As you all know when I have an opportunity to interview an important and well-known public figure from the Pagan Community, I will definitely bring it to ROC Metaphysical. This month we have a very fun character all the way from Salem, Massachusetts. Is a non-Pagan among the Pagans and yes, we will meet its creator as well as the character herself.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Psychics, Witches, Healers and all Pagans out there, I need your attention please so you all can enjoy the following interview with the unique, awesome and super fun BORAH! As she says… Hop on! Let’s see where the broom takes us!
1) Who is Brian without BORAH’s! Costume?
I was born in SC and moved to Cincinnati immediately after high school to attend the College Conservatory of Music and majored in theatre. After attending CCM, I moved to Ft Lauderdale for 18+ years where I met my husband. I studied Respiratory Therapy at Broward College. We moved to ATL for 9 years to be a little closer to family. However, I had a goal ever since high school to move to Salem, MA. So in 2016, we sold our home in ATL, and moved to Salem. I practice Respiratory Therapy at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. On my days off from my hospital job, I work full time with Salem’s Black Hat Society. I created Salem’s Black Hat Society in May of 2016. The soul purpose of creating SBHS was to raise money to donate to different children’s charities in Salem by street performing as BORAH! in October. SBHS has unexpectedly and unintentionally grown into a crazy gig. In order to keep my sanity and reality in check, I enjoy spending quality time with my wonderful husband, friends and family. I love exploring abandoned buildings and towns. I love to snow and water ski. I LOVE eating good food and drinking Dunk’s coffee and playing practical jokes on people. I really love walking around Salem in the late evenings and I truly love working on my home with my husband. I have great neighbors that I like visiting with and I love making people feel happy and making them feel good about themselves. I would love to spend the rest of my life living in Salem.
2) Where did the name BORAH! Come from?
I was driving around in Beverly, MA and I saw a canopy over a door entry of a convenience store. It read, BORAH’s Convenience and I adopted that name. I thought it was a strong, loud, strange name and I felt that it fit BORAH’s! energy and character. I have never shopped at that store. I thought about going many times and even showing up as BORAH! But I am not sure what their reaction would be. They might call the cops on me. Maybe I will visit it as BORAH!, record it and post it on social media. I’ll keep you updated.
3) Now let’s start a conversation with BORAH!. Who is BORAH!?
Outward appearance to people: UGHHHH!!!!!!!! We’ll let me just start by saying that 66.6% of the time I’m pretty cranky and 33.4% of the time I am miserable and despise happy people- YUCK!. Children annoy me, I don’t like being around you mortals and the sun just aches my whole body. Ostriches have the right idea….. I’d like to avoid life like the plague and bury my head in the mud. Speaking of mud, mud pies are my favorite DEADsserts and there is always something brewing in my iron cauldron, ready to feed any visiting Zombie, Vampire or other good fiend of mine. I live way in the back of a deep, foggy, spooky, damp old forest in a huge stump covered with ticks, moss and dead leaves. I do have a secret, this is just between you and me. I love spreading joy. I adore children, the elderly and the special needs population. BUT DON’T TELL ANYONE! With that said, have a CRAPY day! NEEXXXTTTTTTT!!!
4) What is BORAH’s! Mission in Salem?
BORAH’s! Mission in Salem is broad. As mentioned above, to raise money to donate to different children’s charities in Salem by street performing in October. In addition, I like to welcome and educate visitors about Salem. Sometimes there can be some misinformation floating around and I like to try and keep the history facts in order for visitors. I love promoting the town of Salem and it’s businesses. I like to make visitors feel welcomed and I love giving those who don’t have the opportunity to visit Salem a vicarious visit through my eyes into the world of Salem by making videos and live streaming trough my social media.
5) Can you tell us which are the best things to do if we visit Salem?
Well, first off, you HAVE to say hi to BORAH! of course. BORAH! Can be found roaming and terrifying the streets of Salem at different times throughout the year. They usually announce on social media when they will be out and where. To be honest, EVERYTHING is the BEST thing to visit in Salem. There is not one attraction that I’d single out over another nor would I not recommend. However, I would suggest starting the morning by having breakfast at Red’s Sandwich Shop at 15 Central Street. I then would ride The Salem Trolley which is a 1 hour comprehensive tour of our great town. You can get on and off at different iconic locations throughout the town. Many visitors are not aware of Salem’s Maritime influence on the nation. America’s first millionaire, Elias Derby was from Salem. If you visit the National Park Service in Salem, you will learn about him and merchant trading with the East Indies. A visit to the NPS alone, could take one whole day.
6) What are BORAH’s! Favorite places in Salem and why?
Red’s Sandwich Shop is to die for. They serve homemade food and at reasonable prices. We also have wonderful restaurants that feature Italian, Portuguese, Indian, from budget focused to fine dining. We have many museums with different themes. They range from Salem’s rich nautical history, art and nature and of course you have the brilliant museums that focus on the horrific witch trials in 1692 that you can visit. Salem is filled with many mom and pop shops that sell witch themed clothes, souvenirs to metaphysical treasures. Do stop by or shop online at Coon’s Card and Gift Shop located at 226 Essex Street. Here you can find BORAH! T shirts, mugs, shot glasses, beer glasses, post cards and lots of other fine spiritual products. We do love our sacred cemeteries here in Salem. Old Burying Point is Salem’s oldest and the Nation’s 2nd oldest cemetery. There is also Greenlawn Cemetery which is really pretty and is located in North Salem. Lastly, Harmony Grove Cemetery is one of the most beautiful and Salem’s largest cemeteries that not many people know about. Harmony Grove Cemetery is a MUST visit.
7) Have you shared time or have you meet real witches in Salem? If yes, can you mention some of their names?
I do know many real witches here in Salem. I have a great relationship with them and they are just the nicest people. They are full of love, positiveness and they have great energy. There are too many to individually mention but there are four that come to mind, Shalimar, Thomas O’Brien Vallor, Robert Riley and
8) You Probably know that a lot of real witches are big fans of BORAH! the following question is probably an understatement based on where you live and what you do, as you are representing a Witch but as a non-Pagan, do you feel comfortable being (in a certain way) part of the Pagan community?
Oh I feel very comfortable and I feel a strong connection with my Pagan community. They have all welcomed me and my husband with open arms. They are very loving, accepting, understanding and compassionate people. They have so much insight and offer everyone the opportunity to grow as a person in lots of wonderful ways. The Pagans teach me so much and help me grow as a person and they influence me in so many ways in which adds many layers to BORAH!. We feel so honored to be part of the Pagan community. I am very grateful to those who are big fans of BORAH! If it weren't for their support and teachings, BORAH! nor SBHS would not be what they are today. Thank you so, so much!
9) I know you got inspiration from the Witch’s Dance for BORAH’s! Costume and I am the choreographer for the local Witch’s Dance in Rochester, NY. If the community presents in the future, will you accept an invitation to do the dance with us?
Yes, the Witch’s Dance did inspire BORAH’s! initial costume in 2016 and throughout the years, the designs have taken on a life of their own, influenced by the Pagan community, children that I meet, BORAH’s! personality and more. Lots of consideration and thought goes into each design. Every piece of material, color, texture and accessory that is attached to every costume has a signification meaning and intention. I start each January, designing my costume with different designers. We have lengthy, long discussions about my costumes. One of the first questions we ask in starting a design is, what story do we won’t to tell? What mood do we won’t to set for the year etc. We consider the political and emotional climate and how BORAH! has been influenced by their followers and the wonderful people they met that previous year. It is a fun and can be a stressful, daunting task for all of us involved. It takes about 8 months for each costume to be built. Just before October, I have a costume reveal/interview and those are fun.
I would be totally honored and humbled to receive an invitation to dance with you all. You work very hard, have lots of fun and you make me smile when I watch your videos. Maybe we can also plan for your group to come to Salem and do the dance all over the city!
10) Finally, as we love to also like some feedback to make our community better. What can we improve in the Pagan community in general (including everyone, Wicca, Witchcraft and everyone else) in order to have a closer and less tense relationship with the non Pagan community (and everyone who consider to be under that umbrella)?
You said one word, love…. I think it starts with love. We have to cleanse out hearts of prejudices, hate and judgment. We all are human, we have feelings, needs, desires and we a won’t everything now, immediate gratification. We won’t to be liked and excepted for the most part. In order to connect with those that don’t understand us, to bridge the gap, I think we have to have patience with others and have an understanding as to why others persevere us in a manner that causes a tense relationship. I think that if someone asks us about what we do and how we believe that question should be answered from an honest and positive place with the hopes of spreading positive awareness and education. We should take those moments and use them to our advantage to enlighten others. It is certainly up to us to spread the right information and clean up the stereotypical ideals and misconceptions our communities. I think one way of improving our relationship, is to encourage and welcome questions from others and to offer lessons, books and education through not only in person but definitely through social media. People build ignorance from lack of knowledge and education, so it is