Crystal Coven promotes alternative healing through the use of crystals, teas and other natural materials.

A Clark County company that commemorated its first anniversary in June has been accused of witchcraft. Shannon Tipton, the owner of the Crystal Coven Mystic Cottage, has since disputed allegations which left her with "severe emotional distress."

"I have a multitude of stones, crystals, jewellery, incense, herbs, spices, teas..." Tipton explained. "All of the stones are meant for some type of energy protection, energy healing." According to Tipton, the impact of the allegations on her business has not been easy to deal with. It all started when a consumer showed her a message from local leaders.

"They were trying to say I was a religion," she said. "I'm not a religion, I'm a business, I'm a metaphysical shop. What they're saying and what I actually do," claims Tipton, is very different. "It's been said that I'm a devil-worshipping witch; I'm a satanic shop. None of that is true."

Accused Of Witchcraft

The allegations arose after Winchester-Clark County Tourism published an image of an auro-photo event that the store was sponsoring.

In a statement sent to LEX 18, Julianne Tackett, Tipton's lawyer, wrote: "My client has endured a campaign of intimidation and hate orchestrated by a misguided local politician. This literal modern-day witch hunt has caused Ms Tipton to lose profits as customers are now concerned for their safety while at her shop."

"This has obviously caused Ms Tipton to suffer severe emotional distress and has threatened both her physical safety and financial security," Tackett continued. "We are currently investigating all potential legal avenues in hopes that her rights are not further violated. We would like to thank those who have bravely spoken up in support of Ms Tipton and the Winchester Police Department for their increased patrolling of the Crystal Coven."

The Crystal Coven
The Crystal Coven Mystic Cottage sells clothes, crystals, jewellery, incense, herbs, spices, teas and stones. @crystalcoven40391/Instagram

The accusations have threatened the shop's chances of survival as the cost of living intensifies. In addition to financial means, Tipton also said that she has been forced to deal with customers who are "too afraid to come in."

"I've had customers to be messaged, to be told that they're going to hell," the shop owner added. According to Tipton, while she understands that misconceptions regarding this way of life exist, her shop remains an alternate method of health and healing.

"We are all given freedoms of religion, freedoms to believe the way that we do, to share what we believe in. When we do that, we need to make sure we're doing that in love and light and not using those freedoms as a veil to hide behind," Tipton argued.

"Anybody has the right to be able to have any business that they want to," agreed Lee Cruse, the senior pastor at Grace Bible Church who attended the exclusive meeting. However, the pastor slammed the shop for not promoting a positive perception of the town.

"We just felt like for tourist attractions and things this was, we didn't feel this was necessarily the way we wanted our community to be perceived," he said.

Last month, the town organised an exclusive meeting to discuss the shop. In another statement sent to LEX 18, Clark County District 4 Judge Mark Miller wrote: "In no way is anyone trying to say that the Crystal Coven needs to close its doors. The business has the right to be open, as any other small business in Winchester. And people in this community have the right to patronise this business if they so choose."

"The people who object to this believe that the Tourism Department should not promote any business that sells Witchcraft materials. Others believe that tourism should not promote any type of spiritual events," Miller added."Metaphysical shops are not spiritually neutral. Because this matter is "spiritual in nature", people feel that it is not a Government Funded Commission's job, such as Tourism, to promote "spirituality" of any kind, even Christianity."

While Crystal Coven Mystic Cottage has not yet responded to International Business Times UK request for a comment, the store's online webpage remains open to customers.

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Crystal Coven Mystic Cottage is one of many controversial businesses operating in the US. While Tipton has been accused of encouraging witchcraft, other organisations have been linked to more severe human rights and environmental violations.


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