Museum Number: 342
Object Name: Mirror
Physical Description: Wooden Witch Mirror, with hand carved frame featuring a witch's face.
Museum Classification: Divination
Size: 580mm x 260mm
Information: Original text by Cecil Williamson: 'There are witch mirrors, and there are witch mirrors, but of all the mirrors used by witches this one is the top. This type of mirror was turned out in some quantity for one comes across examples up and down the country. To date I know of seven others exactly the same. Of course, a familiar spirit has been conjured and coaxed into making the mirror its home.
When you use these mirrors you gaze into them then suddenly you will see in the mirror some one standing behind you. Whatever you do, do not turn around. Remember that, never never turn around. What happens next? Good gracious, you just talk quietly to the figure or face in the mirror, close your eyes if you cannot bear it, but never, ever turn around.'
Mentioned in Doreen Valiente's description of the exhibits at Cecil Williamson's 'House of Spells' at Polperro (Transcripts from Doreen Valiente's Diaries 1959-1966, in the museum library (133.43 VAL), pp.29-34). She describes it as 'a very fine piece of wood-carving', and as she was later photographed with just such a mirror it is tempting to think she was inspired by seeing this one to acquire one herself.
A similar mirror was recorded by Sotherbys Auctions as having been made by T Pooley in Belfast in mid 19C.
Mirrors in this style were also made by Michael Hunstone in the Peak District in the mid 20th century, and are sometimes referred to as Holyroodhouse Mirrors.
Resource Type: Object
Material made from: Wood, glass
Copyright Ownership: Copyright to The Museum of Witchcraft Ltd.