By:  Monica Kucharski

As Halloween approaches, stories about witches, wizards and other mythical underworld creatures abound.

But here’s a witchery story that’s not fictitious or a legend from centuries ago. It’s been recently reported by Halton Regional Police that just a hopscotch from Mississauga, a woman was charged with witchcraft.

A 32-year-old woman from Milton by the name of Dorie “Madeena” Stevenson was arrested on October 18th and charged with witchcraft, fortune telling, extortion and fraud over $5,000.

The Halton Regional Police Service 1 District Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB), started investigating Dore Stevenson earlier this year.  Stevenson was running a business called “Milton Psychic.”  One of her victims came forward last May with allegations of fraud in the amount of $60,000.

Following an investigation Stevenson was arrested, and a search warrant of her business was issued.  Police found evidence to conclude that her clients were manipulated into believing that something bad would happen to them if they didn’t pay-up.

Clients were tricked into giving Stevenson money and gifts in exchange for getting “cleansed.” They purchased gifts such as new cell phones, jewelry, appliances and gift cards and had to remit them to Stevenson to be “cleansed.”  They thought the items would be returned to them, but they weren’t.

“What we typically see is a tendency for perpetrators to take advantage of persons when they are in their most vulnerable state,” Detective Sergeant Dave Costantini HRPS 1 District CIB, said in a recent press release.

“Victims are manipulated into believing something bad will happen to them unless they remit cash. We even see incidents where victims are required to make purchases and remit these purchases in order to be cleansed. Purchased items include; new cell phones, jewelry, appliances and gift cards. Purchases are made under the assumption these items will be returned, but they never are. When victims cannot be squeezed any longer, the perpetrators rely on the victim’s embarrassment in not contacting police.”

No cauldrons with witches’ brew, pointy black hats and broomsticks in this real-life incident next door to modern-time Mississauga, just good old-time incantations— the use of words as a magic spell.