New Rogers Park Witchcraft and Magic Shop is a Witchin’ Way to Get in the Halloween Spirit

Rogers Park is home to many an oddity. There’s a BDSM museum, an antique costume store and now, a witchcraft and magic shop.

Photo Courtesy of Zack Miller 

Malliway Bros. Magic & Witchery, located at 1626 W. Morse Ave., is officially open to magical and non-magical folk alike. Sitting just a few blocks from the Morse Red Line stop, the store is a one-stop shop for every witch’s necessities. Spells, potions, charms, tarot cards and more are available at working-witch pricing for those looking to harness their supernatural abilities.

Stepping into the shop is like stepping into a 17th-century cabin in a Northern English forest. Bottles and spell books line the walls as incense and candles burn in the corners. Tables of tarot decks, pentagrams, cauldrons, hand-poured candles and hand-mixed potions tantalize curious eyes. The faintest sound of music echoes in the room. The only thing missing is an enigmatic black cat to prowl and hiss at passersby.

Photo Courtesy of Zack Miller 

Owners and self-identifying “witches,” who go by pseudonyms Blake and Wycke, opened the store Aug. 31, much to the delight of the 300 customers who stopped by that day.

"We are a shop that offers a selection of tools, books, candles, everything that you need to cast your spells and work your magic,” Blake said. “In addition to offering our workshops in the back as well as private consultations, people actually hire us to cast spells for them, like you would go to a psychic for a psychic reading."

Blake and Wycke, who live in Wicker Park and Evanston respectively, originally began by hosting magical workshops down the street from their current location. They taught groups of 10 or 11 how to make charm bags, potions or spells, but soon found the studio wasn’t big enough to accommodate their big ideas.

Now that they have a store to work with, there’s plenty of room for their Twisted Broomstick products — potions, powders and other formulas they whip up, bottle and sell at various Pagan pride events across the country.

The pair said they chose Rogers Park for the location because of its affordability and proximity to their old workshop studio.

"I wish we looked more into the people here, because it’s an amazing area,” Wycke said. “Everyone’s so supportive. Everyone kind of has a little bit of witchiness in them, just passing by, they’ll be like ‘Oh, I cast a spell once.’ You won’t hear that anywhere else really."

According to Blake, contrary to what some might think, there’s no religion in witchcraft and it’s not synonymous with Wicca — a Pagan religion whose followers often practice witchcraft and worship nature.

Photo Courtesy of Zack Miller 

"It even says it in the name, witchcraft, it’s all about the practice," Blake said. “A lot of what we do is result-oriented and operative. It really is rolling up your sleeves and getting down to the nitty-gritty of the spellwork. Not a lot of worship, there’s no god or goddess that we work with.”

Blake also said devil-worshipping is optional for witches, though not all of them partake. He said what most people think of as the devil is a Pagan horned-god that was worshipped in England and demonized by Christianity.

"I’d be lying to say that people don’t worship the devil,” Blake said. “But the devil is not what you would think, like fire and brimstone, pits of hell, ruler of all evil devil … So the devil, Cernunnos, Pan, it’s all kind of the same deity, and it’s basically the embodiment of the wild side of nature."

Photo Courtesy of Zack Miller 

Despite the name Malliway Bros., Blake and Wycke aren’t actually brothers, but describe themselves as a brotherhood. Wycke is a native to Deerfield, Illinois and attended Columbia College Chicago for illustration while Blake hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan and graduated from Eastern Michigan University, where he studied business.

The two met by accident, or so it might seem.

Blake said both of them had performed a spell to attract others of a like mind a week before they met.

"So we were meant to [meet] or we made it so that we were meant to," Wycke said. “Either way it was in the stars.”

Wycke also said the pair’s magic has been manifesting faster as they spend more time together.

"It’s kind of funny though," Blake said. “Because there are times when I’ll march over to him and be like ‘Did you cast a spell on me for this?’ And he’ll be like, A truth spell,’ and wink.”

Photo Courtesy of Zack Miller 

Wycke reminisced about a time he charmed Blake to get him over an argument they had.

"Remember when you saw that little twine on your coat?" Wycke said to Blake. “We were arguing about something one day and I was like, ‘I’m going to fix this,’ so I did a spell to get rid of the argument and Blake was like, ‘What’s this string?’ ‘Nothing.’ ‘Oh.’ ‘Want to go get smoothies?’ ‘Yep.’”

Blake said he hopes the store will reinvigorate that childlike wonder in magic that so many lose as they grow older.

"Children are always taught to believe in magic," Blake said. “Find me one child in the world that’s not taught to close their eyes, think about a wish they really want and blow out their candle. That’s a spell that every child in the world is taught. And then all of a sudden we’re told, ‘just kidding, that’s not true, stop believing in it.’ So I believe the most potent witches are the ones who always believe in that and have never let that childhood innocence escape them.”

Photo Courtesy of Zack Miller 

Wycke said Disneyland is probably one of the most magically potent places in the world because it’s constantly so full of enchanting belief.

"At that kind of level, if you go in there, you can just feel it bristling in the air," Wycke said.

"It’s mostly about the unjaded mind," Blake said. “Those are the people who are most affected in spellwork. If your mind is not jaded, and your beliefs aren’t jaded, then the only limitations on your spells are the ones you put on yourself.”

However, Wycke and Blake said they aren’t just practicing witchcraft for fun. They travel to Cornwall, England four times a year to study “the old ways” with the witch elders who live there year round. The weekend before Halloween they plan to be at the All Hallows Dark Gathering in the minute village of Boscastle, where 1000 witches will gather for a day of music, dancing and seasonal celebration.

While in Cornwall, they harvest wood from Rowan trees to bring back and sell as Rowan crosses.

"[Rowan crosses] are probably the most traditional form of protection,” Blake said. “You’re not going to be able to find this anywhere else in the city because Rowan doesn’t grow here.”

Wycke and Blake said prices for their products fluctuate throughout the year based on what’s harvestable at the time — the pair harvests most of their merchandise themselves — but they try to make everything affordable.

Spell kits range from $18 to $30, depending on the spell. Wish Spell kits are among their most popular items and come with mojo bags and handmade oils — everything needed to make a wish come true.

Wycke and Blake said they plan to host plenty of witching events in the future, including full moon rituals, magical formulary classes and other workshops, which they post about on their Witches’ Conclave page.

"We’ve got most of our rituals posted for October, so there will definitely be something for Halloween,” Blake said. “It’s like our biggest holiday.”

For more information on Malliway Bros. Witchcraft & Magic, visit www.malliwaybros.com.

Photo Courtesy of Zack Miller