"I Have Done Nothing, Is There No God" Helen Duncan - The Last Person Found Guilty of Witchraft

Victoria Helen McCrae Duncan was the last woman to be ever be charged and found guilty in the United Kingdom of witchcraft.

During the second world war in 1944, Helen Duncan was performing a séance. She apparently brought out the spirit of a sailor who had died onboard a ship from the Royal Navy. She did this by, breathing out ectoplasm from her mouth. This apparition, a serviceman wore a hat with the words HMS Barham printed on it and told the gathering that he had been drowned as the ship sunk battling with the enemy.

The importance of this séance was not realized until later, due to the fact she was exposed numerous times as a fake. 

The HMS Barham had been sunk several hours after the séance took place and at first the government denied the ship sinking at all. A few months later the authorities came and arrested her, interrupting her in the middle of a séance she was preforming. She had become a threat to national security, at the time of the séance the British military were planning D-Day, the invasion of Europe. She was charged with an array of different fraud charges.

She was prosecuted under the Witchcraft Act of 1735, and imprisoned, which just goes to show you how desperate the British Government was willing to go, using such outdated and draconian laws.

She screamed in the court house when found guilty; 

"I have done nothing, is there a god?"

She received a 9 month prison sentence, which kept her out of the limelight until after the D-Day invasion took place.

In 1951, the Witchcraft Act was withdrawn and repealed, the Fraudulent Mediums Act took it's place. 

As soon as Helen was released, she was back at performing her séances. Authorities arrested her again in 1956 while she was under a complete trance, she went into shock and had to be hospitalized, within 5 weeks of the raid she was dead.

A campaign to this day continues to clear her name and acknowledge the large volume of evidence that suggests she did have the power and the abilities claimed and was indeed a genuine clairvoyant.

Dog Brindle

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