Atop Mount Greylock would-be wizards search for Ilvermorny


ADAMS — Eight-year-old Sirus and 12-year-old Sonya Wroblewski aren't students at Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — at least not yet.

But that didn't deter Sirus from donning a wizard's robe and carrying a wand as he visited the site of the fictional wizarding school atop Mount Greylock on Friday.

Earlier this week, J.K. Rowling, author of the megapopular Harry Potter book series, announced that North America's first witchcraft and wizarding school is at the state's highest peak, Mount Greylock.

Though the Potter universe is a work of the imagination, the news was met with very real adulation from fans of the series across the region, including Sirus and his sister Sonya, who drove to the summit from Pittsfield with their mom for lunch on Friday.

"I was excited," said Sirus, whose name is not-so-coincidentally one letter away from book character Sirius Black.

Sonya, who has seen all of the movies, was clad in a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry T-shirt, a Professor Snape pin and a wand of her own.

The majority of people on the summit Friday weren't there solely because of Harry Potter, of course, but many agreed it could only benefit the area.

"There's so many diehard Harry Potter fans, how could it not?" said Kim Miller, a resident of Adams who had hiked to the summit.

The Paquette family had already planned on driving to the area for a fun trip from their home in Leominster. Matt Paquette said he likes the series, but only heard about Ilvermony's home atop Mount Greylock from his daughters after they had already gotten in the car to head west.

So far, the news has translated into buzz and interest from news outlets across the country, but the Bascom Lodge hasn't seen any noticeable increase in business directly related to Harry Potter, according to John Dudek, who manages the lodge.

He did, however, note that there was a group of young kids in capes and costumes Thursday morning at sunrise.

A Department of Conservation and Recreation employee taking payment for parking passes said that, in his estimation, the activity on the mountain was about average for a Friday during the summer.

Still, others figure it'll result in an uptick in activity on the mountain.

"There will be an increase because of the story, and people are talking about it," said Dick Pilot, who rode up the mountain on a battery-powered bicycle. "I don't know how far it will go, but people are talking about it."

After seven books based in Scotland, Rowling has been slowly releasing details about the magical world of North America in preparation for the new film "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," in November.

It has yet to be seen if a Potterverse movie will ever be filmed on Mount Greylock, but if there is, Sonya will be the first to volunteer to be an extra.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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