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Spot Where Salem 'Witches' Were Hanged Identified

Proctor's Ledge is the fateful spot

(Newser) - Nearly a century ago, historian Sidney Perley identified the place in Salem, Mass., where 19 accused witches met their end in 1692; now, finally, confirmation. The Salem News reports that the seven scholars who compose the Gallows Hill Project have after a five-year effort definitively determined that Proctor's Ledge... More »

Salem Witch's Prediction Comes True in Court

Judge grants protective order to 'psychic' Lori Bruno Sforza

(Newser) - A Salem witch has come out on top in a court battle with a warlock without the help of a single curse or spell. On Wednesday, a judge ruled New Orleans warlock Christian Day must give up all contact with 75-year-old Lori Bruno Sforza or face up to two and... More »

Salem Witch: This Warlock Is Harassing Me

The pair head to court Wednesday to decide if she gets order of protection

(Newser) - A woman who calls herself a witch priestess is taking the self-proclaimed "world's best-known warlock" to court over accusations of harassment. Lori Sforza, who runs a witchcraft shop and leads a pagan church in Salem, Mass., filed for court-ordered protection against harassment from Christian Day, whom she accuses... More »

Cops: Ritualistic Murder May Be Tied to Blue Moon

Florida mother and her 2 sons had slit throats and hammer wounds

(Newser) - An elderly woman and her two sons have been found dead at their home in Pensacola, Fla., the apparent victims of what police are calling a ritualistic murder that coincided with last week's blue moon (ie the second full moon in July). Voncile Smith, 77, Richard Thomas Smith, 49,... More »

King-Protecting 'Witchmarks' Uncovered in Home

Though King James I never made it to the Knole estate in Kent

(Newser) - Most old homes bear normal signs of wear and tear. The strange gouge marks beneath the floorboards of "one of Britain's most important historic houses," however, tell a pretty interesting story, the Independent reports: They were intended to guard King James I from witches and other evil... More »

Pacific Fears Spread of Sorcery-Killings

Papua New Guinea brings back death penalty as countermeasure

(Newser) - A conference being held at Australia's National University generally would fly under the radar—but when the topic is witchcraft, the equation changes. What experts are talking about: The fear that sorcery-related violence could spread from Papua New Guinea to other parts of the Pacific. Time reports that deaths... More »

'Penis-Snatching' Case Startles Visitor in Africa

Anthropologist 'intrigued' by alleged witchcraft

(Newser) - An American anthropologist was surprised to encounter reports of penis-snatching in an African village—but only because the "crime" is normally confined to more populated areas, the Daily Mail reports. Writing at AlterNet , Louisa Lombard recounts her visit to the village of Tiringoulou in the Central African Republic, where... More »

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,... More »

Saudi Arabia Takes Heat Over Beheading of 'Witch'

Amnesty International condemns move

(Newser) - It sounds like something out of the wrong century, but Amnesty International finds itself condemning Saudi Arabia for beheading a woman accused of being a witch. Amina bin Salem Nasser was decapitated yesterday after being convicted on charges of "witchcraft and sorcery," though the government didn't spell... More »

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... More »

Catholic Church Issues Guide to Chatting Up Witches

They figure Harry Potter will wind up creating more of them

(Newser) - The Catholic Church, alert as ever to the dangers facing the modern believer, has issued a helpful new pamphlet entitled, “Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Dangers.” This enlightening publication—which must be selling like hotcakes, because it’s sold out on Amazon UK, tells you everything you need... More »

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... More »

O'Donnell Ad: 'I'm Not a Witch'

'I'm you,' candidate says in first TV ad

(Newser) - Christine O'Donnell wants Delaware voters to know that she's not a witch. The GOP Senate candidate addressed negative publicity head-on in her first TV ad, the Washington Post reports. "I am not a witch," announced O'Donnell, who told Bill Maher she had "dabbled in witchcraft" in a... More »

O'Donnell Laughs Off Witchcraft Comment

Wishes she could put a spell on Karl Rove

(Newser) - Karl Rove thinks she's going to have to to address it seriously (see his comments today ), but Christine O'Donnell is apparently hoping a more lighthearted approach will make the fuss over her old witchcraft dabbling go away. "I was in high school," she said at a public... More »

Blame Obama for Nutty Candidates

Maybe he needs to visit Christine O'Donnell's fantasy land

(Newser) - Christine O’Donnell—the “Palin Mini-Me” running for Senate in Delaware—is off in her own fantasy world, writes Maureen Dowd of the New York Times : Middle Earth, to be precise. “I aspire to be soft and gentle like Arwen, but realistically, I’m a fighter, like Eowyn,... More »

Albino Girl Beheaded in Witchcraft Murder

Body parts believed to be magical

(Newser) - An 11-year-old girl has become the latest albino to be killed, ostensibly in a ritual murder. Banele Nxumalo was shot and beheaded in Swaziland by a man who grabbed her in front of friends as she washed clothes at a river. Police believe she was murdered because albino body parts... More »

South Africa Fans Pin Hopes on World Cup Witchcraft

A bit of magic could boost Befana Befana

(Newser) - A bit of magic just might boost South Africa's chances in the World Cup. That's what practioners of muti—a Zulu word referring to traditional medicine and witchcraft—are hoping as they brew concoctions of plants and animal parts in a bid to help the second-lowest-ranked team in the competition,... More »

Talk-Show 'Sorcerer' Wins Saudi Reprieve

Lebanese man dodges beheading—for now

(Newser) - A TV talk-show host condemned to die by beheading for "sorcery" by a Saudi court has won a reprieve. Officials, however, gave no indication that his sentence would be commuted, or that he would be released. Ali Hussain Sibat offered predictions and advice on a call-in program in Beirut... More »

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... More »

Tanzania Opens Trials in Killings of Albinos

Dozens arrested in 40 murders; body parts used for witchcraft

(Newser) - Tanzania is trying seven people for murdering albinos and selling their body parts for use in witchcraft, the BBC reports. Dozens have been arrested in some 40 murders over the past year and a half, but so far no one has been convicted. Witch doctors sell “albino potions” for... More »

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