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Witch Hunts in Kenya

According to the Associated Press, there are witch hunts going on in western Kenya. A large group of men roamed villages and killed 11 people who were accused of being witches and wizards who "made bright children dumb."

A local official says up to 300 young men moved from house to house, using a list of suspected witches and wizards and the kind of spells they were believed to have cast on the community. Eight women and three men — most over the age of 70 — were hunted down and killed. Another officer says the mob set 36 homes on fire and threw the victims' bodies back inside.

Deputy police spokesman Charles Owino says the mob hunted down the eight women and three men in two villages in the western Kenya district of Kisii Central. Owino says most of the victims were between 70 and 90 years old.

It is hard to imagine that in this day and age witch hunts still occur. The reasons always seem specious.


The first major witch hunt occured in Switzerland in 1427 but hunts reached a fevered pitch in the mid to late 1500s. Arguably the most well known of them occured in Salem, MA in the late 1600s. Nowadays "witch hunts" take on a more generic term in that it is not relegated to witched and warlocks per se. The Joe McCarthy trials of the 1950s are also labeled as "witch hunts."
Read more:
The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege
Witches and Witch-Hunts: A Global History


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