My voodoo mentor Earl Marlowe often waxed lyrical about the art of conjure and witchcraft. We’d walk the green and quiet routes in London – such as Highgate Woods and Hampstead Heath. During summer the tranquillity was like we were out walking in the countryside.

One time, Earl got onto the subject of serpents and horses, both of which he considered had great power in terms of conjuration. This is what he said:

“To bring a person to you, like maybe a prospective lover, you wanna take a few hairs from your head. Give them the name of the person you want to bring to you. Say it outloud. Place them in a bottle of rain water and put the bottle near the front of your house. In about three or four days, them hairs will swell and turn to snakes, and the person named will make their way towards the spot where you have placed the bottle. Nothing can withstand the power of snakes.”

Earl also used to collect horseshoes for the good fortune they attract. He said:

“Horseshoes always bring good luck. They keep away ghosts, evil spiritual workers, and all types of bad conjure. And a hawk can’t catch a chicken if he sees a horseshoe. Its legs will cross and it can’t pick up the chicken in its claws.”

Earl also claimed that horses were good at sniffing out bad conjure. He continued:

“Horses have a keen sense for detecting mojo bags. When I was a boy I remember a horse refusing to enter a gate ‘cos a little red flannel bag was buried under a gate sill. The horse’s driver cajoled that horse for more than an hour, but it wouldn’t go in. Then the driver finally checked around the gate and found the evil charm under the sill, and removed it. After that, the horse calmly walked through the gate.”

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