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Eviction Notice Forces Move Of Witchcraft Supply Shop

April 3, 1985

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Pat Tobias is looking for a new haunt. The self-described ″good witch″ who practices ″white magic″ is being evicted.

’It’s a witch hunt, no less - and who’s available but the local witch,″ Mrs. Tobias said after she was informed this week that her Bell, Book & Candle witchcraft supply store will have to move.

Mrs. Tobias, who prefers her ″magic name″ of Lady Yodwin, sells candles, cat whiskers, graveyard dirt, frog toes and other witchcraft supplies in the small shop.

Debbie Barrett, Mrs. Tobias’ landlady, who operates a flower shop and wedding boutique on the floor above, said she was reluctant to ask her tenant to move.

Mrs. Tobias was a good tenant, Miss Barrett said, but ″I just heard people say they wouldn’t do business with me because she was in the building.″

She said other tenants also had complained.

″I have a lot of customers who are church people,″ she said. ″I don’t know if they’re scared, or if they just don’t believe what she believes. I believe different from her, too, but it’s never presented a real problem. The only problem is the talk in the community.″

Mrs. Tobias, who has been in the building for four years, says she has frequently been a target of vandals who have left garbage on her porch. She has also received threatening letters and telephone calls.

″You just disregard all that until something like this happens,″ she said.

″It isn’t really fair to me and not really fair to her, but you have to do what the majority of your customers feel is right,″ said Miss Barrett.

She said Mrs. Tobias has about a month to find a new location.

Mrs. Tobias said she will miss the convenience of working near her home, and the relatively low rent of $150 a month.

″I think my kind of people have been put down too long,″ she said. ″You can’t even come out of the closet, so to speak. The witch is always guilty.″

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