Pagan bookstore attacked – Arson being investigated

PORTLAND, Oregon – Authorities are investigating an arson incident after a Pride display was set ablaze at a Portland metaphysical bookstore on June 23, 2024. Dark Star Magick Bookstore reported on social media that the fire specifically targeted a Pride display. Police and the fire bureau are currently investigating the matter and treating it as an arson investigation.

In an Instagram post the morning of the attack, Dark Star Magick Bookstore wrote, “In another hate crime against our store, someone came by this morning around 4:30 a.m., broke a window, and tried to torch our Pride display.” Firefighters arrived promptly and managed to prevent the fire from spreading further.


Dark Star Magick also added, “We are thankful for the amazing support we’ve always had from the Portland community, and this act of hate does not represent the wonderful people of Portland. We will recover and we will continue on!”

The Wild Hunt contacted Steve Kinchen, owner of Dark Star Magick, who told us, “We have reopened the store and, in fact, were never closed. This all happened on Monday morning, and we’re closed that day anyway. We had it cleaned up enough to open the next day, though the place still smells a bit of smoke. As I tell my customers, that is the smell of burning books—never forget what that smells like!”

The books being displayed in the window were all highlighting the intersection of Paganism and Witchcraft. One book, The Satyr’s Kiss: Queer Men, Sex Magic & Modern Witchcraft, is by TWH columnist Storm Faerywolf. The book is shown partially burned along with others.

Kinchen added, “We are 99% positive that it is the same individual who smashed out our windows in January and then, a week later, did the same to another metaphysical shop nearby called Q.Meb. He wore the same jacket in all the attacks.”

Kinchen also underscored that the attack was a hate crime. “It was absolutely a hate crime and is being investigated as such. The target was our Pride display in the front window,” he said. “We’re sure it was the same person who attacked our store and another in January, those also qualifying as hate crimes. Recently, it has been reported to me that neo-Nazis have been putting up anti-Pride flyers in the area, though I have not seen any myself.”

Dark Star Magick is now open, but the reality of the attack lingers. Kinchen said that the store is back to “normal-ish.” He said that the store has had to increase security as well as add more security cameras. The broken store window was being replaced today. In the meantime, the storefront display window was boarded up with “HATE FREE ZONE” written on the wooden planks.

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Kinchen said, “All in all, it’s just stuff and it can be replaced. The horrible thing about this crime is that in an effort to burn a handful of books, this person put at risk the lives and safety of everyone.”

The Dark Star Magick store is below an apartment building.

“We were very lucky that the damage was mitigated quickly by the fire department. Still, we are being as diligent as we can and welcome information anyone has as to the identity of this person,” Kinchen noted.

Kinchen underscored the intersection with the Pagan community and the Pride celebration. “My message to the Pagan community would be to stand strong always in the face of bigotry and persecution. We always say ‘Never again the burning,’ but forget that this idea takes many forms, like the Satan Scare that started in the 80s and still continues in some forms today.”

Dark Star Magick is online and can be followed on Instagram @darkstarmagick.

“We as a community (and this goes for ALL communities) should never have to go underground and hide who we are. Every person is a star and deserves to shine as brightly as they can!”

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