Category: Witchcraft

This collection of news reports includes articles about people who have been falsely accused of witchcraft — as well as about those who practice Witchcraft or Wicca as a religion.

For items on this topic posted after August, 2012, click here.

See also: Children accused of Witchcraft.

Abuse of child ‘witches’ on rise, aid group says

Children accussed of being witches In many African countries, as in other parts of the world, children are blamed for causing illness, death and destruction, prompting some communities to put them through harrowing punishments to “cleanse” them of their supposed magical powers.

Pastors have been accused of worsening the problem by claiming to have powers to recognize and exorcise “child witches,” sometimes for a fee, aid workers said.

Religion News Roundup: Aum Shinrikyo, Scientology, Pareidolia, FLDS, and more

RNB Religion News Roundup The RNB Religion News Roundup for Friday, Apr. 24, 2009 includes items about Scientology, Aum Shinrikyo, Korean cult leader Jeong Myeong-Seok, the continuing popularity of Aum Shrinrikyo’s jailed cult leader, and China’s on-going ban on Falun Gong.

Also: • A US state must pay benefits to the wife of a Jehovah’s Witness who died after refusing a blood transfusion  • A killer turned pastor upsets his victim’s son  • Nigerian preacher speaks out against witch hunts  • Vampire story gets demoted…

Plus: what do you see? Pareidolia?

Gambians reveal horrors of ‘witchcraft’ purge

Gambia president Yahya Jammeh Victims of a purge on witchcraft in the secretive west African state of Gambia have told of horrific ordeals including rape after being force-fed potions inducing hallucinations.

According to Amnesty International and anonymous police sources in Gambia, as many as 1,000 people have been kidnapped and held by so-called witch hunters backed by armed men carrying out orders from the Gambian authorities.

Jury convicts man in ‘spell gone wrong’ murder of two children

Lawrence Douglas Harris Lawrence Harris, 26, who had an interest in witchcraft, told police his two stepdaughters had died when a spell he cast to protect their teenage brother reversed itself, killing them. His attorneys attempted to prove he was legally insane.

But after two weeks of testimony, jurors took only a couple of hours Thursday to find Harris guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.

Family, jurors see pictures of young, battered victims

Lawrence Douglas Harris Officer Williams said Harris became more upset — hunching over, dry heaving — when firefighters brought the girls’ bodies out of the house.

Officer Charlotte Gorter testified that when she asked Harris what he thought could have started the fire, he told her it might have been a consequence of a spell.

Harris said he practiced witchcraft, Gorter said, explaining that a spell might have reversed.

Trial begins for man accused of killing daughters in ritual

Lawrence Douglas Harris After more than a year of preparation and several delays, a jury will hear from attorneys and witnesses today as the double-murder trial of Lawrence Douglas Harris Sr. begins.

Harris, 26, is accused of killing his young stepdaughters during some kind of ritual. He has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers will try to prove that he was legally insane when the crimes were committed.

Mother, community search for answers in death of two girls killed in ritual

Lawrence Douglas Harris In the basement, officers find candles, Larry’s ritual knife, stained with DNA from one of the girls, a symbol of Baphomet, representing Satan and believed to have occult power, bells and an amulet with an inverted pentagram — all items used in rituals described in “The Satanic Bible.”

Larry tells police he has a spell notebook in his and Marla’s bedroom closet. The notebook contains drawings from the book “Pagan Ways,” references found in the occult fiction book “Necronomicom” and page numbers corresponding to “The Satanic Bible,” including one specific spell.

Woman suspected of witchcraft burned alive

Papua New GuineaA woman in rural Papua New Guinea was bound and gagged, tied to a log and set ablaze on a pile of tires this week, possibly because villagers suspected her of being a witch, police said Thursday.

Her death adds to a growing list of men and women who have been accused of sorcery and then tortured or killed in the South Pacific island nation, where traditional beliefs hold sway in many regions

Nigeria sees rise in number of children accussed of witchcraft

Nigeria children Increasingly Nigerian children accused of witchcraft are tortured, murdered or abandoned. The director of one child protection agency says the teachings of some churches are partly to blame.

“Churches have strong influence on people and some church leaders get some parents to sheepishly believe that their kids are witches and wizards. This is the focus of most of these churches, which have departed from preaching righteousness and salvation of souls to stigmatisation of children as witches and wizards.”