Monday 18 November 2019

Self-proclaimed 'witch' takes 'world's best-known warlock' to court

Lori Sforza
Lori Sforza

A woman who calls herself a witch priestess is taking a self-proclaimed warlock to court over accusations of harassment.

Lori Sforza, who runs a Salem witchcraft shop and leads a pagan church, filed for court-ordered protection against harassment from Christian Day, whose website calls him the "world's best-known warlock".

She accused him of harassing her online and over the phone for three years, and the two will meet in court today.

A lawyer representing Mr Day declined to comment. He owns occult shops in Salem, Massachusetts, and New Orleans, according to his website. His lawyer said he lives in Louisiana.

The 75-year-old Ms Sforza is accusing Mr Day, 45, of repeatedly calling her late at night from a private number and swearing at her, said Fiore Porreca, a lawyer representing her.

Ms Sforza, who goes by the business name Lori Bruno, also alleged that Mr Day made malicious posts about her on social media.

"She's being abused, intimidated and harassed," Mr Porreca said.

The lawyer said the harassment has hurt his client's business. On her website, Ms Sforza calls herself a psychic and a clairvoyant.

She claims to be a descendent of Italian witches who healed victims of the bubonic plague. She is also the founder of Our Lord and Lady Of The Trinacrian Rose, a pagan church in Salem.

Salem's Festival of the Dead - which culminates in the Official Salem Witches' Halloween Ball on Halloween night - was created by Mr Day in 2003 and has expanded to include a psychic and witchcraft fair and a seance.

Ms Sforza and Mr Day were once business associates in Salem, Mr Porreca said.

They also made headlines in 2011 when they cast spells together to try to heal actor Charlie Sheen, who had called himself a "Vatican assassin warlock" during an interview on national television.

A judge is scheduled to hear the case today to decide whether Ms Sforza's allegations amount to harassment and if she needs court protection.

Salem, home of the 17th century witch trials, has a tourism industry built around the occult that reaches fever pitch in October.

The city is home to several witchcraft stores, museums dedicated to the trials and Halloween-themed attractions.

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