Thursday, May 22, 2008

Beware Lynn Knight!

Do you believe in witches and wizards? Do you believe in them so much that you would light up one of your neighbors and watch them burn? Well that's how things work in some parts of Africa, I guess.

Check out this little gem from

Mob burns to death 11 'witches, wizards'

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Officials say a mob has burned to death 11 people suspected of being witches and wizards in western Kenya.

Deputy police spokesman Charles Owino says the mob hunted down the 8 women and 3 men in two villages in the western Kenya district of Kisii Central. Owino says most of the victims were between 70 years old and 90 years old. Only one of the victims was 40 years old.

Senior administrator Njoroge Ndirangu says the mob used a list to hunt down people they said are suspected witches and wizards.

He added: "These people identified who is to be killed by accusing their victims of bewitching their sons and daughters." Ndirangu is the commissioner in charge of Kisii Central district.

Wow! Okay, lightning bolt scar on the forehead aside, how exactly are you supposed to prove that someone is a witch or a wizard? There's no need to come up with your own list of clues as angry mobs have long since discovered the ways of witch witting.

For those who weren't able to follow the accents, here's the script from one of Monty Python's Holy Grail fan sites.

FIRST VILLAGER: We have found a witch. May we burn her?

ALL: A Witch! Burn her!

BEDEVERE: How do you know she is a witch?

ALL: She looks like one. Yes, she does.

BEDEVERE: Bring her forward.

They bring her forward - a beautiful YOUNG GIRL (MISS ISLINGTON) dressed up as a witch.
WITCH: I am not a witch. I am not a witch.

BEDEVERE: But you are dressed as one.

WITCH: They dressed me up like this.

ALL: We didn't, we didn't!

WITCH: This is not my nose, It is a false one.

BEDEVERE takes her nose off.


FIRST VILLAGER: ... Well, we did do the nose.

BEDEVERE: The nose?

FIRST VILLAGER: And the hat. But she is a witch.

ALL: A witch, a witch, burn her!

BEDEVERE: Did you dress her up like this?

FIRST VILLAGER: ... Um ... Yes ... no ... a bit ... yes... she has got a wart.

BEDEVERE: Why do you think she is a witch?

SECOND VILLAGER: She turned me into a newt.


SECOND VILLAGER: (After looking at himself for some time)
I got better.

ALL: Burn her anyway.

BEDEVERE: Quiet! Quiet! There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.

ARTHUR and PATSY ride up at this point and watch what follows with interest

ALL: There are? Tell up. What are they, wise Sir Bedevere?

BEDEVERE: Tell me ... what do you do with witches?

ALL: Burn them.

BEDEVERE: And what do you burn, apart from witches?


BEDEVERE: So why do witches burn?

SECOND VILLAGER: (pianissimo) ... Because they're made of wood...?


PEASANTS stir uneasily then come round to this conclusion.

ALL: I see. Yes, of course.

BEDEVERE: So how can we tell if she is made of wood?

FIRST VILLAGER: Make a bridge out of her.

BEDEVERE: Ah ... but can you not also make bridges out of stone?

ALL: Ah. Yes, of course ... um ... err ...

BEDEVERE: Does wood sink in water?

ALL: No, no, It floats. Throw her in the pond Tie weights on her. To the pond.

BEDEVERE: Wait. Wait ... tell me, what also floats on water?

ALL: Bread? No, no, no. Apples .... gravy ... very small rocks ...

ARTHUR: A duck.

They all turn and look at ARTHUR. BEDEVERE looks up very impressed.

BEDEVERE: Exactly. So... logically ...

FIRST VILLAGER: (beginning to pick up the thread) If she ... weighs the same as a duck ... she's made of wood.

BEDEVERE: And therefore?

ALL: A witch! ... A duck! A duck! Fetch a duck.

FOURTH VILLAGER: Here is a duck, Sir Bedevere.

BEDEVERE: We shall use my largest scales.

He leads them a few yards to a very strange contraption indeed, made
of wood and rope and leather. They put the GIRL in one pan and the
duck in another. Each pan is supported by a wooden stave. BEDEVERE
checks each pan then ... ARTHUR looks on with interest.

BEDEVERE: Remove the supports.

Two PEASANTS knock them away with sledge hammers. The GIRL and the
duck swing slightly but balance perfectly.

ALL: A witch! A witch!

WITCH: It's a fair cop.

All: Burn her! Burn her! Let's make her into a ladder.

The VILLAGERS drag the girl away, leaving ARTHUR and BEDEVERE
regarding each other admiringly.