Saturday, November 13, 2004

6,500 Witches Attend 'Witchfest'

Wicca's world comes to town Nov 12 2004

MORE than 6,500 witches from across the world arrived in Croydon this weekend for Witchfest - the largest festival of its type.

But the gathering was not without its controversy, as a small protest was held at the Fairfield on Saturday morning.

One demonstrator stood outside with a board which read: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."

Last year, street preachers flew over from America to protest outside the event.

Inbaal, a 30-year-old Wiccan witch who lives in the Addington area, said: "The protest was very peaceful, although a megaphone was used which was not very good manners.

"They tried to approach me with fliers and probably thought they were doing a good thing."

The two-day event boasted a medley of mystics, stalls, talks, bands and performances.

For the first time there was a pre-Witchfest special performance of the Circus of Horrors the night before.

The circus was a fusion between daredevil and bizarre circus acts performed by a cast of 26, plus live rock 'n' roll music played by the X Factor, all joined together by an "Alice in Horror Land" theme.

The event was put together by the Children of Artemis, an organisation that promotes witchcraft and Wicca - an ancient pagan religion - in the UK.

It is claimed this is the largest witchcraft festival in the world, with people travelling from across Europe and the US to attend.