Harry Potter-branded stores and theme parks around the world overflow with replica wands fans can buy in order to feel more like Hermione or Dumbledore. But they aren’t the only kinds of wands available for sale; some people buy and sell wands because they think of them as real spiritual tools. One such person is Richard Carter, owner of the Mystical Moments shop in Huddersfield, England. Carter recently told The Independent that he was banning Harry Potter fans from his shop so they didn’t interfere with “real” wizards.
“You wouldn’t believe how many real witches and wizards there are knocking about. You would be amazed,” Carter said. “They know they can come here and reveal themselves without people thinking they’re mental. I don’t have customers who have been Harry Potter–fied. If I had someone come in wanting a wand just because they liked Harry Potter, I would not sell them one, no matter how much they were offering.”
Author J.K. Rowling came to her fans’ defense on Twitter, hitting back at Carter by saying, “Oh yeah? Well I don’t think they’re real wands.”
Carter then clarified his comments to his local paper The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. His products are not exactly what Harry Potter fans are looking for, he noted.
“I said that if Harry Potter fans wanted a wand they should go on eBay because what they’re basically after is a toy. But I have not banned them from the shop,” Carter told the paper. “I have nothing against Harry Potter and actually liked the films. The wands I make, though, whether you believe it or not, are real and spiritual. If a Harry Potter fan came to the shop, whether they would be able to buy a wand would depend on why they want one. If for a toy, then no, but if they had watched Harry Potter and been inspired to start their own spiritual journey, then yes.”