Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Witch Fight

Witchcraft accusations are common throughout much of the world, but I don't generally don't expect to see them taken very seriously by most people raised in Western nations. So this report out of England is surprising, to say the least. I also think this accuser is a little confused about the meaning of the term "white witch," in that she seems to think it involves casting curses.

Imogen Hope, 37, was given a conditional discharge today after being found guilty by a court in Halifax, northern England, of assaulting Samantha Pilling and branding her a "white witch", The Yorkshire Post said.

A drunken and shouting Hope banged on Ms Pilling's door after returning home with new husband Keith from their wedding reception in the early hours of July 19, according to the Halifax Courier, then launched her attack.

Police were called by Ms Pilling's husband - who also grappled with Keith Hope - and arrested the new bride. They asked if she wanted to change out of her bloodstained wedding dress before being taken into custody, but she chose to wear the gown to the cell where she spent her wedding night, while her crestfallen husband stayed with his parents.

Hope, a nursery assistant who weighs just 50kg, had drunk lager and spirits before the altercation and told the court she could not remember landing three blows on mother-of-three Ms Pilling, leaving her with facial bruising and scratches.

The women's families have a long-running feud and Hope had accused Ms Pilling, a practicing pagan and student nurse, of putting a curse on her father-in-law - who lives in a house between the two women and their husbands and was recently diagnosed with cancer.

The difference between this happening in England versus certain other parts of the world? It ended with the accuser's arrest rather than an angry mob burning down the victim's home. Also, from the police report it sounds like a lot more alcohol was involved than is usually required in places where belief in malefic witchcraft is more of an accepted cultural belief. Granted, I don't think it's impossible that a curse could have been cast on Hope's father-in-law, but I do think it's unlikely. This strikes me more as a situation in which Hope found out Pilling was a pagan and decided that had to mean she was up to no good.

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