Witch camp

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A witch camp is a settlement where women suspected of being witches can flee for safety, usually in order to avoid being lynched by neighbours.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Witch camps exist solely in Ghana, where there are at least six of them, housing a total of around 1000 women.[6] Such camps can be found at Bonyasi, Gambaga, Gnani, Kpatinga, Kukuo and Naabuli, all in Northern Ghana.[7] Some of the camps are thought to have been set up over 100 years ago.[6][8][9][10][11][12]

Many women in such camps are widows and it is thought that relatives accused them of witchcraft in order to take control of their husbands' possessions.[6] Many women also are mentally ill, a little understood problem in Ghana.[13][6] In one camp in Gambaga, the women are given protection by the local chieftain and in return, pay him and work in his fields.[14][15]

The Ghanaian government has announced that it intends to close the camps and educate the population regarding the fact that witches do not exist.[16][6] In 2014 the Minister for Gender and Social Protection took initiatives to disband and re-integrate inmates of the Bonyasi witch camp located in Central Gonja District.[17]

The Anti-Witchcraft Allegations Campaign Coalition-Ghana (AWACC-Ghana) has reported that the number of outcasts in witch camps is growing, and that food supplies are insufficient.[8] Currently, the Ghanaian government is shutting down many witch camps.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Briggs, Philip; Connolly, Sean (5 December 2016). "Ghana". Bradt Travel Guides. Retrieved 14 November 2017 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Dixon, Robyn (9 September 2012). "In Ghana's witch camps, the accused are never safe". Retrieved 14 November 2017 – via LA Times.
  3. ^ Suuk, Maxwell (July 10, 2016). "Ghana: witchcraft accusations put lives at risk - Africa". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  4. ^ Jacqueline Murray; Lauren Wallace (2013-11-25). "In Africa, accusations of witchcraft still a reality for many women". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  5. ^ "In Ghana, Witch Villages Offer Safe Haven From Superstition - Los Angeles Times". articles.latimes.com. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Ghana witch camps: Widows' lives in exile". BBC. 1 September 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  7. ^ Ansah, Marian Efe (8 December 2014). "Bonyase witches' camp shuts down on Dec. 15". Citifmonline. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Npong, Francis (2014). "Witch Camps of Ghana". Utne Reader (Winter): 48–49. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  9. ^ Cameron Duodu. "Why are 'witches' still being burned alive in Ghana? | Cameron Duodu | Opinion". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  10. ^ "Women still accused of witchcraft, lynched in Ghana" (PDF). Whrin.org. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Condemned without trial" (PDF). Actionaid.org.uk. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  12. ^ Lucy Adams. "Spellbound: the stigma of witchcraft in Ghana" (PDF). Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Breaking the spell of witch camps in Ghana". Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  14. ^ ""Spellbound": Inside the witch camps of West Africa". 24 October 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Ghana: the Witches of Gambaga". London: Yaba Badoe. 25 November 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  16. ^ "Ghana's witch camps: last refuge of the powerless and the persecuted". 26 August 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  17. ^ Naatogmah, Abdul Karim (16 December 2014). "Gov't disbands Bonyase witch camps". Citifmonline.com. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  18. ^ Igwe, Leo. "Ghana news: Witchcraft accusation". Graphic Online. Retrieved 13 September 2017.

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