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Massachusetts Voodoo Ritual Injures Toddler

And you thought witchcraft in the Bay State went out with the Salem witch trials. Think again:

Two East Bridgewater women tied up, burned and disfigured a 5-year-old Randolph girl to rid her of a demon that was making her misbehave, according to East Bridgewater police. The women, who are facing multiple assault charges, also threatened to cut off the head of the girl’s 8-year-old brother in what police described as Haitian Voodoo rituals inside a home at 31 West Union St., in East Bridgewater.

The ritual was done upon the mother’s request, police said.

Peggy LaBossiere, 51, and her sister, Rachel Hilaire, 40, were held without bail Monday after pleading not guilty during their arraignments in Brockton District Court on charges of mayhem (the permanent disfigurement of a child’s face), assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a child with injury, indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 and threatening to commit a crime (murder). The women, who were arrested Jan. 26, appeared briefly again Thursday in court for a hearing to determine how dangerous they are. That hearing was continued.

The mother said she is of Haitian descent and believes in the religion of Voodoo, which originated in Haiti in the 18th century and is centered around the worship of spirits.

The hysteria that gripped old Danvers back in the late 17th century is, was, and probably always will be endemic to the human condition, but once expunged there's certainly no need to import it.