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All You Need to Know About the Magical Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft

25-10-2023

 Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft

Home to ancient Icelandic grimoires, fascinating witch hunt exhibitions and all kinds of spellbinding artifacts, visiting the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft makes for a truly magical day out.

Want to find out more? Abracadabra! Here’s a complete guide to the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft just for you – perfect! Find out where this unique museum is located in Iceland, how to get there, admission costs and what exactly you can see at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft.

About the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft

You may have heard of the ‘Iceland witch museum’ or the ‘Icelandic museum of witchcraft’. These names are, of course, referring to the magical Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, which contains a fascinating selection of exhibits all about magic, spells and the practice of witchcraft in Iceland throughout the centuries.

First opened in 2000, the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery was curated by an Icelandic man called Sigurdur Atalson, based on research which began in 1996. The museum is also known as Strandagaldur.

As well as award-winning exhibitions about the history of magic across the two floors of this compact museum, there’s also a garden next to the museum building, which sometimes hosts events, such as Quidditch tournaments! This garden is a great place to rest, enjoy the harbor views and breathe in the fresh air.

If you’re peckish after delving into Iceland’s history of magic, you can have a bite to eat at the museum’s cozy Galdur Restaurant, which offers a selection of affordable dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. As well as traditional Icelandic meat dishes, you’ll find some tasty vegetarian and vegan options here, so everyone can enjoy a hearty meal during their day out – yum!

museum of Icelandic sorcery and witchcraft

Where is the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft?

Located in the village of Holmavik in North Iceland, the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft is around 3 hours from the capital of Reykjavík by car. Holmavik is the largest village in an area called Strandir, which is part of Iceland’s remote Westfjords region.

To get to this fishing village from Reykjavík, you’ll need to take the main Ring Road in Iceland (Route 1), then Route 60 and finally Route 61 until you reach the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft on Holmavik’s coast. The museum is located in a warehouse building along the harbor.

The exact address of the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft is Hofdagata 8, Holmavik.

What to See at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft

The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft has some of the most interesting, unique and specialized exhibitions and artifacts you can see anywhere on this Nordic island. Here, you can learn all about Iceland’s unique relationship with the supernatural and understand more about Icelandic folklore and cultural heritage.

Sorcery was particularly powerful in the Icelandic area of Strandir, where the museum is located, and you can explore its history in this fascinating museum. Here’s a sneak peek at the magic that awaits you: 

  • Icelandic grimoires – Grimoires, or magic spell books, contain magical symbols, runes and spells. You can see these for yourself at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft and, thus, learn all about the history of witchcraft in Iceland.

  • Exhibitions on witch trials and hunts – The history of witch hunts in 17th century Iceland is told through magical objects and the stories of those accused of witchcraft. Excerpts from Icelandic folklore also contain a lot of information about how Icelanders used to think about witches and sorcery many centuries ago. On the second floor of the museum, you’ll find information on the genealogy of those accused of witchcraft in Iceland and their accusers.

  • Necropants – Perhaps the most famous of all the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft’s exhibits, the necropants are believed to bring wealth to the wearer but required a gruesome ritual to create (too gruesome to write here!). Dating back to the 17th century, the necropants are made of human skin, but the necropants you can see in the museum are, of course, just a replica based on the measurements of a local Icelandic man.

  • Zombies – At the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, you can even see zombies crawling out of the floor!

  • Tilberi, or milk-sucking demons – These horrifying creatures were supposed to be made by following a ritual, then they would suck milk from cows and vomit this milk into a churn, which was then made into butter – lovely! 

  • The invisible boy – When entering the museum, you’ll ‘see’ the invisible boy. On the plaque in front of this invisible boy, there is the famous magical stave of invisibility: the magical Icelandic symbol used to turn oneself invisible.

  • Scripts and drawings by John the Learned – John the Learned was considered to be a master of magic in 17th century Iceland. In the museum, you can see a number of his scripts and drawings, helping you to learn all about his research.

  • The pagan blood cup – In the 1960s, a stone cup was found near a pagan burial site with old animal blood on its bottom and edges, meaning it was likely a blood cup used for ritual sacrifice ceremonies to the Norse gods. Although the cup disappeared for years, it was found again in 2002 and now resides in the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft.

  • Statue of Klemus Bjarnason – In the museum’s garden, you’ll find a statue of Klemus Bjarnason, who was the last person in Iceland to be sentenced to be burnt at the stake for sorcery and witchcraft. However, in the end, his sentence was overturned and he was exiled. Icelandic artist, Arngrimur Sigurdsson, designed the driftwood statue of Bjarnason looking out across the ocean. 

As you can tell, the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft is definitely not for the faint-hearted! Keep in mind that some of these creepy exhibitions can scare young children, so be mindful if you plan to visit the museum with little ones.

Iceland museum of witchcraft

You’ll also find a shop at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, which is available online, too. Here, you can find a selection of books about runes, spells and magical myths, plus t-shirts, Icelandic herbal tea, tote bags, jewelry and a range of other lovely souvenirs.

Admission Prices For the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft

Admission to the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft varies depending on your age. Here are the ticket prices:

  • Adults: 1200 ISK (around $8.60 USD)

  • Students: 1000 ISK (around $7.20 USD)

  • Groups of 10+ people: 1000 ISK per person (around $7.20 USD)

  • Seniors and people with disabilities: 900 ISK (around $6.50 USD)

  • Children and young people up to 14: free

Opening Times of the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft

During summer, the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft is open from 10am to 6pm each day. Summer opening times begin on 5th May.

In winter, you can visit the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft between 12 noon and 6pm each day. 

Last admission is at 5:30pm throughout the year.

Iceland witch museum

Have a Spellbinding Day Out at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft!

Inspired to explore the impressive exhibits at Iceland’s museum of witchcraft for yourself? For sure, the magical Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft is a must-visit attraction during your Iceland vacation.

If you’re looking to start planning your ideal Iceland adventure, we can help you out with our range of affordable and reliable Iceland car rentals, perfect for traveling all around this magical island to your heart’s content. Having your own car in Iceland gives you the ultimate freedom and flexibility to visit all your top-priority attractions and locations in your own time. Ready? Let’s go!