The World’s Unexplained; Part 2


Sarah Lemos

A most notable city here in the United States of America is New Orleans as they are known for their voodoo practices. The vibrant town is located down in Louisiana by the bayou.

Sarah Lemos, Photojounalist

Curiosity killed the cat as most people acknowledge, but why do people question what they don’t understand? The human mind identifies the unknown as dangerous and a potential threat to its existence. Religion has been no stranger to misbeliefs about themself, but sometimes the mind begins to fear what the people who walk beside it are practicing. Throughout history, people have blamed many mishaps on some religions and people who practice them. The picture has already been painted for witches who walk the earth. They stand hunched over with a pointy hat, long nose, and green skin. Voodoo practitioners are imagined to be horrifying people who act selfishly and use their ability for evil. People who are a part of the satanic faith are believed to be worshipping Lucifer as the Christian faith tells. The spread of misbeliefs can add damaging effects to those who practice these unfamiliar religions.


Everywhere in the world, people have believed in unseen powers that lurked in every part of their lives. Villages were said to have had a shaman, wise man, and such to treat the sick and unfortunate. Witches have many different meanings especially throughout history. Looking at each time period the meaning changes from person to person. Queen Elizabeth was given a ring that was said to protect her from the black plaque to which she had survived. Javier Deanda (11) gave his personal views on the presence of witchcraft throughout history, “It’s interesting to know that there are many forms of the idea of witchcraft. It’s not solely just one idea, it has branches to it.” During the 16th century though, the life of witches took a turn for the worse as witch hunts would spread. After the famous witch trials, the reputation took a turn for the worst as they were most connected to Satan and bad spirits. 


Many ideas of what a witch is are known about in the world, but what truly makes a witch? The definition of a witch is a person (especially a woman) who is credited with having usually malignant supernatural powers ( The most well-known type of witch is a satanic witch, or commonly known as a biblical witch, as these types of witches sparked many different witch hunts. These types of witches can be found in many famous films like Hocus Pocus (1993). Male witches aren’t often found in the ideology of witchcraft, but the sword and shield type is where they are most apparent. However, the sword and shield witch is the least connected to the human world and shows up more in games and shows. Pagan witches are the more nature-based type of witches to exist and are far from the idea of satanic witches. Wicca’s power comes from one’s well being and emotions. They are more known to make potions, read tarot cards, burn candles, dance in rituals, and study the stars. Their power comes from the earth and they believe what they do is to help return more to its natural form. The movie type of witches are more connected to the biblical witch but don’t show connections to satan. How this type of magic originated is unknown, but some have it passed down through the family as seen in Harry Potter.


Around the 16th and 17th centuries, an Afro-Caribbean religion originated in Haiti. The beliefs of Voodoo can be traced to the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Jamaica, and the United States. Many forms of religion can be found all over the world. Today, over four million people practice Voodoo worldwide. Down in the city of New Orleans, USA, has many spots intriguing the curious minds of visitors. Voodoo has become more well-known due to movies like Princess and The Frog (2009) and television shows like American Horror Story. This gave many viewers a misunderstanding of what they actually practice. In reality, religion comes from traditions of ancestor worship and animism. While the reputation it holds has a dark and sinister side, people who practice it say religion is more peaceful than what people think. Those who partake in Voodoo only believe in one god and communicate to him through many spirits and shrines. The meaning behind Voodoo is spirit. The danger comes in when you disobey a spirit’s wishes, especially as a priest. Voodoo can be commonly found in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and parts of The United States. As this religion grows, so will the misbeliefs, but to educate oneself about it helps an entire community of people. 


One religion that faces many misbeliefs is satanism due to the image many have painted of it. The religion was founded in 1966 by Anton Szandor LaVey who has written many books explaining just what the religion is. He was seen as an outsider which became a key part of the religion. During his youth, LaVey was a part of a circus working to become a lion tamer but soon realized people will pay to be tricked. After leaving the circus, he began to study the occult and magic which soon formed the church of satan. Satanism has been believed to worship satan, the devil, or Lucifer. The religion has actually been deemed atheist meaning they believe in no god.  Satan is a Latin word for adversary or opposition. The word satan is a symbol of self liberty. People describe religion as more self-focused and they believe in themself. Satanism does not take part in sacrifices as they do not believe in a higher power. In the 1980s, many people believed satanism practitioners were harming animals and babies; however, the church has deemed any harm against any living thing is prohibited in its rules. The religion does take part in rituals, but as a way to purge themself of emotions. They use rituals as a way for emotional stimulation, but they aren’t calling for any demons and such. Satanism does believe in science and math and views numbers very importantly. The church has no beliefs in the number 666 as it holds no value. The upside-down cross has no connection to the faith despite what the Hollywood film, The Exorcist (1973), seems to portray. One figure that is a part of the religion is the Goat of Mendes. He represents the duality of man, the good and the bad. To ignore one side makes a person unbalanced and unhappy. This unknown religion terrifies people, it can actually be interpreted as people when the misconceptions are set aside.


While many misbeliefs still roam the human mind, the truth can be found deep in those who practice these religions. To understand what is unknown is to be educated on faith. Religion can be found everywhere as over 4,300 different types exist today. Whether or not these religions’ beliefs are true. We wonder if curiosity really did kill the cat.