Norway hosts witchcraft experts

More than 60 experts on witchcraft from across the world are gathering in a tiny Arctic town in northern Norway.

For three days in Vardo they will have discussions, lectures and the odd film show on ancient and modern sorcery.

The International Midnight Sun Witchcraft Conference is organised by Scandinavian and US universities.

Organisers say persecution is a thing of the past in Europe, but in parts of Africa and Asia men, women and children are still accused of witchcraft.

As in the past, experts say, victims are often singled out by their communities and made scapegoats for outbreaks of disease, bad weather or other misfortunes.

As well as touching on these issues, the Norwegian conference will also discuss Shamanism – a practice that centres on communication with the spiritual world, mostly through animal spirits.

Some experts claim that Shamanism predates all other organised religions.

But beyond the scholars and believers attending this week’s conference, witchcraft has recently gained a new and rather younger circle of enthusiasts, following the publication of the best-selling Harry Potter books – and films – one of which has its worldwide premiere today.

During a 17th-Century witch-hunt in Vardo, about 80 women were burnt at the stake.

Reports from the time indicated they were accused of meeting with the devil at the nearby “witch mountain”.

During the 16th and 17th centuries it is estimated that up to 50,000 people were executed for alleged sorcery across Europe.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday June 29, 2007.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject



Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at