In many parts of the world, people still believe in magic. Whether it’s wishful thinking or a product of being raised in an isolated society, there are many who go to witch doctors and self-proclaimed shamans. Even in modern society, some people study ancient occult teachings in order to achieve the results they’re looking for—whether it’s eternal life, wealth, political power, or a curse upon their enemies.
1. Kenyan Politicians And Witch Doctors.
In 2003, a politician named James Mutiso was elected into office in Kenya. Many witch doctors hired by his rivals had put curses on him. Very soon after the election, he was in a car that crashed and fell into a river. At the time, his own witch doctor, whom he called his “healer,” was in the car as well. They were both trapped in the car and drowned in the river. After recovering the bodies, rescuers found objects which indicated that this healer had, in fact, been performing spells as a witch doctor. Apparently, she focused too much on spells to achieve victory and not enough on protection from evil spirits.
Years later in Nairobi, a group of Christian priests banded together in 2016 to expose a group of politicians who were hiring witch doctors to perform magic rituals in order to win elections. Despite the fact that the pastors claimed to know the identities of these criminal witch doctors, they could not trace their locations or come up with proof to hand over to authorities. They ended up meeting at a church and praying together, claiming that the power of God will be greater than the evil spirits of black magic.
2. Deadly Magic Football Riots
In 2008, during a soccer game in the Democratic Republic of Congo, two local football clubs were playing against one another: Nyuki versus Socozaki. It was clear that the Nyuki club was going to lose, so the goalkeeper decided to perform spells on the Socozaki team. He was using an African form of witchcraft called fetishism, which is when a magical object and incantation is used.
In western countries, if someone waved a magic wand and “cast a spell” over their opposing team, everyone would laugh, roll their eyes, and carry on. However, in the Congo, people still truly believe in the power of spells. This was considered a threat to their health and well-being, so the entire Socozaki team jumped him.
The Nyuki players came to their goalie’s aid, and it started a massive brawl between the two teams. The police were forced to throw tear gas and pull the men off one another. Eleven of the soccer players died, and many more were injured.
3. Illness Spread By Witch Doctors
In 2016, a 34-year-old man named Chhem Yin was running from his fellow villagers in Cambodia’s Pursat province. They were trying to get revenge and vowed to kill him. Finally, someone caught up with Yin and shot him mercilessly with an AK-47.
Why had Yin been murdered? People in his village had reported him to the police, claiming that he was a witch doctor. They said that he was making people sick and that these illnesses sometimes lead to death. The villagers truly believed in magic, and they saw Yin as a villain in the town. A while back, the police had questioned Yin about the villagers’ concerns. Yin claimed that he never even dabbled in witchcraft.
One man was so outraged over the fact that the police were not doing anything to stop the sorcery that he decided to perform vigilante justice by shooting Yin. He also tracked down other known witch doctors. He beheaded one and stabbed another. This man is unidentified and is currently on the run.
This is not an isolated incident in Cambodia. In recent years, villagers in remote parts of the country have decided to crack down on “magic” by murdering any known witch doctors, even if they are simply trying to heal villagers with natural remedies.
4. Chinese Spirit Masters Seeing The Future
According to 74-year-old Zhao Fucheng, modern Chinese cities are stealing away the magic from his ancient practice as a shaman. With millions of young people leaving their remote villages in China in favor of seeking job opportunities in cities each year, witch doctors are losing many of their clients. Zhao calls himself a “spirit master,” relying on birth dates in correlation with a lunar calendar on an ancient scroll to help him predict the futures of people who come to him for advice. He can also recommend healing from rituals performed in traditional Chinese medicine, or if the problem persists, he will go to the spirits for aid.
Shamans worry that as the young people leave, there will be no one left to apprentice as a spirit master. Even Zhao’s son refuses to learn the art of shamanism because he does not believe in ghosts. Just like many ancient traditions, shamanism in China is fading as the newer generations embrace modern society. Zhao predicts that in the next 30 years, they will see a major decrease in the number of practicing shamans. That’s at least one vision of the future that will most likely come true.
5. The Magic Death Notes
In 2008, in a village in Kenya, a notebook of names appeared in a school yard. The anonymous author claimed that it was a collection of known witches in the village. The police took possession of the notebook. Before the villagers took action, they held a town meeting. Many of the people were ready to go and kill every single person whose name was written in the notebook, even without any actual proof that these people did anything wrong.
Before the villagers could go on a lynching spree, an elderly woman stood up during the town meeting and declared, “I am a witch.”A few other people stood up and did the same. The villagers were angry, but the police were present, so these “witches” were able to go into protective custody. According to Dr. Solomon Monyenye of the University of Nairobi, many targets of witch hunts are elderly women. Knowing that the town was out for blood, it is possible that these women claimed that they were witches because they knew police custody was the only way they would make it out of the !village alive.