Sunday, June 21, 2015

She's a Witch!

Normally this is the sort of story you hear out of parts of Africa or India, not Glastonbury in the United Kingdom. But apparently developed nations are still not completely immune to this sort of superstitious nonsense. A Glastonbury woman was recently convicted of waging a campaign of harassment against a neighbor that she claimed was a witch who had put a curse on her. The neighbor did engage in some alternative religious practices, but it's not clear why the woman believed herself to be a target of magical attacks.

Hilary Joy Osborne took an obsessive dislike to Lynda Brown who was a spiritualist and taught pagan drumming and also practised Druidism, mantra chanting and Buddhist traditions. Over the course of ten months the defendant was continually abusive to her neighbour, screaming, banging on her walls at all times of night, threatened to burn her house down and threw a golf club at her.

Osborne ignored police warnings to curb her behaviour and one night the victim and her lodgers were woken by a piercing scream with the defendant shouting “you have people in the walls talking to me, take these curses off me you ****ing witch”. She also claimed her neighbour had cast spells and put voodoo curses on her and repeatedly accused her of practising black witchcraft.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Miss Brown said the defendant’s actions had left her life “a living hell” and had made her house more secure after Osborne threatened to burn it down.

Osborne here sounds seriously deranged. Perhaps things in her life were not going well, but to leap to accusing a neighbor of witchcraft and then attacking them is pretty bizarre. The court did determine that she suffers from some form of mental illness that was not disclosed, so perhaps this is simply paranoia on her part. It's just rather unusual to see it manifest in this way in a country where belief in magick is not widespread.

In other parts of the world, a story like this often ends with an angry mob storming the home of the accused witch and injuring or killing them. Fortunately for Brown, that's not the way things work in England.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: