I have been told by witches in England: 'Write and tell people we are not perverts. We are decent people, we only want to be left alone, but there are certain secrets that you mustn't give away.' So after some argument as to exactly what I must not reveal, I am permitted to tell much that has never before been made public concerning their beliefs, their rituals and their reasons for what they do; also to emphasise that neither their present beliefs, rituals nor practices are harmful.

I write only of what takes place in the North, South, East, and West of England today in covens which I know. I have in addition shown the origin of some at least of the stories which have been told about the craft. I can only repeat the words of Lucius Apuleius in the Metamorphoses, xl, 23, who wrote a long account of his own initiation into the mysteries in cryptic language, saying: 'I have told you things of which, although you have heard them, you cannot know the meaning.'

The Museum of Magic and Witchcraft at Castletown is the only one in the world devoted to magic and witchcraft. I have the materials here to prove what I say.

I wish to thank Mr. Ross Nichols, editor of Christian's History and Practice of Magic, for supplying me with supplementary information and for 1m many useful suggestions and comments.

G.B. Gardner

The Museum of Magic and Witchcraft
The Witches' Mill
Castletown, Isle of Man