2 - Witchcraft In The News
On June 3, 1969 the NBC-TV program FIRST TUESDAY devoted its first segment to "Witches And Warlocks" Cameras probed the "kids current interest in occultism. What's behind it? One opinion: established religion is letting them down." Psychiatrist Dr. Renatus Hartogs said: 'The occult holds promise that no one else in our society can give. It helps the young person in his hopelessness." Further on in the program Dr. Hartogs commented: "Black magic enables the young person to indulge in some form of aggression. It has a beneficial effect since it releases his pent-up hostilities and he can go on to maturity."
At the Western Maryland College the cameras focused on a male medium whose spirit guide or control was called Dr. Peebles. He gave messages to the various students who had parents or relatives in spirit. One male student commentated later: "It is religiously based. Natural. A fact that life goes on one after the other."
Anthropologist Dr. Michael Kenny said: "Witchcraft opens up a sense of power denied to the students by the establishment." A male student witch at the Langley High School was shown explaining the meaning of magic talismans commenting "Devil worship is a perversion of the Christian Mass." He demonstrated a Conjurer's Circle and the method used to summon various demons in the Satanism and Witchcraft course taught at the school.
One female student demonstrated a written hex she put on the person who shot at her cats, setting the paper and its HEX-agrams on fire. She reported that the shooting at the cats stopped. At a supernatural slumber party in Virginia a young witch-medium asked those participating to state and concentrate on the candle flame in an attempt to summon the Spirit of Madame Curie. She went into a trance possession, cried, screamed, spoke in various tones of voice. At Virginia's James Madison High School a young student-witch gave a demonstration of witchcraft using a frozen frog. She also showed how to stick three rose thorns in a mole's heart, wrapping it in cloth, to be worn as a protection against harm and evil.
The June 1, 1969 issue of the Sunday New York Times Magazine featured "There's A New-Time Religion On Campus" by Andrew M.Greeley, a Catholic priest who is the program director at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, where he also lectures on sociology. Accompanying the article was a large photograph of members of WITCH (Women's International Terrorists Corps from Hell) in full witch-paint and brooms demonstrating in New York's East Village. This is the same group, in conjunction with the SDS (Students For A Democratic Society) who put a curse on the University of Chicago's Sociology Department yelling: "Fie on thee, Morris Janowitz! A hex on thy strategy!"
The article delves into the serio-comic aspects of modern young witchcraft, that it is a form of guerrilla theatre, a continuance of the neolithic religion that worshipped the earth goddess before Christianity. It mentions the underground California Druids. The author points out that the I Ching, tarot cards, astrology, Meher Baba, Zen Buddhism, auras, psychism, parapsychology, psychokinesis, are all part of this new resurgence in the "neo-sacred" culminating in witchcraft and magic. He pointed out that those involved had some of the highest scholastic marks and were intellectual aristocrats. He quoted Prof. Huston Smith of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on this.
Writer-priest Greeley mentions a Catholic University that discovered it had a coven of male witches (warlocks) on its campus. Among other observations: Girls in Catholic colleges who make decisions based on the I Ching; the Six-Day School in Sonoma, Calif, comprised mostly of Berkeley drop-outs who study mysticism, diet-pacificism and witchcraft; the White Brotherhood, a revival of the medieval Catharist sect, spreading across the campuses and its messengers identical to those of the 13th century ... wandering minstrels, poets, street theatre actors etc; the indebtedness to the Hippie Movement for this neo-sacredness which is a combination of pure seeking and the put-on; the strong influence of Teilard de Chardin's book The Phenomenon of Man.
Greeley quotes social theorist Max Weber who wrote at the beginning of the century: "In the field of its highest development, in the United States, the pursuit of wealth, stripped of its religious and ethical meaning, tends to become associated with purely mundane passions which often actually give it the character of sport. No one knows who will live in this cage in the future, or whether at the end of this tremendous development entirely new prophets will arise, or there will be a great rebirth of old ideas and ideals, or, if neither, mechanized petrification, embellished with a sort of convulsive self-importance, for of the last stage of this cultural development, it might well be truly said: "Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved."
Newspapers, magazines, syndicates and wire services have featured all kinds of articles about witchcraft and witches the past few years. Many publications have used feature-length, photo-illustrated articles. The March 21 1969 issue of Time Magazine had a front-cover story on "Astrology and the New Cult of The Occult."
Aztec Cosmic Circle
The inside story covered six full pages, including a full astrological chart with predictions on "President Nixon's Horoscope." Witchcraft was also mentioned with a picture of a young male witch with long blond hair, in a white robe, holding up and gazing at a candle with other female disciples doing the same. He goes under the name of Antaras Auriel (real name Dennis Boiling) and he teaches a how-to course on witchcraft at the Heliotrope Free University in San Francisco, in the Filmore district, a hippie haven.
Witchcraft Reappears In County Kerry
A recent UPI story written by Donal O'Higgins was headlined "Witchcraft Reappears in County Kerry". Date-lined Dublin, the story details the re-emergence and resurgence of "ancient signs and symbols of pishoguery, Irish sorcery and witchcraft - Are reappearing in lonely, coastal areas of the county."
The Irish clergy are up in arms. "Some people seem to be indulging in pishoguery around here," canon Peter O'Sullivan of Listowel said, "and some of my parishioners are disturbed." Irish witchcraft is thousands of years old and predates Christianity. St. Patrick once publicly burned the written incantations of the Druids. Though many of the city dwellers laugh at it it's no joke to the rural clergymen.
Among some of the witchcraft rituals are the following: A bleeding carcass of a sheep is left in the middle of the night at the doorstep of a prosperous farmer ... a dozen eggs are hidden away in a corner ... a lump of hairy bacon is found in the hay ... a dozen eggs are arranged in a magic circle ... and to the believing Kerryman these mean that they've been cursed with a broken arm or leg, an accident, livestock dying, or some other harm either to themselves, their property or their farm animals.
The belief in the "evil eye" still persists ... "the power to destroy by a glance" ... it can wither crops, dry up a cow's milk supply, cause a house to become afire, or other kind of disaster that should befall a believer.
One of the more interesting things about this story is that to qualify as a veterinarian in Ireland the prospect must have an extensive knowledge of all the ancient beliefs and witchcraft practices. This is in addition to a university degree. The writer quotes one such veterinary surgeon with a big practice in the Kerry area as saying: "Many people are simply terrified by these symbols when they find them on their land. I come up against it every other day ... and they don't teach you at the university how to treat an animal that just sickens for no medical reason.
"If a cow goes dry or is taken ill many a farmer will search for a symbol first and call the vet later," he said. As to the reasons why there is so much of this the veterinary surgeon said: 'The prosperity of one farmer rankles with another, so in the dead of night a bleeding carcass of a sheep is tossed onto his land and with the carcass goes a curse that misfortune will strike him."
While writing this book I showed this clipping to a client who originally came from Ireland. She verified the above, citing a few instances in her early childhood. She told me that she vividly remembers when her parents had the local catholic priest visit her home and he performed an "exorcism" ceremony, chanting prayers and sprinkling various parts of the house with holy water. Every member of her family wore "blessed" religious scapulars, as well as medals, to protect them from the "evil eye" and witchcraft. The "exorcism" was not limited to the house itself but included the barn and the animals therein. The dictionary definition of exorcise is 'To expel or drive off (an evil spirit) by adjuration, especially by use of a holy name; to deliver from an evil spirit." The person who does this is an exorcist or exerciser (can be spelled as exorcizer too).
Reporter Donald O'Higgins said that in his research into the origins of poshoguery he discovered what he thought was one sensible practice which seems to have died out. "Back in the days of yore it was customary to give the newly born child a mixture of whisky and earth as a safeguard against the fairies stealing the baby and substituting a 'changeling.'" He concludes "It may or may not have worked but it seems a splendid idea. The whisky, of course, was Irish."
Witch To Be Grandmother ... Of Snakes
The following AP dispatch appeared in newspapers across the country:
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (AP) ... Although the mother seems a little impassive, Dame Sybil Leek, a witch, is delighted that her pet boa constictor is hatching babies in her St. Louis motel room bathtub.
"It's marvelous," Dame Sybil Leek declared.
How It's Done In Portugal
For A Twitch, An Itch, Seek A Witch
Dennis F. Redmont
LISBON (AP) ... Wherever everything has failed to solve a love affair or cure a sickness in Portugal, the best bet is to go see "the witch."
The witch lives in every town of Portugal. Sometimes she operates a flashy office in the heart of Lisbon. Other times she sets up a makeshift altar crowded with canes, crutches, statues and candles in her tiny country shack.
But whatever the formula, thousands flock to see the "wise woman" who prescribes everything from simple gymnastics to a yellow spider dipped in butter to solve a problem.
Lisbon's most famous witch, Dona Silvina, receives about a hundred clients a day. Her bedroom gets so jammed that an aide distributes numbered cards at the entrance and she treats her patients five by five.
Dona Silvina claims to reincarnate a famous Lisbon physician, Dr. Sousa Martins, who died 70 years ago after a life of good works among the poor.
Soul Marches On
His soul apparently goes marching on, as fresh flowers are laid every day at the foot of his statue on a Lisbon square by grateful patients. Others leave knife marks in the ground every night at the cross of two paths - a way of inviting death to remove an enemy.
"I have a gift. Everything that I give comes from my hands," Dona Silvina says. "They transmit the wishes of the good doctor."
She precedes her "incarnations" with a set speech: "Let us thank our brother, Dr. Sousa Martins, for the cures he is about to give us." Then she goes into convulsions near her altar, covered with pictures and wax images.
My best cure is gymnastics," Dona Silvina explains. "Lie on the floor," she orders. "Do what your body wants to do. Do gymnastics."
These are young men participating in a magical dance. They dress and act as animals with the purpose of assimilating their qualities and thus attaining their strength. The engravings are from Dordogne, France.
Pregnant women and crippled children in their stockings writhe on rustic rugs as the small and stocky Dona Silvina "incarnates" the low voice of Dr. Sousa Martins, sitting on a low chair at the foot of a creaky iron bed.
"I miss the earth, I miss my sick patients," her voice says in a manly growl, supposedly reminiscent of Dr. Martins.
Dona Silvina shows proofs of her cures. Fourteen crutches hang on the wall, testimony of seven cripples who walked away alone. She shows dozens of letters from grateful patients.
The Witches; Sabbath
The Sabbath was a meeting of witches that took place several times a year. Note the broomstick, the magic means of transportation.
From time to time a case like Dona Silvina is exposed in the Portuguese press after a plain-clothes policeman has mingled with the clients in the waiting room. But the "witches" crop up in another spot and the clientele follows.
The advice is often strange. A mother gives her baby a snake-skin to cure it of whooping cough. One Lisbon society matron boasts of being cured of an abscess by drawing a needle through a ball of worsted over which the witch uttered a spell.
If you want someone to become ill, you strew earth from the cemetery or coarse salt across his doorstep. Intestinal complaints are cured by eating a certain yellow spider dipped in butter. Enemies are banished by eating eggs from a black hen.
Blood from a black cat kills pneumonia and black sheepskin on a pillowcase wards off an earache.
To avenge herself on an unfaithful lover, the Portuguese peasant girl transfixes his photograph with a knife.
Some To Court
Occasionally an unsatisfied patient brings the witch to court on extortion charges.
Maria de Lourdes, a handsome black-haired woman, left a Lisbon prison recently after serving a five-year sentence for extorting $10,000 from an actress.
Her trial, considered as a landmark in the official war against witches, brought nearly 100 witnesses to the stand. They told how Maria de Lourdes convinced her clients to jab knives into wax images or to shower spirit messages on pieces of paper around the "victim".
"Maria de Lourdes is probably back in business again, comments a leading doctor. "Medics and nurses are so rare and superstition is so rampant, that it seems unavoidable."
The above article was illustrated by a photo of Dona Silvina with the caption: "WHO NEEDS A BROOM? Witches do a thriving business in Portugal, a land of too few doctors and many superstitions. Here Dona Silvina, one of Lisbon's most popular witches, shouts "take your turn" at an impatient patient."
Resurgence Of Witchcraft
The article below appeared in newspapers across the country, date of October 29, 1967 and was authored by Joy Miller, AP Women's Editor.
Editor's Notes: While the kiddies are out trick or treating on Halloween, where are Mommy and Daddy? Can it be they are at a witches' sabbat, which, while it may never replace the cocktail party as a U.S. tribal custom, may be becoming vastly popular among the most unlikely people. Anyway, that's the word this Halloween."
"You may not have gotten the word yet, but big changes are occurring in the world of witchcraft and sorcery. The idea that only raffish types deal in the occult and black magic is old hat. Affluent, middle class America has moved in.
The next witch you see, although you'd never recognize her as such, may be your neighbor. That nice man who runs a shop down the street may be the high priest of a coven.
That's not to say that tried and true voodoo is in a decline. Musty little shops selling powdered scorpion tails, love potions and hex signs to the gullible or curious are still doing a brisk trade.
In The Big Time
In the superstitious backwoods, certain old women are still mumbling incantations as they dispense herbs with supposed magical properties, although they may use antibiotics themselves.
The change, though, which has come about in the last five or ten years, has moved witchcraft out of folklore into the sophisticated big time. The new practitioners of the magical arts are respectable housewives, professional people, intellectuals, and businessmen.
Some meet in covens - chapters of 12 with one leader - to celebrate secret rites of witchcraft as the Old Religion.
In San Francisco, the Satanist congregation gathers for an elaborate ritual in worship of the devil.
In New York, groups of disenchanted young people try to use the power of magic to create a new consciousness and a new community.
Why ... and why now?
Some of the new converts are looking for kicks, others want something new and different and a little daring to believe in. Some are bored with their comfortable routine; some don't know what to do with all the extra time technology has given them and find bridge clubs or Rotary too tame.
One knowledgeable source says there are at least twenty thousand people in the United States in specific covens. Sybil Leek, the British witch who now makes her home in America, adds:
"I personally know of covens that exist in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Cincinnati (very strong in Cincinnati), Baltimore, Memphis, two authentic ones in California and at least twenty non-authentic.
"In fact, there are hundreds of pseudo covens starting up around the country with no connection with the Old Religion."
"Sordid little clubs!" she hisses scathingly.
Witchcraft practiced as the Old Religion, explains the kindly, highly respectable, middle-aged Mrs. Leek, has its own rites and forms of ceremony that existed long before Christianity came along and drove it underground."
It used to be called Wicca, an Anglo-Saxon word meaning 'cult of the wise' and it is a positive religious force. Satanism is negative, anti-religious, anti-everything and very destructive."
Mrs. Leek is a white witch, that is, one who seeks and uses occult knowledge for good. She feels black witches and warlocks, who use occult power for personal gain or for destruction, give witchcraft a bad name.
Anton Szandor LaVey, high priest of the Satanist church in San Francisco which he started a year and a half ago, sneers at the white witch groups.
"They're tea shoppe witches, plump little women sitting around threatening to turn each other into toads. Most of them are neo-pagan Christians and they toy with the same notions other religions have, skulking around under a burden of guilt and afraid of being called evil."
LaVey says his group recognizes man as basically greedy and selfish, so why feel guilty about it?"
"We have a planned hedonist program," he explains. "We believe in doing others before they do you. We recognize that man is sometimes lower than animals, and we accept ourselves as we are and live with it. The one great sin is self-deceit. We believe in the power of ritual magic and bask in the real flesh and blood life."
The Banquet Of Satan
This illustrates Satan and his faithful followers attending a banquet. This scene is taken from 'Sorcerers Revels'. It was drawn by Jules Bois.
The devil's high priest, who wears a horned black helmet over his shaved head and sports a circular beard, conducts his services in his 80-year old black-walled house near the Golden Gate bridge. His blond-wife, Diane, is a priestess for the ceremonies that make use of all the magical trappings.
"I had envisioned a selected group of aficionados getting together to practice magical arts," he says. "I didn't expect the church to be growing like this, with six thousand people around the world setting up their own groups."
In New York's East Village hippieville, Martin Carey, a 29 year old artist who looks like Edgar Allan Poe, droopy moustache and all, talks about a new kind of magic "that seems very pervasive among young people."
There's little of traditional sorcery about the concept, which Carey explains this way: "Magic is a process of discovery through which the roots of the universe are discoverable within oneself. By combining art, science and magic with the catalyst of meditation, I have been able to rise beyond time-space relationships and live in the past, future and present all at once, and see the universe as a whole."
Witchcraft has its humorous side. An international convention of witches, postponed from mid-August, is now scheduled at Coney Island in Brooklyn on Halloween. A spokesman for the convention, called by the operator of a Coney Island fortune-telling shop, says at least 15 practicing witches from the area will attend.
There is only one hitch: Two delegates insist on conducting their ritual in the nude. A convention spokesman said, aware of his awful pun, he is afraid the parks department, which has to give a permit for the affair, will boggle at the thought of two cold sand witches clad only in goose-pimples on the drafty wet beach."
The following news item appeared in many newspapers on December 13, 1967:
Navy Machinist's Mate 3/c Edward D. Olsen, 26, of Oakland, Xalif., was buried with the rites of the First Satanic Church of San Francisco. At the graveside, while a Navy honor guard blew taps and fired a volley over the coffin, Anton LaVey, founder of the church, knelt and touched the ground, symbolically consigning Olsen to the earth.
"We consigned him to the earth whence he came and where he lived," he said later, "rather than to any heavenly realm." Olsen's wife, Christine, said: "My husband would have very much wanted this, to be buried with full Satanic honors. We seldom discussed the possibility of death in so many words, but he once expressed the wish that this would be the only way." Olsen was killed in a car accident Friday.
The following is reprinted by permission of Fate Magazine, The copyrighted feature appeared in their November 1965 issue:
Teaching Witchcraft At Moscow U
Training in the arts of witchcraft was given to two hundred African students at the University of Moscow in the winter of 1960, according to testimony furnished to the. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, headed by Senator Thomas J. Dodd (D., Conn.). That training, the Senate investigators claim, may explain some of the shocking stories of murder and torture reported from the Congo in recent years.
Anthony G. Okotcha, one of the Moscow-trained students, told the subcommittee that while studying in London he had been recruited by an official of the Russian Embassy, who had promised him an education in international law which would qualify him for the foreign service in Nigeria, his country. In Moscow, however, he related, he and two hundred other recruits, were instructed in Marxism, sabotage and guerrilla methods, and finally in "occult science" techniques.
The classes, Okotcha said, were conducted by a Russian professor who told the students that their mission was "the eventual liquidation of American and British influence in Africa," by playing on the superstitions of the people in underdeveloped parts of the country. The professor, Okotcha said, showed students how to produce-voices from a skull or skeleton by hidden radio microphones, how to produce spirit rappings and how to cause a phantom to appear in a cloud of smoke.
Upon "graduation," Okotcha related, he was sent to Nigeria to organize two secret Communist movements and to train selected Africans in witch doctor techniques. Realizing, however, that he was helping to lead his country into a "blood bath," he fled the Communist movement.
In the September 1965 issue of Fate there appeared the next item, copyrighted, reprinted by permission of Curds G. Fuller, President of Clark Publishing company, and Fate Magazine:
"Sorcery At The Soccer Match"
Witch doctors in Nairobi, Kenya, reportedly are creating problems for soccer referees which cannot be solved by the rule-book. Several teams are said to retain their own medicine men who roam the sidelines, muttering incantations and casting spells. When teams find themselves being outplayed, they suspect it is because the ball has been bewitched and they demand that the referee change it.
A recent article in the Nairobi Sunday Nation described how one witch doctor raced back and forth along the sidelines during a soccer game, waving the thigh bone of an ox, which he claimed was endowed with magical powers. Wearing soccer shorts and shirt and a feathered headdress, the witch doctor followed the game like a linesman.
This sorcerer was known as the symbol of madness. He reigned over the "Histoire des Imaginations Extravagantes de Monster Ouple".
Whenever his team won a free kick near their opponents' goal, he pointed his bone at the ball. This seemed to give confidence to the player who made the kick, for he invariably sent the ball zooming toward the goal with such force that sometimes the ball deflated in the goalkeeper's hands.
Referees complain that witchcraft is making it difficult for them to control the game. Some players seriously believe in black magic and it affects their playing ability.
"Something must be done to curb this new element," one referee said. "But you can't impose a penalty simply because a player complains he's been bewitched."
A Reuters dispatch that appeared in newspapers throughout the world dated April 20, 1968 was the following:
Ramu The Wolf Boy Dead At 24
Believe He Was Raised by Beasts
Lucknow, India, April 20 (Reuters) ... Ramu the Wolf Boy ... thought to have been raised by wild beasts in the jungle until he was 10 ... died today, 14 years after being found naked on the floor of the waiting room at a railroad station here.
Ramu, who had been kept at the hospital here and had made little progress since being found, suffered for the last year from a chronic respiratory infection and epileptic fits.
He would lie on his bed all day and the only human emotion he showed was to smile at his regular attendant.
Dr. D.N. Sharma, who first looked after him, thought Ramu was carried off by a she-wolf as an infant. He had deformed limbs and marks on his neck, suggesting he had been dragged in an animal's jaw over rocks and confined in a lair.
But although many eminent doctors and psychologists who examined him generally agreed he had no human contact as a child, some believed his parents had abandoned him because of his deformities.
He could only utter animal cries, ate raw meat which he snatched at with his teeth, could not stand up, would lap water from a dish and shunned human beings. No one ever claimed the boy.
This is a protective amulet that has been reduced to demonstrate the gesture of 'Ka'.
Another Reuters story dated April 7, 1969 was head-lined:
The Joint's Really Jumping When She Looks Around
Moscow, April 7 (Reuters) ... A 40 year old woman who can reportedly make objects move by just looking at them, inherited her extraordinary ability from her mother and had passed it on to her son, Tass reported today.
The story of the woman, named only as Nelya Mikhailova, was first told in a local newspaper three weeks after a privately made movie was shown to scientists.
The paper reported that she could make a clock stop by looking at it, make apples jump off a table surface by willing them to. or feed herself by wishing food in her mouth.
Today the Soviet news agency reported that Nelya sometimes needed about half an hour to work herself into a state to use her ability - named by scientists as telekinesis.
Tass said that the inherited gift was handed down to her soldier son.
On January 17, 1966 the New York Daily News ran this news item:
Psycho Held For Haitian Voodoo Killing
A man who said his favorite crystal-ball gazer was sticking pins into dolls when she should have been sticking to business, was ordered to Bellevue Hospital after his arraignment on a murder charge yesterday.
Psychiatrists will examine Claude Morriset, 25, of 424 W. 22nd Street, who moved here from Haiti two years ago, bringing with him a belief in black magic, police said.
Charged In Slaying
Morrisset was arrested Saturday night and charged with the slaying of Mrs. Mary Dutcbalellier, 55, of 206 W. 95th St.
Police said Morrisset told them that he plunged a kitchen knife into Mrs. Dutchalellier's abdomen when she refused to lift a voodoo death curse that she had cast over him.
Learns Of Curse
Morisset told them he often availed himself of the woman's fortune-telling services, but when he decided on a consultation with a different witch-doctor he was told that Mrs. Dutchalellier had slipped a curse over him.
He called on the woman and asked her to remove the spell. When she laughed, he stabbed her, police said.
He was ordered to the hospital for mental examination by Criminal Court Judge Walter H. Gladwin.
An Associated Press dispatch that made the most of the country's newspapers on January 16, 1968, doesn't deal with witchcraft per se but for the serious-minded it's certainly something to think about and for the lighthearted good for a laugh. Here it is:
Florida Accident Victim Solemnly Swears Out Case Against God
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla (AP) .... God .. and his agents in Lake Worth ... are being sued for $25,000 by an accident victim whose injuries were attributed by a jury to be an act of God.
The story goes on to say that George Albrecht paid $17.50 for a filing fee and gave the astonished court clerks copies of his claims to hand on to the defendants. These included 32 Lake Worth churches and synagogues lumped together by the plaintiff as "God and Company".
In Albrecht's original claim he said that he was hurt in 1964 when a sidewalk collapsed under him. The city of Lake Worth and a construction firm were the defendants in the first suit.
The pastors of the local churches reacted with shock and some with humor. One of them, The Rev. E.W. Zilch, pastor of Bethel Pentacostal Temple, said: "If he brings the principal defendant into court, I'll be glad to come and testify for Him."
The pastor of the Evangelical Covenant Church, The Rev. James Magnuson, remarked "I always thought that the expression 'act of God' in regard to accidents was a misnomer. If this keeps up, people will be suing the churches everytime a tree falls."
One of the court's officials said, "It may be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction."
Probably the biggest problem will be getting the main defendant, God, into court!
Newspapers throughout the country carried the following story on January 18, 1968:
Scream Death Still A Mystery
This AP story told about Mrs. Patricia Rush, 23, who suddenly screamed and stopped breathing, in the same way that her sister did four years previously. Both died instantly. The surgeon who performed the autopsy said that the cause may never be known.
During the Middle Ages demons used to delight in doing housework and other chores. Here they are seen cleaning house in the absence of its owners.
When her father, Everett Stephens, of San Luis Obispo, California said "They'll never find out what caused it," the Santa Barbara autopsy surgeon, Dr. John P. Blanchard agreed: "In all probability the girl's father is right."
Her sister, Beverly Stephens, 17, had just come out of the swimming pool in 1963, looked around her with a horrified expression, screamed and died. Now the Stephenses are worried about their two other daughters, Barbara, 17 and Diana, 11. Mrs. Rush was the wife of Staff Sgt. Robert Rush who had just returned from Vietnam. She left two children, daughters Kimberly 6 and Kristin, 1.
"Ball Of Fire" Injured Wife Mate Reports
Mrs. Viola Swartwood and her husband Marvin were driving their car in April of 1966 when suddenly they were hit by what appeared to be a "ball of fire." Her husband said that they were driving through a rainstorm when a flashing ball of fire emerged three feet above the front of their car. He said: "It lit up the whole car and then struck it with a loud snap."
Mrs. Swartwood was in the Auburn, N.Y. Memorial Hospital suffering from a partial paralysis of her right side. Her attending physician Dr. Charles Ryan could shed no further light on the matter.
Yet the next day many people in the Northeast reported seeing a fireball meteor in the sky. That was on Monday, The Swartwood's were struck on Sunday night. Residents, deputies and weather experts said that it wasn't an electrical storm and could find no one who had either seen or heard any lightning. There were no marks on the car itself.
The above story appeared in many newspapers.
Circle of Cleopatra