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Magical Burley comes to life
A BEWITCHING day was had in Burley on Saturday when witches, wizards, ghouls and ghosts flew into the village for the day.
Children in fancy dress played a host of old fashioned Halloween games, including apple bobbing and pumpkin carving.
The village has been synonymous with witchcraft since former Burley resident, the late Sybil Leek, announced she was a white witch in the late 1950s.
Sybil – dubbed the world’s most famous witch by the BBC – was born in 1917 to a wealthy family who had a history of witchcraft dating back to the 16th century.
As as child, Sybil learned much from her father about nature, animals and the power of herbs, while her grandmother taught her astrology. The Leek family played host to scholar HG Wells and it is understood that occultist Aleister Crowley was a family friend.
Sybil, who lived in a house behind the shop Lawfords of Burley in the late 1950s, caused a media storm when she announced she was a white witch – the Witchcraft Act was only repealed in 1951.
Although the village thrived on the tourism and visitors, some people were not so happy about the extra traffic and noise. Sybil’s landlord eventually asked her to move out.
She flew to America in April, 1964 and went on to do numerous TV and radio programmes.
She wrote more than 60 books on the occult and esoteric subjects until she died in Florida in 1982.
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