Monday, April 18, 2011

Ghost Forces Witchcraft Confession

The trope of an angry spirit tormenting the living in response to a wrongful death is a staple of Hollywood horror films. To some extent the idea is so ubiquitous because it aligns well with basic common sense. Generally speaking, if I were murdered and had the ability to return as a ghost and avenge the killing I certainly would, and I think most people would do the same.

According to a story from Sierra Leone, something similar may actually have happened there recently. A local widow has claimed that her husband's ghost tormented her into confessing that she killed him and two other family members with witchcraft.

Alpha Koroma, who died in 2010, supernaturally tormented his wife, Mummy Koroma, making her confess that she caused his death.

With celebrated words, “I killed my husband and I also killed my father. My husband has been appearing to me, compelling me to confess that I am a witch and caused his death.” Mummy has had her name chewed, discussed and debated at corners, homes and streets of Upper Tengbeh Town and Wilberforce Community respectively.

She was first ushered into a church at the Upper Tengbeh community where she told some men of God that her dead husband has asked her come to the church and acknowledge that she is a witch and bears hand to his death.

It's definitely a strange story, and it seems unlikely that anyone would willingly confess to being a witch in parts of Africa like Sierra Leone where accused witches are sometimes killed by angry mobs on little evidence, let alone a confession.

However, it's also possible that this woman is simply mentally ill. Schizophrenics often experience "command hallucinations" that compel them to take actions that they wouldn't otherwise contemplate. It's also not uncommon for the afflicted to attribute those hallucinations to ghosts or spirits.

That shortly after the death of the husband, Mummy gave birth to a child, but bewitches her also.

She confessed killing the child because she was advised by colleague witches to do so as practically she did not have the finance to take care of her.

Mummy’s demise was observed Monday night when eventually her dead husband attacked her, compelling her to go straight to the nearby church and confess her witch conduct or face death.

One of the things I would like to see in this case is whether or not there is any physical evidence suggesting that these "colleague witches" even exist. If not, that casts serious doubt on the veracity of this supposed "witchcraft." Furthermore, I'd like to read a description of the methods used to accomplish these killings to see if they make any sense from the standpoint of magical technology. Some schizophrenics believe that they have magical powers, but the methods they describe using are rarely workable as real magical techniques.

Of course, if this really is the work of a spirit another possibility is that the spirit might just have it in for his former wife and be forcing her to make a false confession. The article includes little about the circumstances of the man's death and the fact is that ghosts are no more honest or enlightened than they were as flesh-and-blood people. Frankly, while I still suspect that the woman is mentally ill and there is no ghost at all, this scenario nonetheless makes more sense than the idea that the woman is a strong enough witch to cause the death of at least three people. Wouldn't a spellcaster that powerful just be able to get rid of a ghost?

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