Witches Rejoice for Harry Potter

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When vandalism increased in the Maryland town where the movie was filmed, Curott feared that real witches were at risk. “When you mix fact and fiction like that you can put real people at risk,” she says. “What if someone hurts an innocent witch because they were influenced by the movie? The film did nothing to suggest that it was fiction.”

Modern witchcraft, sometimes called Wicca, revives European traditions that predate Christianity. Like Jews and other minorities, witches were demonized when they didn’t conform.

The Ivy League-educated Curott, who was born to a Jewish mother, has been practicing witchcraft since the late 1970s. She recounts her spiritual journey in Book of Shadows: A Modern Woman’s Journey into the Wisdom of Witchcraft and the Magic of the Goddess (Boardwalk Books).

“I wouldn’t mind subtitling my book Harry Potter for Adults,” Curott says.

Now Curott and other witches are bracing themselves for the new marketing push for The Burkettsville 7, a half-hour mock documentary coming to Showtime to promote the pay-TV showing of The Blair Witch Project. That, in turn, is a warm-up to the theatrical premiere of the sequel, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.

Modern witches typically record their thoughts in a “Book of Shadows.” Curott is all but certain the film will once again apply benign practices of witchcraft to a horror film. “It’s kind of like making a movie about a crazy killer who happens to be Muslim and calling it The Koran,” she says.

“Nobody would let that happen.”

From Baseball Bats to Broomsticks

Witches aren’t devil worshippers, Curott says. If black cauldrons are used in ceremonies, they’re only to represent the power of a woman’s womb to bring forth life. They do believe in spells. But they cast spells the way other folks pray.

Curott likens magic spells to the mysterious power of positive thinking.