It is easy to disregard voodoo as a thing of any real danger. However, the disturbing reality is that voodoo kills people in the U.S. and around the world every year. It is a strong culture, especially in countries such as Haiti where belief in it is widely shared, but unfortunately has some dangerous rules and rituals that the devout occasionally carry out. This list is a collection of seven real life voodoo deaths and injuries, showing that it's not just child's play.
From horrifying scenes of being burned alive to absurd claims of being cursed, to mad passions masked by voodoo claims, this list has them all. Some of these instances are not the voodoo ritual themselves that cause the damage, but are the consequences of belief in the same. The placebo effect, coupled with fervent belief and a desire for change, can be deadly.So, here are the worst times that real voodoo has ever gone wrong and actually caused some (often unintentional) death in some way, shape or form. Warning: some of these stories may be difficult to read for some viewers.
Voodoo Priest's $300 Sex Ritual Leads to Apartment Fire
In hopes of obtaining good luck through a voodoo ritual, a woman met with a neighborhood priest on the fourth floor of his Brooklyn apartment. Unfortunately, the ritual didn't quite go to plan, with candles used during the ceremony sparking a horrific fire that killed one resident, injured 11 surrounding residents and 20 firefighters, and leaving 50 families homeless.
The fire took a total of seven hours and 200 firefighters to put out and left one big dent of guilt on the woman who was seemingly seeking good fortune.
What makes this whole incident so tragic is that the woman paid $300 for the priest to perform this voodoo ritual on her. This, logically, led to sex, which is what caused the candles to initially start the blaze. When the pair finally noticed, the priest attempted to suppress the fire with water from his bathroom sink. A neighbor also opened a window in order to dissipate the smoke, but this only created a "blowtorch effect" and pushed the fire further into the hallway.Eventually, the flames took down the fourth, fifth and sixth floors, causing a partial collapse of the roof. Guess the lucky charm didn't work out.
Mother and Grandmother Set 6-year-old Girl on Fire During "Loa" Ritual
During a performance of the Haitian voodoo practice ‘Loa’, asix year old child suffered excruciating burns at the hands of her mother andgrandmother.
‘Loa’ are Haitian spirits of Voodoo and are called upon bypractitioners to grant requests. In order to do this, it is believed by somethat the selected person has to walk through a ring of fire – in this case,bizarrely, the chosen one was the six year old girl. What happened in this casehowever, was that Marie Lauradin and Sylvenie Thessier of Queens New York tooka horrifying spin on the ritual. The mother poured chemical accelerant over thenaked body of her child and created a circle around her of the same fluid. Shethen lit this on fire.
What’s even worse is that both the mother and grandmotherignored the screams of unbearable pain from the child.
After the ritual, they bathed the child in cold water andput her to bed. It was only after a relative pressed for the child to receivemedical attention that she was taken to hospital. When there, it was discernedshe had suffered second and third degree burns over 25% of her body, includingher face, torso and legs. She remained there in recovery for nearly fourmonths.
When questioned, the girl's mother claimed that rather thanperforming a voodoo ritual on her daughter, she was in fact preparing rice withboiling water on the stove, which somehow ended up spilling on the girl whenshe approached her from behind. This was absurdly followed by the grandmother’stestimony that she was in the bathroom the whole time. Both statementsconveniently leave out the blinding evidence of a burnt ritualistic circle onthe floor.
The mother and grandmother have been charged with firstdegree reckless endangerment and endangering of the welfare of a child, but themental scars of what happened that night will haunt the little six year oldsacrifice to Loa for life.
Lave Tet Voodoo Spiritual Cleansing Leads to 20 year old's Death
Twenty year old Lucille Marie Hamilton of Arkansas workedtwo jobs plus overtime just to make the trip all the way to New Jersey to meetvoodoo priest Houngan Hector Salva (pictured above). Salva was initiated as a voodoo priest inHaiti in 2003, and Hamilton was approaching him so as to undergo the spiritualcleansing ritual of Leve Tet.
The last hours of Hamilton’s life was spent in theperformance of this ritual. She was with several others that had travelled fromas far as the Netherlands, ‘laughing, dancing, and singing voodoo songs.’ Itwas during this ritual that she allegedly told Salva that she was in theprocess of taking hormones in preparation for a sex change; although herfriends deny this.
However, later that evening after the ritual, Hamilton fellasleep and couldn’t be woken up. She died at around 11pm that very night.
Salva was unfazed by the consequent investigation into hisinvolvement with the death, arguing that ‘Anyone could have a guest stay thenight and when they go to wake them up, they don’t wake up. No one is promisedtomorrow.’
45 Haitian Voodoo Priests Lynched for "Magically" Spreading Cholera
In December of 2010 there was an outbreak of cholera inHaiti that killed over 2,500 people across the country. Instead of realisticthings being blamed (such as poor sanitation), the culprits that residentsturned to were in fact, the Haitian Voodoo priests.
50 Haitian priests were lynched and stoned or hacked todeath by machetes in related accusations. People believed that the outbreak wasa result of voodoo, and that the priests had spread the illness though a ‘magicalsubstance.’ This substance was never explained or directly alluded to.
In a superstitious society, it seems to be the magic men whoare first to be blamed.