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.