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Accused Witch Burned Alive in Papua New Guinea

Despite scores of witnesses, no arrests have been made

(Newser) - The AP has a horrific story from Papua New Guinea, where a 20-year-old woman was tortured by a mob and then burned alive after being accused of witchcraft. Hundreds of bystanders watched, and some even photographed her death, but local police have yet to make a single arrest. Kepari Leniata,...

Ex-TSA Employee: I Was Fired Because I'm a Witch

Carole A. Smith claims religious discrimination got her canned

(Newser) - Carole A. Smith ranked among the top 10% of workers when it came to catching weapons on the X-ray machine at New York's Albany International Airport. So why did the TSA fire her? She says it was over her religious beliefs: Smith is a practicing Wiccan, or, as she calls...

Romania May Fine Witches for Faulty Predictions

Country looking to squeeze more money out of profession

(Newser) - Romania's witches better make sure they own top-of-the-line crystal balls: The country is considering a new law that would require witches to get a permit—and make it possible to fine or even imprison one whose prediction turns out to be false. Witches, predictably, are none too pleased. "What...

Witchcraft Now a Legal Profession in Romania

...which means they have to pay income taxes

(Newser) - Romania's witches aren't happy about a change in the country's labor laws that makes witchcraft a recognized profession. The move, part of a crackdown on tax evasion, will make it harder for witches to avoid paying income tax, AP reports. One witch has threatened to cast a spell using black...

Witches Furious With O'Donnell
 Witches Furious With O'Donnell 

Witches Furious With O'Donnell

Don't count on the Wiccan vote in Delaware, Christine

(Newser) - Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell apparently didn't realize she was risking votes when she denounced her witchcraft-dabbling past as a brief fling with "questionable" people. Now witches are furious. "She is defaming Wiccans," High Priestess Selena Fox told the Huffington Post . "America needs to be a place...

Help Wanted: Witch, Good W/Potions, $75K

(Newser) - A British tourist attraction is seeking to conjure up a new resident witch, the BBC reports. Wookey Hole Caves has advertised for a witch willing to live in the site's caverns and practice her—or his—trade for an annual salary of $75,000. Applicants need to have strong cackling...

Five Found Guilty in Maori Exorcism Death

Mentally ill woman was drowned in attempt to purge her of evil spirits

(Newser) - Five people who drowned their niece in an attempt to rid her of evil spirits have been found guilty of manslaughter by a New Zealand court, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The 22-year-old woman, who prosecutors said was mentally ill, died after the group poured water over her face for...

Abuse of Child 'Witches' Burgeoning

Growing number of kids suspected of witchcraft worldwide

(Newser) - Children dubbed “witches” are facing increasing abuse in Nigeria and elsewhere, advocates say. “They would take my clothes off, tie me up and beat me,” said a 14-year-old, whose grandfather concluded he was a “witch” 2 years ago when he cried at the threat of being...

'Witch' Murders Rattle New Guinea

(Newser) - An increasing number of women are being tortured and murdered in a series of witch hunts in Papua New Guinea, reports the Independent. The problem is so severe that the government has launched a new commission to address it. Women are often blamed for any untimely death in a tribe....

Trial Begins in Maori Exorcism Death

Woman drowned during ritual to rid her of evil spirits

(Newser) - Nine Maoris accused of killing a mother of two during a botched exorcism have gone on trial in New Zealand, the Daily Telegraph reports. The six women and three men have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in the death of the 22-year-old woman who drowned when the accused restrained her...

Downturns Spark 'Witch Hunts' Against Elderly

People lash out during tough times, researchers explain

(Newser) - "Witch-hunting” is a hot term these days as angry Wall Street investors pine for revenge—but in some countries they take it literally, Tim Harford writes in Slate. In Tanzania, Bolivia, and India, elderly women are often targeted as witches when resources are scarce. Tanzanian women are killed by...

Swiss Pardon Europe's Last Executed Witch

Housemaid accused of casting spells was beheaded in 1782

(Newser) - It's 226 years too late to restore her head to her body but the Swiss have decided to restore the good name of convicted witch Anna Goeldi, the Independent reports. Goeldi, the last person in Europe to be executed for witchcraft, was tortured and killed after being accused of casting...

JK Rowling Pens Potter Prequel
 JK Rowling Pens Potter Prequel 

JK Rowling Pens Potter Prequel

800-word manuscript to be auctioned for charity

(Newser) - Harry Potter fans mourned when JK Rowling ended the enormously popular schoolboy wizard saga with the seventh and final book last year. But now she has written a surprise short prequel likely to trigger a bidding frenzy. Rowling has donated an 800-word handwritten manuscript to the British bookseller Waterstone's to...

Kenya Mob Torches 11 for Witchcraft
Kenya Mob Torches 11
for Witchcraft

Kenya Mob Torches 11 for Witchcraft

'Sorcerers' accused of casting spells on villagers

(Newser) - A mob in western Kenya hunted down and killed 11 people they accused of being witches and wizards, AP reports. The gang went from house to house with a list of suspected sorcerers and the spells they had cast. The eight men and three women, most over 70, were lynched...

Africa's Child 'Witches' Abused, Abandoned

Superstition, poverty take ugly toll on Angolan, Congolese youth

(Newser) - Thousands of children in Angola, Congo, and the Congo Republic are being abused, abandoned, and even killed after being accused of witchcraft, the New York Times reports. Such accusations—born from tribal superstition and poverty that leaves some families unable to care for children—are a "massive" problem, sending...

Stories 21 - 35 | << Prev