A Canadian Witch-Hunt?

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  September 9, 2007 — 1 Comment

A family in Halifax have been threatened, and their friends beaten and stabbed, reportedly because they are Witches. According to Shauna Cook, locals in her neighborhood have targeted her for harassment because of her appearance and beliefs, this came to a head on Saturday when two acquaintances leaving her house were attacked by six youths. One was stabbed in the back, the other hit with a thrown rock.

Shauna Cook with one of her children.

“Shortly after midnight on Saturday, an 18-year-old woman and a 17-year-old boy were leaving Cook’s house to catch the bus when they were approached by four male teenagers, who asked the pair where they were going. After saying they were going home, the boy was attacked. Two more people jumped into the fight, making it six attackers in all. The young woman ran back to Cook’s house and tried to phone police. While on the phone, one of the attackers threw a rock through a window and hit her in the forehead. Meanwhile, the 17-year old boy was being beaten and stabbed in the back before he made it back to the house himself. The attackers then fled. The attack came weeks after Cook’s family was swarmed by bat-wielding assailants.”

Adding more complexity to this case is the fact that the alleged harassers and attackers are all black, and accused Cook of being a white supremacist, a claim that Cook denies.

“Cook says she has no doubt her friends were attacked partly because she is a hedge-witch. She explains her religion as a more traditional form of wicca. She says her neighbors don’t understand her religion and call her a white supremacist, which she says is simply not true. “I stand out like a sore thumb,” Cook said, adding her black clothes and the cloaks she occasionally wears, not to mention her grammatically correct English, makes her different. The latest bout of anti-witch violence has her moving her kids to the Annapolis Valley to be with her mother.”

Sadly the article doesn’t go into any more depth and try to interview her neighbors or former business associates in the community to see if religious prejudices were indeed the motivating factor. But religiously motivated or not, it is clear that this sort of violence is indefensible and should be prosecuted to the fullest measure. Until we get more answers, we will have to wonder if Halifax truly isn’t safe for Witches.

ADDENDUM: A friend and associate of Shauna Cook reveals more details of the attack:

“For the record, of the six individuals, at least 2 were white. They have not been named yet due to fear of retaliation. Therefore, this is not a case of blacks against whites … Ms. Cook does not have any dealings with her neighbors. She doesn’t throw slurs or insults. Her children don’t associate with the attackers. And yet, the year this family spent in this particular neighborhood has been tense- for lack of a better word.”

So perhaps this really is about her being a Witch.

Jason Pitzl-Waters