Category: Voodoo

Voodoo faithful pray for miracles at sacred waterfalls in Haiti

SAUT D’EAU, Haiti (AP) — Bearing offerings of rum and freshly slaughtered goats, thousands of Voodoo faithful bathe in sacred waterfalls, praying for a better life and an end to the spiraling violence that threatens to destabilize Haiti’s new government. In an annual ritual that ended Monday, worshippers from across the Caribbean nation arrived for the weeklong Saut d’Eau pilgrimage. The ritual, among Haitian Voodoo’s holiest, comes amid a surge of violence in Haiti’s capital that U.N. officials say is an attempt to destabilize the new government of President Rene Preval. “The gods tell us what to do. That’s why

Woman Reaches Plea Deal in Skull Smuggling Case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Haitian woman facing federal charges after a human skull was found in her luggage has reached a plea deal, her lawyer said Friday. As a result, Myrlene Severe, 30, a permanent U.S. resident, may avoid deportation, said her attorney, Kenneth Hassett, who announced the deal Friday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale. The remains were found when the woman arrived at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in February from Haiti. She told authorities she intended to use it as part of her Voodoo beliefs. Severe was charged with smuggling a human head into the U.S.

Voodoo priests may catch bird flu

Priests who tear out the throats of live chickens in ritual sacrifices to voodoo gods may risk contracting bird flu now the deadly virus has reached Africa. Voodoo priests in Benin, which borders Nigeria where an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus was found in poultry last week, sacrifice animals to invoke blessings or favours from the gods. Officials in the tiny West African country, which is the home of the ancient religion, say spreading the word about bird flu may help to save the lives of voodoo devotees. “We have identified the groups at risk, including fetishists and followers

Woman faces prison time for smuggling skull for religious rituals

He was a black man, in his 30s or 40s, buried sometime in the last year. His skull still had pieces of dirt on it when it was seized Thursday by Federal agents at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. It was found in a Miramar woman’s carry-on bag as she went through customs after her return from Haiti. Federal officials arrested Myrlene Sevère, 30, after she brought the skull from Cap-Haitien in a rice bag on Lynx Airlines. She told investigators that she purchased the skull from a man in Haiti to use in religious ceremonies and had hoped it would

Voodoo Practitioners Scatter After Katrina

NEW ORLEANS, (AP) — The last time Don Glossop saw his customers they were ritually burning green candles, hoping voodoo would pierce the federal bureaucracy and hasten the arrival of desperately needed relief checks. Glossop’s shop, New Orleans Mistic, has been closed since Hurricane Katrina swamped the city two months ago, and most of his clients, who practice a local variant of voodoo, have scattered across the country. He fears that Katrina, which laid waste to entire neighborhoods and claimed hundreds of lives here, may take another casualty: New Orleans’ status as the country’s voodoo capital. “As of today I

Voodoo ‘snared girl as sex slave’

A teenager was turned into a “sex slave” by two sisters who threatened her with voodoo, a court has heard. For three months the 18-year-old was kept locked up in an east London flat, beaten and made to have sex with three men, said Mark Gadsden, prosecuting. The Old Bailey heard on Tuesday how she finally escaped after a severe beating. Negi Dule, 37, of Stepney denies false imprisonment, procuring a girl under 21, assault and theft. Her sister Yasmin is thought to have fled the UK. Prosecutor Mark Gadsden told the court the girl had made friends with one

Vodou priest wants religion recognized

The exclusion of Vodou practitioners in plans to uplift Haiti will keep the country in a chaotic state, a Vodou priest said Wednesday. Max Beauvoir, 68, of the Temple of Yehwe in Mariani, Haiti, said politicians, humanitarian organizations, and Christian leaders from abroad have refused to acknowledge the role of the religion in the country’s culture for 200 years. As a result, Haiti is on the brink of total collapse, and he believes Vodou gods are upset. “I think if they continue with this kind of scheme of unfairness, may soon be tired of them and see us

Voodoo rites mark Haiti strife

Hundreds drawn to sacrificial ceremonies SOUVENANCE, Haiti – Haitians celebrated one of the year’s most important voodoo pilgrimages on Sunday, an event marked by drumming, sacrifices and discussion of whether Haiti’s new government can heal a country still reeling from a bloody rebellion. Carrying a heavy political significance this year, the pilgrimage drew hundreds to Souvenance, a village 145 kilometres north of Port-au-Prince, where followers made animal sacrifices to the West African warrior spirit Ogoun and danced to dizzying drum beats. Founded by former slaves from the kingdom of Dahomey – now Benin – this dusty village fringed by cactus

Thousands flock to Benin on Voodoo Day

COTONOU : Draped in animal skins with bones and fetish charms clattering, thousands of west Africans, Americans and Caribbean islanders are trooping into tiny Benin ahead of Saturday’s annual voodoo festival in the southern town of Ouidah. Born at the end of the 16th century on the banks of the Mono river that flows between Benin and Togo , voodoo rituals have been practiced by some two-thirds of Benin ‘s 6.7 million people for generations, according to government figures. Be they Christian or Muslim, from the Fon or Yoruba ethnic groups, devotees of the cult of “vodouns,” or “spirits” in

Cleaners are called in to clear court of ‘voodoo dust’

An American lawyer has been convicted of money laundering after a trial disrupted by allegations that voodoo magic was being used to influence the outcome. Judge Patricia Seitz was forced to order extraordinary security measures at a Florida court building during the trial of Juan Carlos Elso after the veteran prosecution lawyer, Richard Gregorie, complained that his clothes were being ruined by voodoo powder. The debonair Mr Gregorie complained to the judge that his dry-cleaning bills had become worryingly onerous as the trial progressed, apparently because someone was scattering a good luck charm on his chair and in his files