Putting a Hex on Hitler: LIFE Goes to a ‘Black Magic’ Party

“On the wet windy evening of January 22, a youthful band of idealists went to a lonely cabin in the Maryland woods.”
Thus begins one of the odder stories LIFE magazine ever published—a straightforward, tongue-nowhere-near-cheek account of a 1941 “hex party” convened with one aim in mind: “to kill Adolf Hitler by voodoo incantation.” According to LIFE magazine, the party featured “a dressmaker’s dummy, a Nazi uniform, nails, axes, tom-toms and plenty of Jamaica rum,” and was inspired by a book by occultist and writer William Seabrook that was popular at the time:Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today.
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Putting a Hex on Hitler: LIFE Goes to a ‘Black Magic’ Party

“On the wet windy evening of January 22, a youthful band of idealists went to a lonely cabin in the Maryland woods.”

Thus begins one of the odder stories LIFE magazine ever published—a straightforward, tongue-nowhere-near-cheek account of a 1941 “hex party” convened with one aim in mind: “to kill Adolf Hitler by voodoo incantation.” According to LIFE magazine, the party featured “a dressmaker’s dummy, a Nazi uniform, nails, axes, tom-toms and plenty of Jamaica rum,” and was inspired by a book by occultist and writer William Seabrook that was popular at the time:Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today.

Read More →

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