Tag Archives: supernatural

A Black Mass at North Adelaide.

A Black Mass at North Adelaide.

The Haunts of Adelaide  This remarkable eyewitness account was published in the Evening Journal newspaper in 1904.
  A person identifying themselves as only “B.S.S.” witnessed an apparition of a funeral near the corner of Barnard Street some years prior and recounted it for the newspaper.
 The witness had walked down Molesworth Street, along Hill Street, and when at the corner of Barnard Street, near the hospital, witnessed an intensely black shape moving in the street. On this night, a very well-known lady in the area, lay dying in the Calvary Hospital just metres away from where the witness was standing.
 The witness watched on as the black shape paused in the road, then marched onto vacant land nearby. Walking closer to get a better view, the witness realised it was a funeral procession occurring in the night in front of them. A coffin, covered in black velvet was being held by four men, while two walked in front, and four behind. All the men wore ‘hose and doublet’, small cloaks or capes, swords at their sides and feather in their caps.
 The funeral procession stopped. They turned back to towards the hospital, and slowly vanished as they returned toward it, and where the dying woman lay.

 The women would not die, and in her final hours, called desperately for her individual ancestors. Was it them, dressed in black, bearing swords and the holding the coffin, or was it death coming to collect his dues?

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019

Bibliography

1904 ‘GHOSTS, OR WHAT:’, Evening Journal, 18 October, p. 1. , viewed 22 Apr 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200827889

Witchcraft VI: Koro (Suo-Yang) – Penis Panic

Witchcraft VI: Koro (Suo-Yang) – Penis Panic

Although this infliction has not occurred in Australia, it has shown up in Africa and China, and originates with witchcraft in Medieval Europe. I thought it was interesting enough to research and write about for the blog, as many people have probably never heard of it before!

 Koro, (known as Suo-Yang in China) is psycho-sexual disorder where men become panicked, believing their penis is shrinking, retracting, or completely disappeared.
The Medieval belief of Koro can be found in the fifteenth-century Witch hunting book Malleus Malificarum [Hammer of the Witches] written by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. Within the book, Kramer and Sprenger describe various ways to expose witches, but also a few case studies.

 One of the phenomena he claimed was that witches could remove a mans penis, not actually cut off, but remove it with magic.
 One of the accounts in Kramer & Sprenger’s book details the story of several witnesses to this very magic.

 “What shall we think about those witches who somehow take members in large numbers—twenty or thirty—and shut them up together in a birds’ nest or some box, where they move about like living members, eating oats or other feed? This has been seen by many and is a matter of common talk. It is said that it is all done by devil’s work and illusion, for the senses of those who see [the penises] are deluded in the way we have said.”

It is claimed that the witches would have up to thirty penises’ in a bird’s nest or box, all wriggling about, and would feed them oats and other grains, treating them as pets.
Kramer and Sprenger’s book was full of misogynist and preposterous accusations against women’s sexuality, that stems from their (and Medieval Christian Europe’s) infatuation and anxieties with women’s sexual desires, sexuality and place in the Bible. The whole basis of his book and accusation against female witches, comes back to one passage which led to countless women being accused of witchcraft, and murdered across the world; “All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable.”

Headline from the Canberra Times
 Wednesday 8 November 1967, page 6
(link in the bibliography)

Koro, which is a psychological issue, has seen many mass panics in the centuries since the Medieval Witch hunts. In 1967, Singapore was hit with a mass panic, when 454 men visited the Singapore General Hospital over a period on months.

 One of the Doctors who treated the men, stated afterwards that patients reported; “a sudden feeling of retraction of the penis into the abdomen with great fear that, should the retraction be permitted to proceed … the penis would disappear into the abdomen with a fatal outcome.”

The next mass penis-shrinkage-panic happened in China through 1984-1985. Over 3000 individual men were treated for Suo-Yang, weirdly, this time it also included a number of women reporting vulva, labia, nipple and breast shrinkage, or disappearance!

Africa has seen the most recent cases of Koro, with ten years between 1998 and 2008 seeing 56 separate cases. In these cases, the common complaint wasn’t shrinkage, but total loss of penis. 36 people, accused of witchcraft, body part trading, or black mail by penis-snatching were killed in the hysteria that followed accusations over the years.

Zionist Sorcery was apparently the cause of penis-loss in Sudan in 2003. In what was later revealed as an attempt to divert the people’s attention away from what was happening with the presidency.
In 2013, a stranger was visiting a small village in Tiringoulou, Central Africa, when he stopped for a drink. Upon handing the drink to the stranger the vendor suddenly screamed his penis had disappeared, this was soon followed by another villager. Other villagers claimed to see the two men’s penis shrink form adult size to baby size before their eyes! The visitor was duly arrested for sorcery and executed.

Despite the various claims of witchcraft, sorcery and female fox spirits in China stealing penis’s, believe it or not, koro in men and women has a psychological explanation. It would seem in society’s where a person’s reproductive ability helps determine a man’s self-worth, and worth to procreation in their society, are intrinsically connected to anxiety and fear, ethnicity and cultural belief, and political or socioeconomic tension.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018
https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide/

Bibliography

Mattelaer, Johan J, Jilek, Wolfgang (2007). “Koro?The Psychological Disappearance of the Penis”. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 4 (5): 1509–1515. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007. 00586.x.

Smith, M., (2002). “The flying phallus and the laughing inquisitor: Penis theft in the ‘Malleus Malificarum’”. Journal of Folklore Research An International Journal of Folklore and Ethnomusicology 39(1):85-117 

Edwards, J. W., (1984). “Indigenous Koro, a Genital Retraction Syndrome of Insular Southeast Asia: A Critical Review”. Culture Medicine and Psychiatry 8(1):1-24 · April 1984. DOI: 10.1007/BF00053099

China-Underground. (2016). “Koro, shrinking genitals syndrome”, China-Underground, viewed 13 April 2018, https://china-underground.com/2016/05/14/koro-shrinking-genitals-syndrome/

1967 ‘SINGAPORE KORO ‘NOT THREAT TO MANHOOD”, The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), 8 November, p. 6. , viewed 27 Jul 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106981331

Witchcraft VI: Koro (Suo-Yang) – Penis Panic

Witchcraft VI: Koro (Suo-Yang) – Penis Panic

Although this infliction has not occurred in Australia, it has shown up in Africa and China, and originates with witchcraft in Medieval Europe. I thought it was interesting enough to research and write about for the blog, as many people have probably never heard of it before!

 Koro, (known as Suo-Yang in China) is psycho-sexual disorder where men become panicked, believing their penis is shrinking, retracting, or completely disappeared.
The Medieval belief of Koro can be found in the fifteenth-century Witch hunting book Malleus Malificarum [Hammer of the Witches] written by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. Within the book, Kramer and Sprenger describe various ways to expose witches, but also a few case studies.

 One of the phenomena he claimed was that witches could remove a mans penis, not actually cut off, but remove it with magic.
 One of the accounts in Kramer & Sprenger’s book details the story of several witnesses to this very magic.

 “What shall we think about those witches who somehow take members in large numbers—twenty or thirty—and shut them up together in a birds’ nest or some box, where they move about like living members, eating oats or other feed? This has been seen by many and is a matter of common talk. It is said that it is all done by devil’s work and illusion, for the senses of those who see [the penises] are deluded in the way we have said.”

It is claimed that the witches would have up to thirty penises’ in a bird’s nest or box, all wriggling about, and would feed them oats and other grains, treating them as pets.
Kramer and Sprenger’s book was full of misogynist and preposterous accusations against women’s sexuality, that stems from their (and Medieval Christian Europe’s) infatuation and anxieties with women’s sexual desires, sexuality and place in the Bible. The whole basis of his book and accusation against female witches, comes back to one passage which led to countless women being accused of witchcraft, and murdered across the world; “All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable.”

Headline from the Canberra Times
 Wednesday 8 November 1967, page 6
(link in the bibliography)

Koro, which is a psychological issue, has seen many mass panics in the centuries since the Medieval Witch hunts. In 1967, Singapore was hit with a mass panic, when 454 men visited the Singapore General Hospital over a period on months.

 One of the Doctors who treated the men, stated afterwards that patients reported; “a sudden feeling of retraction of the penis into the abdomen with great fear that, should the retraction be permitted to proceed … the penis would disappear into the abdomen with a fatal outcome.”

The next mass penis-shrinkage-panic happened in China through 1984-1985. Over 3000 individual men were treated for Suo-Yang, weirdly, this time it also included a number of women reporting vulva, labia, nipple and breast shrinkage, or disappearance!

Africa has seen the most recent cases of Koro, with ten years between 1998 and 2008 seeing 56 separate cases. In these cases, the common complaint wasn’t shrinkage, but total loss of penis. 36 people, accused of witchcraft, body part trading, or black mail by penis-snatching were killed in the hysteria that followed accusations over the years.

Zionist Sorcery was apparently the cause of penis-loss in Sudan in 2003. In what was later revealed as an attempt to divert the people’s attention away from what was happening with the presidency.
In 2013, a stranger was visiting a small village in Tiringoulou, Central Africa, when he stopped for a drink. Upon handing the drink to the stranger the vendor suddenly screamed his penis had disappeared, this was soon followed by another villager. Other villagers claimed to see the two men’s penis shrink form adult size to baby size before their eyes! The visitor was duly arrested for sorcery and executed.

Despite the various claims of witchcraft, sorcery and female fox spirits in China stealing penis’s, believe it or not, koro in men and women has a psychological explanation. It would seem in society’s where a person’s reproductive ability helps determine a man’s self-worth, and worth to procreation in their society, are intrinsically connected to anxiety and fear, ethnicity and cultural belief, and political or socioeconomic tension.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018
https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide/

Bibliography

Mattelaer, Johan J, Jilek, Wolfgang (2007). “Koro?The Psychological Disappearance of the Penis”. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 4 (5): 1509–1515. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007. 00586.x.

Smith, M., (2002). “The flying phallus and the laughing inquisitor: Penis theft in the ‘Malleus Malificarum’”. Journal of Folklore Research An International Journal of Folklore and Ethnomusicology 39(1):85-117 

Edwards, J. W., (1984). “Indigenous Koro, a Genital Retraction Syndrome of Insular Southeast Asia: A Critical Review”. Culture Medicine and Psychiatry 8(1):1-24 · April 1984. DOI: 10.1007/BF00053099

China-Underground. (2016). “Koro, shrinking genitals syndrome”, China-Underground, viewed 13 April 2018, https://china-underground.com/2016/05/14/koro-shrinking-genitals-syndrome/

1967 ‘SINGAPORE KORO ‘NOT THREAT TO MANHOOD”, The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), 8 November, p. 6. , viewed 27 Jul 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106981331

Witchcraft VI: Koro (Suo-Yang) – Penis Panic

Witchcraft VI: Koro (Suo-Yang) – Penis Panic

Although this infliction has not occurred in Australia, it has shown up in Africa and China and originates with witchcraft in Medieval Europe. I thought it was interesting enough to research and write about for the blog, as many people have probably never heard of it before!

 Koro, (known as Suo-Yang in China) is a psycho-sexual disorder where men become panicked, believing their penis is shrinking, retracting, or completely disappeared.
The Medieval belief of Koro can be found in the fifteenth-century Witch hunting book Malleus Maleficarum [Hammer of the Witches] written by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. Within the book, Kramer and Sprenger describe various ways to expose witches, but also a few case studies.

 One of the phenomena he claimed was that witches could remove a man’s penis, not actually cut off, but remove it with magic.
 One of the accounts in Kramer & Sprenger’s book details the story of several witnesses to this very magic.

 “What shall we think about those witches who somehow take members in large numbers—twenty or thirty—and shut them up together in a birds’ nest or some box, where they move about like living members, eating oats or other feed? This has been seen by many and is a matter of common talk. It is said that it is all done by devil’s work and illusion, for the senses of those who see [the penises] are deluded in the way we have said.”

It is claimed that the witches would have up to thirty penises’ in a bird’s nest or box, all wriggling about, and would feed them oats and other grains, treating them as pets.
Kramer and Sprenger’s book was full of misogynist and preposterous accusations against women’s sexuality, that stems from their (and Medieval Christian Europe’s) infatuation and anxieties with women’s sexual desires, sexuality and place in the Bible. The whole basis of his book and accusation against female witches comes back to one passage which led to countless women being accused of witchcraft, and murdered across the world; “All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable.”

Headline from the Canberra Times
 Wednesday 8 November 1967, page 6
(link in the bibliography)

Koro, which is a psychological issue, has seen many mass waves of panic in the centuries since the Medieval Witch hunts. In 1967, Singapore was hit with a mass panic, when 454 men visited the Singapore General Hospital over a period of months.

 One of the Doctors who treated the men, stated afterwards that patients reported; “a sudden feeling of retraction of the penis into the abdomen with great fear that, should the retraction be permitted to proceed … the penis would disappear into the abdomen with a fatal outcome.”

The next mass penis-shrinkage-panic happened in China through 1984-1985. Over 3000 individual men were treated for Suo-Yang, weirdly, this time it also included a number of women reporting vulva, labia, nipple and breast shrinkage, or disappearance!

Africa has seen the most recent cases of Koro, with ten years between 1998 and 2008 seeing 56 separate cases. In these cases, the common complaint wasn’t shrinkage, but total loss of the penis. 36 people, accused of witchcraft, body part trading, or blackmail by penis-snatching were killed in the hysteria that followed accusations over the years.

Zionist Sorcery was apparently the cause of penis-loss in Sudan in 2003. In what was later revealed as an attempt to divert the people’s attention away from what was happening with the presidency.
In 2013, a stranger was visiting a small village in Tiringoulou, Central Africa, when he stopped for a drink. Upon handing the drink to the stranger the vendor suddenly screamed his penis had disappeared, this was soon followed by another villager. Other villagers claimed to see the two men’s penis shrink form adult size to baby size before their eyes! The visitor was duly arrested for sorcery and executed.

Despite the various claims of witchcraft, sorcery and female fox spirits in China stealing penis’s, believe it or not, koro in men and women has a psychological explanation. It would seem in society’s where a person’s reproductive ability helps determine a man’s self-worth, and worth to procreation in their society, are intrinsically connected to anxiety and fear, ethnicity and cultural belief, and political or socioeconomic tension.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018
https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide/

Bibliography

Mattelaer, Johan J, Jilek, Wolfgang (2007). “Koro?The Psychological Disappearance of the Penis”. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 4 (5): 1509–1515. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007. 00586.x.
Smith, M., (2002). “The flying phallus and the laughing inquisitor: Penis theft in the ‘Malleus Maleficarum’”. Journal of Folklore Research An International Journal of Folklore and Ethnomusicology 39(1):85-117
Edwards, J. W., (1984). “Indigenous Koro, a Genital Retraction Syndrome of Insular Southeast Asia: A Critical Review”. Culture Medicine and Psychiatry 8(1):1-24 · April 1984. DOI: 10.1007/BF00053099
China-Underground. (2016). “Koro, shrinking genitals syndrome”, China-Underground, viewed 13 April 2018, https://china-underground.com/2016/05/14/koro-shrinking-genitals-syndrome/
1967 ‘SINGAPORE KORO ‘NOT THREAT TO MANHOOD”, The Canberra Times (ACT: 1926 – 1995), 8 November, p. 6. , viewed 27 Jul 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106981331

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

In the town of Kadina, on the Yorke Peninsula in 1874 a find inside a local house led to much local intrigue and excitement. A family bought a house close to the mine and began to move in. While going about their business, they decided to inspect the building as they cleaned it. On looking up into the chimney, the Father discovered two suspended bottles containing water and pins.
 The man looked closer in the chimney and soon discovered an old bullocks heart, which was crammed full of pins.
 It was thought that the water, heart and pins were an old protection spell to ward of the evils of witchcraft affecting the householders, by suspending it in the chimney, it is thought to have stopped any witches, or their magic entering the house through the chimney opening.[1]
Witches were also said to live openly in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. It is claimed an evil witch and a white witch both lived in the town, competing against each other with their various magical wares.
 The witches were said to be the reason that some residents in the town began to wear their clothing inside out to ward of evil, and to wear red ribbons for the same reason.
The Hahndorf community chose to commemorate their witchy past with a mural inside the German Arms Hotel that immortalises the two magical folk!

 
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2018
Bibliography

[1] 1874 ‘OUR KADINA LETTER.’, Yorke’s Peninsula Advertiser and Miners’ News (SA : 1872 – 1874), 18 September, p. 2. , viewed 10 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article215906689

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

In the town of Kadina, on the Yorke Peninsula in 1874 a find inside a local house led to much local intrigue and excitement. A family bought a house close to the mine and began to move in. While going about their business, they decided to inspect the building as they cleaned it. On looking up into the chimney, the Father discovered two suspended bottles containing water and pins.
 The man looked closer in the chimney and soon discovered an old bullocks heart, which was crammed full of pins.
 It was thought that the water, heart and pins were an old protection spell to ward of the evils of witchcraft affecting the householders, by suspending it in the chimney, it is thought to have stopped any witches, or their magic entering the house through the chimney opening.[1]
Witches were also said to live openly in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. It is claimed an evil witch and a white witch both lived in the town, competing against each other with their various magical wares.
 The witches were said to be the reason that some residents in the town began to wear their clothing inside out to ward of evil, and to wear red ribbons for the same reason.
The Hahndorf community chose to commemorate their witchy past with a mural inside the German Arms Hotel that immortalises the two magical folk!

 
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2018
Bibliography

[1] 1874 ‘OUR KADINA LETTER.’, Yorke’s Peninsula Advertiser and Miners’ News (SA : 1872 – 1874), 18 September, p. 2. , viewed 10 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article215906689

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

In the town of Kadina, on the Yorke Peninsula in 1874 a find inside a local house led to much local intrigue and excitement. A family bought a house close to the mine and began to move in. While going about their business, they decided to inspect the building as they cleaned it. On looking up into the chimney, the Father discovered two suspended bottles containing water and pins.
 The man looked closer in the chimney and soon discovered an old bullocks heart, which was crammed full of pins.
 It was thought that the water, heart and pins were an old protection spell to ward of the evils of witchcraft affecting the householders, by suspending it in the chimney, it is thought to have stopped any witches, or their magic entering the house through the chimney opening.[1]
Witches were also said to live openly in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. It is claimed an evil witch and a white witch both lived in the town, competing against each other with their various magical wares.
 The witches were said to be the reason that some residents in the town began to wear their clothing inside out to ward of evil and to wear red ribbons for the same reason.
The Hahndorf community chose to commemorate their witchy past with a mural inside the German Arms Hotel that immortalises the two magical folks!
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2018
Bibliography

[1] 1874 ‘OUR KADINA LETTER.’, Yorke’s Peninsula Advertiser and Miners’ News (SA: 1872 – 1874), 18 September, p. 2. , viewed 10 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article215906689

Witchcraft in South Australia: Part III: Australian Laws

Witchcraft in South Australia:

Part III:

Australian Laws

Last blog we looked at Witchcraft laws around the world, this week we will be looking at the Australian States and Territories and laws regarding witchcraft that have been repealed or are still in place.
New South Wales 

The Witchcraft Act of 1735 was repealed by the Imperial Acts Application Act, 1969 (NSW),

The offence of fortune telling, [Section 4(2)(n) of the Vagrancy Act, 1902 (NSW)] was repealed by the Summary Offences Act (Repeal) Act, 1979 (NSW). New South Wales currently has no Witchcraft Act.


Northern Territory
The Northern Territory still had The Witchcraft Act of 1735 (9 Geo. 2 c. 5) as law as late as 2013. (Smail, 2013). The Act was repealed and replaced under the Summary Offences Act 2016 57(1)(d). In the Northern Territory Act, a person commits an offence if they pretend to “…tell fortunes, or uses any subtle craft, means, or device, by palmistry or otherwise, to deceive and impose upon a person”. (NT Gov. 2016).

Queensland 
 Witchcraft in Queensland was covered in The Criminal Code -Section 432, which stated; “Any person who pretends to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration, or undertakes to tell fortunes, or pretends from his skill or knowledge in any occult science to discover where or in what manner anything supposed to have been stolen or lost may be found, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.”
 However, the code was changed in 2005, and “witchcraft” perse, is not mentioned, however via invoking Public Nuisance laws, psychics committing fraud can still be charged with a crime.

South Australia
The Statutes Amendment and Repeal (Public Offences) Act, 1991 abolished the Witchcraft laws in SA.

However, the 1991 Act came with a new section, Section 40. A person who, with intent to defraud purports to act as a spiritualist or medium or to exercise powers of telepathy or clairvoyance or other similar powers, is guilty of an offence.


Victoria
Victoria was the last Australian State to repeal a witchcraft act, which happened in 2005 with the “Vagrancy (Repeal) and Summary Offences (Amendment) Act 2005”, prior to this repeal the law in Victoria Stated:
Section 13 of the Vagrancy Act 1958 which is entitled ‘Fortune Telling and Pretending to Exercise Witchcraft, etc’:
Any person who pretends or professes to tell fortunes or uses any subtle craft means or device by palmistry or otherwise to defraud or impose on any other person or pretends to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft sorcery enchantment or conjuration or pretends from his skill or knowledge in any occult or crafty science to discover where or in what manner any goods or chattels stolen or lost may be found shall be guilty of an offence. (AAP, 2005)

Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT have no laws against witchcraft.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018

Bibliography
AAP, 2005, Victoria clears witches for take-off, Fairfax Media, viewed 9 April 2018, https://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Victoria-clears-witches-for-takeoff/2005/07/21/1121539075041.html

Smail, S, 2013, Northern Territory government to repeal centuries-old witchcraft, tarot card law, ABC News, viewed 9 April 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-17/northern-territory-to-ditch-their-witchcraft-law/4894086

Northern Territory Government, 2016, Legislation, NT Government, viewed 9 April 2018, https://legislation.nt.gov.au/Legislation/SUMMARY-OFFENCES-ACT

Witchcraft in South Australia: Part III: Australian Laws

Witchcraft in South Australia:

Part III:

Australian Laws

Last blog we looked at Witchcraft laws around the world, this week we will be looking at the Australian States and Territories and laws regarding witchcraft that have been repealed or are still in place.
New South Wales 

The Witchcraft Act of 1735 was repealed by the Imperial Acts Application Act, 1969 (NSW),

The offence of fortune telling, [Section 4(2)(n) of the Vagrancy Act, 1902 (NSW)] was repealed by the Summary Offences Act (Repeal) Act, 1979 (NSW). New South Wales currently has no Witchcraft Act.


Northern Territory
The Northern Territory still had The Witchcraft Act of 1735 (9 Geo. 2 c. 5) as law as late as 2013. (Smail, 2013). The Act was repealed and replaced under the Summary Offences Act 2016 57(1)(d). In the Northern Territory Act, a person commits an offence if they pretend to “…tell fortunes, or uses any subtle craft, means, or device, by palmistry or otherwise, to deceive and impose upon a person”. (NT Gov. 2016).

Queensland 
 Witchcraft in Queensland was covered in The Criminal Code -Section 432, which stated; “Any person who pretends to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration, or undertakes to tell fortunes, or pretends from his skill or knowledge in any occult science to discover where or in what manner anything supposed to have been stolen or lost may be found, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.”
 However, the code was changed in 2005, and “witchcraft” per-se, is not mentioned, however via invoking Public Nuisance laws, psychics committing fraud can still be charged with a crime.

South Australia
The Statutes Amendment and Repeal (Public Offences) Act, 1991 abolished the Witchcraft laws in SA.

However, the 1991 Act came with a new section, Section 40. A person who, with intent to defraud purports to act as a spiritualist or medium or to exercise powers of telepathy or clairvoyance or other similar powers, is guilty of an offence.


Victoria
Victoria was the last Australian State to repeal a witchcraft act, which happened in 2005 with the “Vagrancy (Repeal) and Summary Offences (Amendment) Act 2005”, prior to this repeal the law in Victoria Stated:
Section 13 of the Vagrancy Act 1958 which is entitled ‘Fortune Telling and Pretending to Exercise Witchcraft, etc’:
Any person who pretends or professes to tell fortunes or uses any subtle craft means or device by palmistry or otherwise to defraud or impose on any other person or pretends to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft sorcery enchantment or conjuration or pretends from his skill or knowledge in any occult or crafty science to discover where or in what manner any goods or chattels stolen or lost may be found shall be guilty of an offence. (AAP, 2005)

Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT have no laws against witchcraft.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018

Bibliography
AAP, 2005, Victoria clears witches for take-off, Fairfax Media, viewed 9 April 2018, https://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Victoria-clears-witches-for-takeoff/2005/07/21/1121539075041.html

Smail, S, 2013, Northern Territory government to repeal centuries-old witchcraft, tarot card law, ABC News, viewed 9 April 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-17/northern-territory-to-ditch-their-witchcraft-law/4894086

Northern Territory Government, 2016, Legislation, NT Government, viewed 9 April 2018, https://legislation.nt.gov.au/Legislation/SUMMARY-OFFENCES-ACT

"Accidental Death or “Spontaneous Human Combustion” – Gawler


I thought this week we might return to a blog wrote on The Haunts of Adelaide back on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 titled Accidental Death or “Spontaneous Human Combustion” (found here: http://hauntedadelaide.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/accidental-death-or-spontaneous-human.html)
This was a story I uncovered whilst researching various stories in my hometown of Gawler, that I thought interesting enough to be made public. 
To sum up the story, it is about Mrs Margaret Nicholls, and elderly and feeble lady who took up residence in a small cottage in Gawler, owned by Mary Broderick. The cottage was situated on Finniss street in Gawler
On June 30th, 1883 Mrs Nicholls was found dead and there was much speculation as to how she died…some believed she was smoking in bed, and caused her bed clothes to ignite, thus burning her to death, others believed that a candle she often had lit as she went to bed, caused a fire on a nearby chair, that then took hold of her bedding, burning the poor woman to death.
The official outcome by a jury after the inquest held in Mrs Nicholls Death:


“That the deceased was accidentally burnt to death, but there was no evidence to show how the fire originated.” [1]

It would seem my questioning of the details of the case have come into question, particularly for propping that it could POSSIBLY be a case of spontaneous human combustion, but with the above conclusion by the jury, and evidence supplied by local Police Constable Doherty, once can speculate that the possibility of spontaneous human combustion is entirely possible! (please note, I have NEVER said it has been proven either way as to what caused the fire).
Evidence given by Police Constable M. Doherty, Gawler Police, during the inquest. (printed in the South Australian Advertiser Mon 2ndJuly 1883.)
He was called at 7.30 a.m. on Saturday to deceased’s house. He saw some feathers on the floor and in the back yard. Thos. Hutchins pointed out the remains of the deceased. A portion of the right foot was lying nearly under the front bar of the bedstead. The left foot was about a yard distant from the other. The whole of the trunk was consumed, as were also the legs and arms—in fact everything but the head.
The head was burning when he arrived, and he put water upon it. There were some portions of flannel wrappers round the neck, and the head had been covered by calico pinned tightly round. There were no stockings on the feet, and there was about five or six inches of the shin attached to the left foot. A portion of the mattress had been burned.
There was no trace of any bedclothes on the floor besides those which were around the head.
What we DO know about Mrs Nicholls death. She was not smoking in bed at the time. The fire was not caused by a pipe that threw ashes into the bed, as speculated in one newspaper, there was no conclusive proof of a candle, or any other fire source being present in the room.
 The evidence of an accidental death by fire was so inclusive that a jury of police, doctors and other learned people could not find a conclusion for the fire, nor how Mrs Nicholls body could be so fire ravaged that only sections of her remained, yet other furniture and rugs in the room had no damage from flames…with regard to the statements above, taken from the inquest report, one can speculate, as I did, that spontaneous human combustion is entirely possible in this situation!
We can all come to our own conclusions about what happened to Mrs Nicholls, but we cannot deny the jury’s outcome, or the inquest outcome. We can also not deny the amazing similarities between the circumstances of Mrs Nicholls death, and the state of her body, against those of other spontaneous human combustion cases around the world. 
Was it spontaneous human combustion? We will never know…rest in peace Mrs Nicholls…
Researched & Written by Allen Tiller  – 2017 Emerging South Australian Historian of the Year.
More About Spontaneous Human Co
mbustion.
 
Arnold, Larry E. Ablaze! The Mysterious Fires of Spontaneous Human Combustion. New York: M. Evans & Co., 1996.
Howard K, 2017. Spontaneous Human Combustion: Fact Or Fiction?. All That is Interesting, viewed 17 November 2017, http://all-that-is-interesting.com/spontaneous-human-combustion
1883 ‘DEATH BY BURNING.’, The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 – 1889), 2 July, p. 6. , viewed 17 Nov 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33765005


[1] 1883 ‘DEATH BY BURNING.’, The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 – 1889), 2 July, p. 6. , viewed 17 Nov 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33765005