Archive for the ‘Witches’ Category

Sorcery and Witchcraft Punishable By Beheading

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

At first this headline sounded like a joke. This kind of treatment doesn’t still happen ala the Salem witch trials, does it?

It apparently and disturbingly does.

Muree bin Ali Issa al-Asiri was executed several days ago in Saudi Arabia for possession of books and talismans associated with witchcraft.

Asiri wasn’t executed old-school before-the-gun-style either…he was beheaded.

Details on the incident are slowly leaking out at this point. Sebastian Usher, the BBC’s Arab Affairs Editor states that the country’s powerful conservative religious leaders strongly prohibit such practices. A few of them even calling for highest possible punishment for anyone caught practicing ‘sorcery’ which includes fortune tellers and faith healers.

The very real threat of losing your dome over practicing ‘sorcery’ isn’t stopping people from getting all ‘witchy-like’. While pressure from human rights groups saved a television host of a fortune-telling show in 2010, it didn’t save a Saudi woman last December or a Sudanese man last September even after Amnesty International called for their release on both occasions.

Travel tip? Don’t try to catch up on True Blood while you’re there.

[BBC News]

Monkey Killed For Being A Witch

Monday, May 30th, 2011

pour one outThis is actually a really horrible story. A vervet monkey was killed and burned in South Africa by a mob who was convinced it was a witch. Bonus awful points – the police helped out by shooting at the monkey.

It reported that the monkey wandered into the settlement last week Monday, May 23, and was pelted with stones, shot at by police, and then burnt to death.

Moswetsi was woken up by friends on Monday morning and told about the monkey. They said it was going around Kagiso “talking to people”.

Hopefully this is not foreshadowing for the monkeys if they ever actually do develop the ability to speak.

[Times Live]

The Necropants Of Iceland

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

I am not even really sure where to start with this one. Apparently, the Holmavik Museum of Scocery and Witchcraft in Iceland contains a gruesome exhibit called the necropants. Let us just cut to the chase – these are pants made from the skin of the lower half of a dead person. When worn, these pants would produce money as long as a coin stolen from a poor widow (!) was placed in the scrotum.

It was believed that the necropants would spontaneously produce money when worn, as long as the donor corpse had been stolen from a graveyard at the dead of night and a magic rune and a coin stolen from a poor widow were placed in the dead man’s scrotum.

Another source claims that you must first gain permission from the man before he dies. Once that is done, just follow these steps:

After he has been buried you must dig up his body and flay the skin of the corpse in one piece from the waist down. As soon as you step into the pants they will stick to your own skin. A coin must be stolen from a poor widow and placed in the scrotum along with the magical sign, nábrókarstafur, written on a piece of paper. Consequently the coin will draw money into the scrotum so it will never be empty, as long as the original coin is not removed. To ensure salvation the owner has to convince someone else to overtake the pants and step into each leg as soon as he gets out of it. The necropants will thus keep the money-gathering nature for generations.

The museum website is mostly in Icelandic and Google translate is really sketchy, but you can also learn all about the Icelandic witch trials of the 17th century. Side note: the witches from Iceland had farting runes (Fretrúnir) that they used against their enemies.

[Tywkiwdbi and Mental Floss]

Nigerian Witch Huntress Comes To America

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

You know, we tend to lionize our cultural demon hunters: Van Helsing, Simon Belmont, Buffy Summers.

But you want to know when we don’t celebrate those who locate paranormal evil and vanquish it? When the acts of holy vengence look strangely like encouraging a populace to scar and murder their children because they cry too much.

Enter Helen Ukpabio, she is a Nigerian Pentacostal preacher who has made a reputation the world over for identifying children whose souls have been corrupted by Satan. She makes movies like the one you see above and her work is partly to blame for the trend in certain Nigerian villages to identify, beat, torture and sometimes murder children who are thought to be possessed by Satan.

And she’s here in America!

“Do you think Harry Potter is real?” Ms. Ukpabio asked me angrily, in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express where she was staying. “It is only because I am African,” she said, that people who understand that J. K. Rowling writes fiction would take literally Ms. Ukpabio’s filmic depictions of possessed children, gathering by moonlight to devour human flesh.

Still, “Saving Africa’s Witch Children” makes clear that many rural Nigerians do take her film seriously. And in her sermons, Ms. Ukpabio is emphatic that children can be possessed, and that with her God-given “powers of discernment,” she can spot such a child. Belief in possession is especially common among Pentecostals in Nigeria, where it reinforces native traditions that spirits are real and intervene in human affairs.

Such a screwed up story…

[New York Times]

Catholic Church Persecuting Witches Again!

Friday, June 19th, 2009


You thought the Catholic Church was done persecuting witches. Well, they are at it again, this time in Stockport, UK.

High Priestess Amethyst Selmeselene (also known as Sandra Davis, grandmother of 11) attempted to rent out “Our Lady’s Social Club” for her group’s annual Witch’s Ball. When she went to pay for the venue she had secured, she was turned away and told that the Roman Catholic Church, which owns the facility, had blocked her from renting the center.

Her goal was to attract a crowd of people to do obscene and ungodly things like have a buffet dinner and dance to an ABBA tribute band.
Though we can fault High Priestess Selmeselene for her taste in music, we can’t fault her for wanting to get down and have a good time with her women’s group.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Shewsbury told Ananova News that “Parish centers under our auspices let their premises on the understanding users and their organisations are compatible with the ethos and teachings of the Catholic church.” And apparently that means a no go for pagan partying.

When will the Catholics leave those poor witches alone? When will they finally be free to dance to bad eighties music while talking shop around a bubbling cauldron? I guess the Church decided that if they can’t burn them, they should at least be able to ban them from their rec. center.

Researchers Uncover 400 Year Old Witch’s Brew

Saturday, June 6th, 2009


A Witch’s Bottle is a 17th century device believed to absorb and retain evil. Of course it was not the bottle itself that attracted evil, it was the witch’s potion held within it. When British researchers uncovered the most intact bottle ever discovered, they were sure to do a CT scan to identify its contents.

It seems British witches of 400 years ago liked to concoct a golden Witch’s brew. As was revealed by the CT scan, the contents were: pins, nails and urine. Hooray! This gives contemporary witches and wizards historical precedent for using human urine in their homemade potions today. MSBNC reported lead researcher Alan Massey as saying:

“the objects found in witch bottles verify the authenticity of contemporary recipes given for anti-witchcraft devices, which might otherwise have been dismissed by us as being too ridiculous and outrageous to believe.”

Score one for all you witchcraft urine masters out there!

200 Flee Village To Escape Witch’s Curse

Friday, May 1st, 2009

The tribal village of Siadimal, India has emptied out in recent days. No, it’s not Diwali yet, the villagers of Siadimal have fled because of a witch’s curse. A witch’s curse that they claim has caused a mysterious disease to infect several people. The Times of India reports:

“More than 10 villagers have been suffering from an unknown fever for the past two months. There is no sign of improvement despite medical treatment,” said a villager on condition of anonymity. “In the past, alleged witchcraft has claimed many lives in our locality. We suspect this may as well be the act of a witch,” he added. The villager said the women are putting up with relatives in other villages. “The men are now in search of a powerful tantrik, who can counter the evil spell and also punish the culprit,” he said.

Ten bucks says, that if they are looking to pay a tantrik to confirm their suspicions, they will find a witch real fast.

Superstition abounds in rural India, often ill-understood illnesses are attributed to witchcraft and sorcery. Those determined to find a witch are going to find a witch, and local authorities are concerned that yet another innocent person is going to be murdered in the region by superstitious villagers. In 2007, three women and a man were beheaded in the nearby village of Pratappur after they were accused of sorcery.

-For more on North India witch hunts and murders see the documentary “Indian Witch-Hunt” by author and journalist Sohaila Kapoor.

Witches and Ghost Hunters Gather in Salem

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Image Credit: Twinmama

Not one, but two paranormal conventions took place this last week in Salem, MA. The above photo shows serious paranormal enthusiasts and convention goers enjoying each others company (not really). Both Ghostock 7 and Witch School International’s “Three days of Wicca, Witchcraft and High Ritual” wrapped up a week long bout of investigating, speaking and witching it up. The town of Salem, which usually has no paranormal convention going on at any given time, had a perfect storm of conventions and doubled its paranormal population for the week.