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Witches cast a spell over the Isle of Sheppey

Let's face it, you wouldn't expect to stumble over a coven of witches dancing around a camp fire with broomsticks and black cloaks on the beach.

But that is what stunned joggers and dog-walkers discovered.

Head witch Charlotte Clark and a dozen of her colleagues were summoning up the spirits at The Leas, Minster, on the Isle of Sheppey.

The witches of Sheppey with Charlotte Clark, centre, on the beach at Minster celebrating Lammas
The witches of Sheppey with Charlotte Clark, centre, on the beach at Minster celebrating Lammas

She admitted: "We had a few strange looks on the beach but there was nothing negative.

"We are all white witches so we don't do anything horrible.

"It's not like you see on the television. We only use spells to help people."

There were no visible wands like in Harry Potter on the promenade or a cauldron bubbling with eye of newt among the pebbles as in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

But seeds were sacrificed over barbecue logs bought from B&M to appease the Sun God Lugh and to celebrate Lammas, the pagan equivalent of a harvest festival.

Charlotte, a 55-year-old mother of five and grandmother of seven, is no stranger to mystical things.

Casting a spell at the seaside - the witches of Sheppey
Casting a spell at the seaside - the witches of Sheppey

When she was a girl she loved watching the TV show Bewitched and was convinced she could make things happen in the school playground just by twitching her nose.

She said: "I soon discovered I couldn't. But then I realised I could hear spirits.

"My mum still doesn't understand it but my nan and grandad were into it and my great nan did it all the time."

The next big date in the witch calendar is Halloween on October 31 when all souls return to the Earth and which may, or may not, coincide with Britain leaving the EU.

Charlotte refused to look into her crystal ball to predict the outcome. She said: "What will be, will be. I'm fed up with Brexit."

With that, she returned to celebrate the five elements of earth, fire,water, air and spirits on the pebbles.

The witches of Sheppey on the beach at Minster celebrating Lammas
The witches of Sheppey on the beach at Minster celebrating Lammas

She said: "The beach is the perfect place for witchcraft. It has everything all in one place.

"There is earth, water and air and our bonfire. And if there aren't any spirits around, I take along a nice little pink wine, just in case."

Even witches need a spell at the seaside.

Witch queen of Sheppey

Witch Charlotte Clark lives in Minster in what she calls 'spook central', a house built near the demolished former Sheppey General Hospital, workhouse and cemetery off Wards Hill.

She is also a TV clairvoyant regularly appearing on Sky's Psychic Today.

Charlotte says she has been able to talk to spirits from the "other side" since she as a young girl and has run the Lady of the Light spiritualist group on the Island for more than 40 years.

Charlotte Clark, Island psychic, at home
Charlotte Clark, Island psychic, at home

For a while it was based at the Royal Hotel, Sheerness.

In June she went to the rescue of the Sheerness spiritualist church when it was in danger of folding after 84 years.

She said: "I couldn’t just let it finish. I made sure there was a light, well, a Lady of the Light, at the end of the tunnel."

It has been renamed the Lady of the Light spiritualist church and meets for prayers, healing and clairvoyance at Sheerness Labour Hall every Tuesday at 7.30pm. Admission is £5.

She said: "I don't do any witchcraft there. I keep the two sides of my life separate."

For more information, follow her on Facebook Lady of the Light Charlotte Clark or call 07789 456666.

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