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Neighbors In Salem, NH Concerned About New Witchcraft Temple

By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV New Hampshire Bureau Chief
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SALEM, NH (CBS) – The Temple of Witchcraft in Salem, New Hampshire is moving locations to a residential neighborhood on North Policy Street.

That has some neighbors voicing their concerns to the town’s planning officials – not about religion – but about traffic. The temple is close to Canobie Lake Park, and neighbors say traffic is already a nightmare.

They are worried about more cars in the area, the lights and a new parking lot that will be built on the grounds.

The temple has about 200 members locally and about 500 globally.

“My concerns with the witchcraft have nothing to do with religion,” said neighbor June Lilley. “I just don’t believe that it’s in the right spot.”

One of the reasons is that the new 5-acre property allows them to be closer to nature.

“Modern witches are an Earth-based tradition,” says Temple co-founder and witch Chris Penczak. “This location afforded us a forest.”

The Temple will host rituals, ceremonies and classes.

City officials tell WBZ-TV the witches presented proper plans and the move has been approved.

The temple’s leaders say they are happy neighbors seem to be more concerned about traffic rather than the witchcraft.

“Witches are people too,” says Penczak.

Some neighbors admit they are a little curious.

“When somebody moves in your neighborhood and say witchcraft, you’re first thing is like ‘well that’s pretty weird’,” says neighbor Scott White. “You don’t want them casting any spells over here or anything but I mean they seem like normal people.”

The witches say they plan to break ground on the new parking lot in the Spring and then the move will be complete.

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