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Weird tales.

Byline: By Peter Leathley

As The witching hour of Hallowe'en draws near, Peter Leathley prepares a pumpkin, summons Satan and puts on his zombie mask...

The best way to summon the dead is through a Oujia board, but after reading this weird tale you may think twice about dabbling with the dark side.

In 1975, a woman from Croxdale, near Durham, spoke of her terror after she received evil messages on a Ouija board. Janice Kelly watched in horror as the words "I'm going to strangle you" were spelt out.

She then claimed to have felt something try to strangle her as she sat in her terraced home one evening.

It took weeks before she could forget that terrifying night, but the phantom strangler hadn't gone forever.

And when "the thing" did return ( it was at the home of Janice's neighbour, Gladys Worthington.

Gladys said: "It was about 2am and a red hot night.

"There was a cold feeling on my toes which started to creep up my body to my throat. I couldn't move.

"It went away and then the feeling started again, but before it got to my throat I shouted at it and the room seemed to clear."

Another strange case involved a boy who apparently became possessed by the spirit of a dead murderer after using a Oujia board in a pub.

His worried father took him to a medium after he changed from being a normal boy into a "horror".

Medium Lilian Ayres said: "I found he'd been contacted by a murderer hanged 100 years ago in Newcastle. He'd been taken over.

"The spirit thought he was still alive and wanted to commit another murder."

Shapeshifters: in the olden days, transforming into a werewolf would land you in serious trouble. When hunting witches was Europe's favourite pastime, shape-shifting was a one-way ticket to the torture chamber. The trial of 40-year-old Peter Stubb in 1589 caused a sensation as people heard his lurid rack-extracted confessions. Peter wore a magical belt that transformed him into a werewolf and admitted stalking the countryside savaging lambs, gorging on goats and eating children's brains. For his crimes the mass-murdering werewolf had his head chopped off.

Walter Ballance got a big surprise when he took his dogs for a walk in a Northumberland wood ( and it wasn't a group of teddy bears having a picnic.

In a small clearing on Furnace Bank, in the Free Wood, near Bedlington, Walter found a huge white pentangle on the ground surrounded by a circle of stones.

Four large white-washed stones with black and blue candles had been placed within the circle. Another five-pointed star made from melted wax was found on one of the larger stones.

Walter made the discovery in June 1988, but the previous year, near the river Blyth, he had found similar occult designs burnt into the ground and animal bones.

And when he returned to the woods one Saturday evening he witnessed a coven of witches performing a strange ritual. A fire had been lit in the clearing and six or seven people were chanting in the circle ( one of them appeared to be preaching.

When he tried to get a closer look, a huge Doberman dog appeared, blocking his path. Northumbria Police said they had heard nothing about rituals in the Free Wood, but in December the coven broke their silence.

The coven's high priest admitted sending psychic messages to heal distressed animals and lift spells from people.

He denied there was anything satanic about the coven and was sick of reading about witches "beng branded as devil worshippers and grave robbers".

1660: Fourteen women and one man accused of witchcraft were hanged on Newcastle's Town Moor. The city employed a Scottish "witch-pricker" between 1649 and 1650 and the last execution of an English witch occurred in 1685.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 27, 2005
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