitors wanting to learn more about local history.”
Currently, Ms Terry is raising funds for a touring exhibition which will visit sites across East Anglia next year.
She has received a lot of interest and hopes to find a permanent base for the museum one day, dependent on further funding.