As it turns out, in some places and times that has been more than just a comedy routine. Like in Salem in 1692 (although, to be a pedant about it, none of those witches were burned, all except one were hanged, and the odd man out was squished with rocks). Or in Managua, Nicaragua… today.
Vilma Trujillo Garcia, 25, suffered burns over 80% of her body during the ritual in Nicaragua’s capital, Managua.
Her husband Reynaldo Peralta Rodriguez said she had been taken to a church last week after she allegedly tried to stab people with a machete.
‘It’s unforgiveable what they did to us. They killed my wife, the mother of my two little ones,’ he said.
‘Now what am I going to tell them?’
Evangelical pastor Juan Gregorio Rocha Romero and four other people have been arrested over her death.
But Romero denied killing the mother-of-two and said Garcia had fell into the fire by herself and no-one pushed her.
He added a demon had left her body when this happened.
Human rights groups have spoken out about the death of Garcia and now want stricter laws for religious organisations in Nicaragua.
What did the good burghers of Managua do to deserve this? First the Somozas, then the Sandinistas, then the Contras, now the Exorcists. Not to mention, the machete-wielding witches that brought the amateur exorcist out.