Fire destroys Pagan metaphysical store in Ontario

Cara Schulz —  June 29, 2016 — 8 Comments

WINDSOR, Ont. – Mystical Mae Moon, a Pagan owned metaphysical store, was destroyed in a fire on Sunday along with several other businesses and apartments. The commercial building housed five businesses with five occupied residential units above. While no humans died, eight cats belonging to one of the apartment residents were killed and the two birds, who lived in the Mystical Mae Moon store, also perished.

[Photo courtesy of Windsor Fire and Rescue via Twitter]

[Photo courtesy of Windsor Fire and Rescue via Twitter]

“It has been a horrible nightmare for us. This business is a dream of ours, it was our baby,” said Mystical Mae Moon owner Ron Story. He said the loss of the store was difficult, but the loss of the family’s beloved birds was worse, “Going in today with the adjustor felt like going to the coroner to identify a body. It was gut wrenching.The loss of our birds hit us, as well as our children, hard.”

The fire started in an office of a laundromat that is owned by the building’s landlord. The fire appears to have started shortly after 9:30 pm Sunday eve. At 10:30, Mr. Story says he was alerted by his security system that both front and back doors had been opened so he headed to the store to see what was happening. When he arrived he found that the area was blocked off, and ten fire trucks were at the scene.

Story said that his store is a total loss. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

[Courtesy Photo]

[Courtesy Photo]

Mystical Mae Moon, which opened its doors in September of 2015, is one of three metaphysical stores in the area. Paige Vanderbeck, an employee of Mystical Mae Moon, said that Mystical Mae Moon was quickly becoming a gathering place, bringing a splintered Pagan community together, “This is the first time a store like that has operated in Windsor in a really long time. I’ve been a witch here for 20 years and I’ve seen a hundred witch wars and splits in the community, and since working at Mystical Mae Moon more of those people have started coming together than I ever thought was possible.”

Vanderbeck said that her favorite thing about working at the store is that it’s comfortable and authentic. “When you walk in it’s obvious that it’s not a money scam,” she explained. “Ron is also very serious about making everyone comfortable and learning anything he can about everyone’s path. You could walk in and ask about Hinduism, Wicca, Voodoo, Satanism, angels, crystals or herbs and he would answer as best he could and look things up with you right there if he had no idea.”

The Story’s haven’t given up on their dream. Although the store and all its contents are a total loss, they plan on reopening at another location, “We will put this behind us and rebuild.”

Story says the local Pagan community has been very supportive in the days after the fire, “We also would like to thank the Pagan community in this area for the moral support. They have been wonderful. They have started a GoFundMe for us, as well as planning an online auction. They have given us moral support, encouraging us to rebuild.”

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Correction 6-29 6:53 PM: The quoted statements and opinions expressed concerning the nature of others area stores were removed as they were not directly related to the central story of the fire. 

Cara Schulz

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Cara Schulz is a journalist and author living in Minnesota with her husband and cat. She has previously written for PAGAN+politics, PNC-Minnesota, and Patheos. Her work has appeared in several books by Bibliotheca Alexandrina and she's the author of Martinis & Marshmallows: A Field Guide to Luxury Tent Camping and (Almost) Foolproof Mead Making. She loves red wine, camping, and has no tattoos.
  • E. Tait

    Though this is very sad news about the Story’s misfortune, I would like to comment about mrs. Vanderbeck statement about the other metaphysical store, she is mistaken in her reference to the other metaphysical store in the area as to it being anti Pagan. I teach the classes at this store and I have been a practicing witch for 29 years. I’m also held in high regard in the community, the slanderous remarks that keep being brought up by this part of the community is a big reason why their is a divide in the community, in stead of a coming together. It is unfortunate that these events have happened however the energy you send out towards others comes back to you whether it be positive or negative. I wish nothing but the best for all those that have been effected by this.

    • Anara Solomon

      Lol – nothing ever “comes back” to anyone – positive or negative. There is no Law of Return, Reap what you sow, or Karma. I notice these things are only invoked when something bad happens as if the folks must have caused it. If it was true all the good people do would also come back 3 times and it never does. Ever. This is patriarchal nonsense meant to control. Nice try at victim shaming however.

      • E. Tait

        I was not victim shaming at all, but your welcome to your opinions.

    • Sarah

      I find it interesting that you were able to recognize your store through no other descriptor than “anti-pagan” if that doesn’t actually describe it.

  • Gail Smith

    I am an active Pagan where this store is. It’s a tragedy that this business caught fire. The sad thing is that instead of this article doing research on it’s content before publishing it, it allowed biased and slanderous statements about our local spiritual community and businesses. There are three prominent spiritual businesses in Windsor Ontario, and this wasn’t one of them. As you can see by their negative comments, they are the reason for the divide in our community. I have been to all the stores in my area, and all of them have great atmospheres and teach on a wide variety of topics including pagan, wiccan, hoodoo, and new age and spirituality. These people have gone out of their way to cause trouble for these other business. Instead of using publicity to bash others, always remember, what you wish upon others, you draw to yourself. My condolences to the birds who where lost.

  • Damiana

    I’m so sorry to read this terrible news. I understand that this story is about the store and its owners, and I hope that they continue to be supported by the community.

    I’m also saddened by the loss of the animals and the homes of residents as well as the other business losses. That’s a lot of lives deeply affected.

  • Wren

    So sad!! D: I hope they can rebuild soon. Also, so sad for the animals lost in the fire, that must have been devastating.

  • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.