Woman accused of being a witch and sacrificing neighbourhood cats

A woman is in police custody after residents in the southern province of Songkhla accused her of being a witch and sacrificing neighbourhood cats.

Yaowaluck Boonchum was accused by a cat owner of being into the occult after killing her five-month-old Persian cat as a sacrifice. The 44 year old woman denied the allegations, saying she is a cat lover, adding she accidentally ran her car over the pet.

The owner of a five-month-old cat named Garfield complained to the Watchdog Thailand Foundation (WDF) on Sunday, February 19, that her neighbour kidnapped the cat and killed it as a sacrifice.

Garfield’s owner told the WDF that other neighbours in the area believed that Yaowaluck was some sort of witch after witnessing her perform a strange ritual-type dance in her house.

Several stray cats in the area also disappeared and people believe Yaowaluck is behind it all. Some residents said they witnessed Yaowaluck tie up cats by their legs and beat them until they died.

Garfield’s owner explained that when her cat disappeared she suspected Yaowaluck and when she spotted a black trash bag in front of Yaowaluck’s house and decided to open it. Sure enough, Garfield’s dead body was inside.

The cat owner said locals in the area did not dare to present themselves as witnesses in the case because they were scared of Yaowaluck.

Yaowaluck was arrested yesterday and questioned at Muang Ngam Police Station. She insisted that she did not mean to kill the cat and claimed it was an accident. She said the cat walked into her house and then later she accidentally ran her car over it. She told police she was a cat lover.

Yaowaluck also denied that she was superstitious, a witch or into the occult. She told police she was a Buddhist but recently converted to Islam.

According to a report on Thairath, police discovered that Yaowaluck used drugs and allege that this led to her abusive actions against animals.

Officers have not yet concluded the case but told Thai media they need to look at more evidence before concluding the case.

Yaowaluck was initially accused of drug use and animal cruelty. She is now in police custody at Songkhla Criminal Court.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.