Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Religious Studies


Annie Blazer

Committee Members

Kevin Vose

Leisa Meyer


The construction of the “witch” as an icon, a foe, or a label adopted by many people looking to reject traditional ideas of religion and obedience prevalent throughout popular culture in movies, books, TV shows, and Halloween. The purpose of this thesis is to examine what “witch tourism,” (tours, museum exhibits, and theatrical performances, and other forms of entertainment and tourism based on witch trials or modern witchcraft) and commercialization of witchcraft practices such as tarot readings and crystal shops, has on self-identified witches and their relationship to their religion/spirituality today. While works exist discussing witch trials and what modern witchcraft looks like today, this thesis looks to fill the gaps and understand the overlap of these two phenomena with firsthand accounts of self-identified witches or practitioners of other alternative religions/spiritualities who are often associated with witches. The majority of research for this project was conducted over the summer of 2023, when the researcher went to Salem, MA and Wethersfield, CT and surrounding areas to experience witch tourism firsthand and to interview practicing witches. Research was also conducted in Virginia, primarily in Williamsburg and Richmond. This anthropological study intends to shed light on contemporary witches’ opinions of witchcraft tourism and how if at all it has impacted their practices, what this tourism looks like, and how it came to be with the goal of better understanding how we view religion and consumerism with the example of an alternative spiritual movement.

On-Campus Access Only