A white witch has warned Halloween lovers wanting to dabble in the dark arts to be careful of unscrupulous groups looking to exploit them.

Kevin Carlyon, the high priest of British white witches, based in Hastings, warned that vulnerable people were being taken advantage of by cults after a huge resurgence of interest in witchcraft.

The 54-year-old has warned that some unscrupulous figures posing as experts in the occult would use people for money or sexual gain.

He also warned that some groups were stealing animals from Sussex farmland and removing their genitals for use in flying ointments.

Mr Carlyon, from Hastings, estimated that nearly 20,000 people in Sussex alone identified themselves as pagans and said that its recent popularity was due in part to the internet and a more positive spin that programmes like Charmed had created around witchcraft.


He said: “The people trying to exploit this popularity range from some very clever people to some idiots who advertise saying send us some money and we will give you a reading and they just take the money.

“There are groups in Brighton that try to exploit vulnerable people, usually girls, by attracting them with promises of how to get rich or how to get your ideal boyfriend.

“Sometimes they will get them to take part in a ritual by Skype where they will encourage them to take their clothes off. They are basically grooming these people and then they make it difficult for them to get out.

“My advice to these victims would be to ring the police.”

Mr Carlyon said Hastings had become the occult capital of the UKwith many attempting to followin the footsteps of renowned occultists Aleister Crowley and Alex Sanders.

He said he would be celebrating Halloween by carrying out love, health and fertility rituals in Battle Woods with about 25 people.

Mr Carlyon said his rituals were much more potent at Halloween as he was able to “physically nick” energy from other people’s parties.

He said there was nothing wrong with practising with Ouija boards and tarot cards as long as it was properly supervised.

He added: “People should have a bit of fun as long as it is properly supervised.

“I do use a Ouija board to try and contact the spirits.

“It’s a bit like a mobile phone.

You just need to know who you are calling or who is calling you.

“If used wrongly you won’t get heads spinning around or green slime, but it could bring some frightening experiences.”