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A witch explains Halloween

A witch explains Halloween

By Louise Continelli NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 10/28/07 7:59 AM

On Halloween, real witches may come out of the broom closet.

“We do not seek converts but ask that each person honor the divine in the manner that seems best for him,” says Cecylyna Dewr, founder of Pagan Pride Day, which took place not long ago in the Town of Tonawanda and scores of other towns and cities, including Elmira, Rochester, Syracuse and Toronto.

Buffalo Niagara Pagan Pride Day attracted scores of attendees, resulting in many donations to the Western New York Food Bank.

Pagans celebrate what’s considered to be Witches New Year on Oct. 31, when it’s believed “the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is thin and that spirits can pass through easily,” says Chelsea S. Kelm, Buffalo Niagara Pagan Pride Day coordinator. In her working life, she’s a Buffalo customer service representative and looks corporate-chic wearing a pin-stripe pantsuit — in black.

Taotaomona, duendes and White Lady

Chamorro people believe in tales of taotaomonas, duendes and other spirits. Duende (mythology), according to the "Chamorro-English Dictionary" by Donald Topping, Pedro Ogo and Bernadita Dungca, is a goblin, elf, ghost or spook in the form of a dwarf, a mischievous spirit which hide or take small kids. Taotaomona are spirits of the ancient Chamorro that act as guardians to banyan trees. White Lady hauntings surround buildings like the old Bordallo mansion in Yona, schools, hotel elevators and the Maina bridge

Derek Gee/Buffalo News
Chelsea S. Kelm, a practicing Wiccan who is coordinator of Niagara Pagan Pride Day, says Halloween is a time when witches look within themselves to improve and change their habits.

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