NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, Eng An unusual upswing in the number of complaints made to the police in one area of Nottinghamshire is concerning both local and national Pagans.
Ashfield North saw 87 calls referring to Witches in 2016, and 38 in the previous year. These figures released to the Nottingham Evening Post as part of police statistics under a freedom of information request is extremely high compared to other parts of the country, and the reason for it remains unclear.
Local experts in the paranormal have suggested that some of these complaints relate to Witchcraft carried out in the past, but local Pagans are becoming concerned that the ordinary practices found in modern Pagan paths are also being reported as sinister.
Ashley Mortimer, director of the Nottingham Pagan Network, said, Thirty eight reports out of 44 [paranormal incidents in Ashfield North] says more to me about the level of reporting than necessarily about the level of witchcraft activity.
I think peoples understanding of Witchcraft is misconstrued and has been for centuries, Mortimer told a local reporter. Weve actually had a bad press for a long time.
In that same interview, Mortimer explained to the mainstream press that Witchcraft is a modern-day interpretation of ancient Pagan beliefs.  Its about believing in nature, and having the divine imminent in nature, personified and recognised as a lunar goddess and a solar god. But witchcraft is only one small part of modern-day Paganism. If you were to see someone dont be alarmed were quite happy to explain to people. But I dont like them being seen as sinister, because it isnt sinister.
Mortimer also noted that Pagans are the sixth biggest faith group in Nottinghamshire, as per the 2011 census.
In a conversation with The Wild Hunt, Mortimer said that he thinks the complaints might be the work of one serial reporter but that the released figures contain no specific information on what the substance of the calls to police might be.
One clue might lie in claims made by the Ashfield-based paranormal magazine Haunted. It statesthatits paranormal team has encountered several potential incidents of Witchcraft in the area, and at one point felt surrounded by not very nice people.
In an article for that magazine, James Pykett, part of the Haunted LIVE paranormal investigation team and owner of the Facebook page Haunted Nottinghamshirewas quoted as saying, Its no surprise to be honest, we investigate all over Nottinghamshire and as most of the boys are from this area, locations are easily accessible in Ashfield and we have had lots of paranormal activity.
As for Witchcraft, lets just say that I can easily understand why there has been 87 reports of Witchcraft in Ashfield North.
He did not elaborate any further. However, Jason Wall, also part of the paranormal team, added: Recently we were on the Teversal Trail, and it felt like we were being watched, we picked up a lot of female names and it felt like we were being circled.
However, it would seem that this was a matter of psychic impression rather than the presence of living people.
Nottingham has been in the news before in connection with complaints made against Paganism, notably an episode of Satanic Panic in 1988, which saw a number of children taken into care from a city estate after multi-generational incest and abuse.
However, the police concluded that there was no evidence of Satanism or indeed Witchcraft being involved in that enquiry, but this was disputed by social services.The children concerned spoke of a number of structures, including underground rooms beneath churches, being the scene of Satanic ceremonies. None were found..
In 1989, the Nottingham Police/Social Services Joint Enquiry Team (JET) concluded in a report:
We had not found any physical corroborative evidence in the Broxtowe case and no longer believed the childrens diaries substantiated the claim of Satanic abuse. In our view they reflected other influences and were open to alternative interpretations. Our research indicated that nobody else [in other countries] had found corroborative physical evidence either.
All the evidence for its existence appears to be based upon disturbed children and adults claiming involvement during interviews by social workers, psychiatrists, and Church Ministers who already themselves believed in its existence. It seemed possible that Satanic abuse only existed in the minds of people who wanted or needed to believe in it.
There is no evidence that the complaints today and the episode in 1988 are connected, but local Pagans hope that the recent sharp rise in the complaints being made to the police are not a resurgence of the mindset that led to the 1988 allegations.
A spokesperson for the Nottinghamshire police recently noted: We are very busy dealing with genuine calls for service and receiving calls about paranormal activity, UFOs and witches may delay our ability to pick up the phone to someone in real need of help.
- What It Really Means To Be A Satanist - Kerrang! - March 5th, 2020
- Pittchcraft: The true history of Wicca and Witchcraft - University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News - March 5th, 2020
- 10 Bands Who Have Been Banned By The Church - Kerrang! - March 5th, 2020
- CHLOE WYMA ON THE ART OF AGNES PELTON - Artforum - March 5th, 2020
- A Modern Witch's Guide to Paris: Where to Find the Occult and Esoteric - Frenchly - February 4th, 2020
- Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Conjures Up a Strong Season 3 - The Spool - January 27th, 2020
- Best Documentaries of '19 - Fort Worth Weekly - January 17th, 2020
- Sam Dunn: The Journey of the World's Most Famous Headbanger - Daily Hawker - January 17th, 2020
- Fears Hampshire Horse Ripper has returned after 26 years and psycho culprit could be next Ian Brady - The Sun - January 14th, 2020
- Occult symbols found on New Forest animals killed, and in church vandalism - The Wild Hunt - December 6th, 2019
- Concert Review: Spinal Taps Derek Smalls Revives Mock-Rock at the Wiltern - Variety - November 11th, 2019
- Curro pupil speaks: 'Stop the satanic panic, art is meant to provoke thought' - News24 - October 27th, 2019
- Creepy countdown the 20 scariest horror movies of all time - NNY360 - October 27th, 2019
- What does it mean to be a modern witch? 3 real-life witches share their experiences - Vogue India - October 23rd, 2019
- Judas Priests Rob Halford: The metal community has always been inclusive, yet weve been kicked around like a football over the years - NME.com - October 23rd, 2019
- The 20 scariest horror movies of all time - The Columbus Dispatch - October 20th, 2019
- What are the 20 scariest horror movies of all time? - Peoria Journal Star - October 20th, 2019
- I'm a founder of the Satanic Temple. Don't blame Satan for white supremacy. - Washington Post - August 25th, 2017
- Wash Post column cheers Satan, jeers Christians - WND.com - August 25th, 2017
- The Devil's Cradle: The Story of Finnish Black Metal - The Gauntlet - August 25th, 2017
- Court orders new trial in satanic sacrificial murder case - RT - August 25th, 2017
- We Asked Diehard Swedish Metalheads What They Consider to be 'Metal' - Noisey - August 22nd, 2017
- A Brief But Very Informative History of How Fascists Infiltrated Punk and Metal - Noisey - August 22nd, 2017
- Why Some Christians Are Calling White Supremacy 'Satanic' - HuffPost - August 20th, 2017
- Satanic Leader Calls Upon Christian America to Face Their Contribution to Racist Right - Patheos (blog) - August 16th, 2017
- Nottinghamshire sees increase in Witchcraft complaints - The Wild Hunt - August 11th, 2017
- Secular doctors are realizing that demonic possession is real, and needs special attention - Catholic Online - August 8th, 2017
- Nocturnes Mist announce Sept 15th release of "Diabolical Baptism" - The Gauntlet - August 6th, 2017
- 'Embrace ICT with caution' - The Herald - August 4th, 2017
- Kangaroo Court: Of Chief Lundu orders to ban ECG church - Nyasa Times - August 3rd, 2017
- How the Satanic Temple Became a Queer Haven - VICE - July 24th, 2017
- Coltrain: Satanism and paganism are not the same thing - The Daily Iowan - July 20th, 2017
- theartsdesk on Vinyl 30: Moby, The Beach Boys, Napalm Death, John Coltrane and more - The Arts Desk - July 13th, 2017
- Satanism Making Comeback Through Witchcraft and Atheism: Rabbi - Breaking Israel News - June 27th, 2017
- Theistic Satanism - Wikipedia - June 24th, 2017
- Outlast 2 Garishly Exploits Your Sexual Hangups For Horror - Paste Magazine - June 24th, 2017
- Ritual Skulls and Other Magical Objects, in Photos - Atlas Obscura - June 24th, 2017
- Christians and Jews Combat Witches' Summer Solstice Satanic Spells on Trump - CBN News - June 22nd, 2017
- Paganism Is Back! Now What Are We Christians Going to Do? - Patheos (blog) - June 22nd, 2017
- The Occult Roots of Modernism - The New Yorker - June 19th, 2017
- Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture - Chris ... - June 17th, 2017
- Witch Hunts, Resurgence and Defiance: Heavy Metal In The Middle East - The Quietus - June 12th, 2017
- The Alt-Right Is the Modern, Hideous Face of White Supremacy - AlterNet - June 12th, 2017
- Understanding contemporary white supremacy: Is the alt-right really something new? - Salon - June 11th, 2017
- Catholic Priest: MN Park's New Monument Will Attract Satanists Who Want to Molest Kids - Patheos (blog) - June 7th, 2017
- The Gallows Pole By Benjamin Myers: A Playlist - The Quietus - June 6th, 2017
- Exclusive: Bloody Hammers Use Old School Horror For Blood Video ... - Dread Central - June 3rd, 2017
- We are using witchcraft, Satanism and magic confesses ... - June 3rd, 2017
- Pagan Community Notes: Memorial Day, Manchester, Pagan Dawn, and more! - The Wild Hunt - May 30th, 2017
- What witch-hunters can teach us - The Daily News of Newburyport - May 26th, 2017
- Column: What witch-hunters can teach us about today's world ... - Gloucester Daily Times - May 23rd, 2017
- Duterte to Trump: What witch-finders can teach us about today's popular leaders - Philippine Star - May 18th, 2017
- Alison Sampson & Steve Niles Stir Up Satanic Panic in Winnebago Graveyard - Paste Magazine - May 17th, 2017
- Exposing Satanism and Witchcraft - May 11th, 2017
- Ghost Rider De-Mystified Part 1 - Movie TV Tech Geeks News - May 9th, 2017
- Meet the modern-day Pagans who celebrate the ancient gods - Salon - May 7th, 2017
- Satanism is Becoming More Saintlike Than Catholicism - ComicsVerse - May 6th, 2017
- Neo-Pagan Witchcraft vs Satanism - May 4th, 2017
- Taken For Granted Ghostbusters - 411mania.com - April 27th, 2017
- Report: Aaron Hernandez Drew 'Illuminati' Symbols in Blood - Heavy.com - April 23rd, 2017
- TEST SPIN: Ulver The Assassination of Julius Caesar - Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun - April 21st, 2017
- Forgotten American Religion Finds Home in India: Selective Consciousness and Increased Awareness at the ... - Huffington Post - April 15th, 2017
- In literature and art from over 100 years ago, images of the cow as mother - The Indian Express - April 5th, 2017
- 5 Things You Got Wrong About Modern Witchcraft And Those Who ... - PopWrapped Entertainment Group (blog) - March 31st, 2017
- Neo-vlkisch movements - Wikipedia - March 27th, 2017
- An Intro to LaVeyan Satanism and the Church of Satan - March 27th, 2017
- No hats or brooms: ASU witches express individuality within own ... - The State Press - March 27th, 2017
- DOOMguy Knows How You Feel - lareviewofbooks - March 17th, 2017
- 'Bible torching,' 'neo-satanic' college group planned 'lamb sacrifice' at Clemson University - TheBlaze.com - March 17th, 2017
- The Awolowo Legacy And Its Message For Nigerian Youths | The ... - The News - March 9th, 2017
- Witchcraft is the new feminism - NME.com (blog) - March 5th, 2017
- How Does the New Turkish Curriculum Look Like? Conservative Changes Dominate - PoliticalCritique.org - March 2nd, 2017
- Delusions of Antiquity - Splice Today - February 24th, 2017
- Coming to America: The History of Mail-Order Brides - Utne Reader Online - February 20th, 2017
- Zeal & Ardor Devil is Fine: Album Stream - The Independent - February 20th, 2017
- Deconstructing Pagan religions - Daily News & Analysis - February 18th, 2017
- Weekly roundup of world briefs from JTA - Heritage Florida Jewish ... - Heritage Florida Jewish News - February 18th, 2017
- Female cultism in Nigerian universities and other dangerous cults ... - NAIJ.COM - February 15th, 2017
- Russian lawmaker: Ancestors of Jewish politicians 'boiled us in cauldrons' - The Jewish Standard - February 15th, 2017
- Russian Lawmaker Says Jews Once 'Boiled Us In Cauldrons' - Forward - February 14th, 2017