Salem witch priestess takes warlock to court

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 5:41 PM
Christian Day poses in the Old Burying Ground in Salem, Mass. Day, a self-proclaimed warlock, is accused of harassing self-proclaimed witch Lori Sforza.

BOSTON – A Salem, Massachusetts, woman who calls herself a witch priestess is taking a self-proclaimed warlock to court over accusations of harassment.

Lori Sforza, who runs a Salem witchcraft shop and leads a pagan church, filed for court-ordered protection against harassment from Christian Day, whose website calls him the “world’s best-known warlock.” Sforza accused Day of harassing her online and over the phone for three years.

A lawyer representing Day declined to comment. Day owns occult shops in Salem and New Orleans, according to his website. His lawyer said he lives in Louisiana.

The 75-year-old Sforza accuses Day, 45, of repeatedly calling her late at night from a private number and swearing at her, said Fiore Porreca, an attorney representing her. Sforza, who goes by the business name Lori Bruno, also alleges Day made malicious posts about her on social media.

“She’s being abused, intimidated and harassed,” Porreca said.

Porreca said the harassment has hurt his client’s business. On her website, Sforza calls herself a psychic and a clairvoyant. She claims to be a descendent of Italian witches who healed victims of the bubonic plague. She is also the founder of Our Lord and Lady Of The Trinacrian Rose, a pagan church in Salem.

Salem’s Festival of the Dead – which culminates in the Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball on Halloween night – was created by Day in 2003 and has expanded to include a psychic and witchcraft fair and a seance.

The Salem District Court and the lawyers in the case would not provide a copy of the order filed by Sforza.

Sforza and Day were once business associates in Salem, Porreca said. They also made headlines in 2011 when they cast spells together to try to heal actor Charlie Sheen, who had called himself a “Vatican assassin warlock” during an interview on national television.

A judge in Salem District Court is scheduled to hear the case on Wednesday to decide whether Sforza’s allegations amount to harassment and if she needs court protection.

Salem, home of the 17th-century witch trials, has a tourism industry built around the occult that reaches fever pitch in October.

The city is home to several witchcraft stores, museums dedicated to the trials and Halloween-themed attractions.

Halloween events

Friday: Dream Machine Halloween at Cortez Elks Lodge. Three bands, and a cast of vintage carnival characters like the bearded lady, giant and strongman. Opening act starts at 7:45 p.m. till close. Tickets are $15 in advance (Automasters, Spiphy Graphics and Elks Club) and $20 at the door. Details: 565-6246.
Saturday: Halloween in downtown Cortez, 12:30-4 p.m. Registration for Costume Contest at 12:30 p.m., contest at 1 p.m. at the Cortez Cultural Center. Then a Trick or Treat Parade, and a Pumpkin Festival. Games, face-painting, photo booth. Tickets for sale. Details: 970-565-9075.
Saturday: Halloween costume contest at Blondie’s in Cortez, $100 cash prize and more, music by DJ Butterfly Effect. Details: 565-4015.
Saturday: Halloween Haunt, 5:30-9 p.m., Dolores District Office Courtyard, 100 N. Sixth St. Games, fun, food and candy. All ages. Details: 560-1144, 882-3477.
Saturday: Celebrate Halloween with The Afrobeatniks, with guest Jaime Becktel, at the Mancos Brewing Co., 7-10 p.m.
Saturday: Halloween party at Mancos Public Library, with mask-making, face painting, freakish mystery boxes, and homemade chili, 211- W. First St.
Saturday: Halloween party at The Columbine, 8-10 p.m., with costume contests, snacks, drinks and Karaoke with Cody, 123 W. Grand, Mancos.