A four-year-old boy has died during an exorcism ritual carried out by a traditional healer in the Far East of Russia, investigators say.
The boy’s mother went to police on Saturday after the boy died while visiting a “healer” in a village, investigators said in a statement on Tuesday.
The boy along with family members visited an ethnic Korean healer in the village of Sergeyevka in the Far Eastern Primorye region, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported, citing relatives.
The healer said that the family had a curse on it because the boy was a “demon” and told them to leave while she carried out an exorcism, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported. When they returned, they found the boy had died.
The boy apparently suffocated during the ritual, after healers held him face-down to the ground, Life News web site reported, naming the boy as Dima Kazachuk.
Traditional shaman healers, who have practiced in some areas of Siberia and the far east for thousands of years, have experienced a revival since the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union ended repression by the Communist authorities.
Identified by Russian media as Dmitry Kazachuk, the boy’s family brought him to a female shaman in his village in the Pacific Ocean region of Primorsky Krai on Sunday, where the ancient shamanic practice of mediating between the human and spiritual worlds is common.
The grandmother of a boy suffering from diabetes decided to follow the advice of her friends to go from Ussuriysk to Sergeyevka to get some healing from a local Korean hoodoo lady named Valentina.
She could not leave the child home alone, so she took him with her. As soon as they entered the “witch’s house, the witch said:
“The child is cursed! He is suffering for the sins of his parents!”
The parents, frozen with superstitious awe, did not dare argue when the hoodoo who asked them to leave the room, leaving her alone with the boy. Half an hour later the mother and grandmother were allowed to return. Once inside, they saw a gruesome scene: the child was lying on his stomach, while the “healer” was sitting next to him, patting him on the back, and saying:
“Now he is well! He should sleep a little. All evil spirits are gone!”
When the mother ran to her son and turned him over, he was not breathing and was already stiff. The doctors who arrive at the scene pronounced him dead.
Everyone in the village praised Valentina. They were saying she was a true healer who had cured a great deal of people in the countryside.