By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 09, 2001 10:21 AM
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As if it isn’t bad enough these days having to deal with fake quotes in movie ads, a Hollywood studio has a different sort of a headache. Warner Bros. (which, like PEOPLE, is owned by AOL Time Warner) has had a spell cast on it by witches in Britain. (Should it also be noted that this is the studio that made “The Witches of Eastwick”?) At issue is the fact that the film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” whose trailers are not appearing in theaters, show apprentice wizard Harry Potter riding his broomstick with the brush part at the back. This just isn’t form, claims a high priest of British White Witches, who insists that broomsticks should be ridden the other way around. He now wishes for the film, which opens in November, to do badly at the box office — unless the studio admits its mistake. “Warner Bros. claims the film is an accurate portrayal of things that happen in witchcraft, yet woodcuts from the 16th and 17th centuries show broomsticks being ridden with the brush part in the front,” said Kevin Carlyon, whose own coven is in Sussex. “It’s a common mistake,” he concedes, “even the ’60s TV series ‘Bewitched’ showed broomsticks being ridden backwards, but this is not correct.” Carlyon also claims that he knows first hand the proper way to ride a broomstick. He has three, though, like the Concorde, they are currently grounded. “The CAA (Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority) won’t give me permission to fly,” he said.