It is said that you need to believe in the power of a voodoo doll curse for it to have an effect on you. Therefore, if somebody says they’ve hexed you, and you are a skeptic, you’d have nothing to worry about. You’d be able to brush it off without a problem. The curse wouldn’t work.

There’s a good deal of evidence to back this position up.

But some insist that there is an unseen and terrifying force associated with voodoo dolls, and that his power can be harnessed.

An example of this involved an occult bookseller I know, who I’ll call Mike. Mike claims to have proven that you don’t need to believe in it for a voodoo doll curse to work.

Some years ago, Mike put this to the test. He was talking about voodoo dolls and curses with one of his staff, who I’ll call Phil. Phil dismissed it all as “rubbish.”

Mike had some voodoo dolls in stock. So he picked one up and wrote Phil’s name on a label and tied it around the doll’s neck. He then turned his back on Phil and stuck a pin in the doll and put it away in a drawer. He turned back to Phil and said: “Right, let’s see what happens.”

At that point Phil went upstairs to make a cup-of-tea for everyone. When he came down again he looked very suspiciously at Mike and told him that, while upstairs, he’d had a sudden, excruciating pain in his left leg. He said it was so painful he couldn’t put his foot on the floor.

Mike went over to the drawer, took out the voodoo doll, and showed it to Phil. The pin had been pushed through the left leg. Phil was aghast. The curse had apparently worked. Voodoo curses were no longer down to a psychosomatic reaction as he had previously believed.

In reality, of course, this isn’t conclusive evidence. In his peripheral vision, Phil might well have seen Mike stick the pin in the doll’s left leg, and this may have been registered by his subconscious mind. And if deep down Phil feared the idea of voodoo dolls and curses then this would indeed have been a psychosomatic reaction.

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