Fires have been breaking out spontaneously on the island of Sicily recently, and in 1990, the same thing happened near Venice. Twenty years ago, similar fires in Italy were blamed on the supernatural powers of a woman who was put in jail for starting them.

While the U.S. has its history of persecuting witches in Salem, Massachusetts, it’s hard to believe that someone could be put in jail for practicing witchcraft in a developed country as late as 1982, but that’s what happened to Carole Compton. Tracey Lawson writes in The Scotsman that she was accused of using pyrokinesis to start fires in the homes where she worked as a nanny.

She left Scotland for Italy in 1982 and got a job as a nanny in Rome. First religious objects and paintings began falling and flying off the walls, then fires broke out in the bedroom of the two-year-old boy she was caring for, as well as in her employers’ country home. When she took another job, it happened all over again: objects began falling off the walls in the new home and the bed of the child she was caring for again had a fire. She was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and spent 16 months there.

She returned to England and wrote a book about her ordeal titled “Superstition: The True Story of The Nanny They Called A Witch.” She says, “What happened to me is something that never goes away. It was a dreadful ordeal, and all this doesn?t help. I don?t know what?s happening over there now, and I don?t want to. I have a happy life now. I try not to think about the past.”

Il Messagero quoted Father Gabriel Amorth, the Vatican?s expert on exorcisms, as saying, “I’ve seen things like this before. Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods. Let?s not forget that Satan and his followers have immense powers.” Let’s hope they don?t find another nanny to blame them on.

Are abductions supernatural or are they just something we don?t understand? Find out on this week’s Dreamland, when Whitley interviews Budd Hopkins and Carol Rainey, who tell newly discovered secrets about alien abductions. You’ll also hear Dave Louthan, who reveals what the government isn’t telling us about Mad Cow Disease. Subscribers have a special interview with paranormal researcher Jordan Maxwell.

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