Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Here is a pioneering investigation of pagan spell casting:

Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E.C. (2020). Testing the Pagan Prescription: Using a Randomised Controlled Trial to Investigate Pagan Spell Casting as a Form of Noncontact Healing. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 26, 219-225. doi:10.1089/acm.2019.0279


Objectives: This research investigates the healing practices of modern Paganism using a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT). Paganism is a burgeoning belief system in the UK within which healing is a key aspect. However, Pagan spellcasting practices have received little attention from distance healing researchers. This study aims to address this gap in the literature.

Design: This study utilised a randomised, double blind, delayed intervention design.

Settings/location: Research took place at the University of Northampton.

Subjects: 44 Participants (30 female, 14 male) were recruited using snowball sampling (mean age = 24.30; range = 18-55).

Procedure: Participants were randomly allocated to either Group A or B. Participants made written requests to the practitioner about changes they would like to see in their lives and provided a photograph and personal item to be used during the intervention. Participants attended meetings once a week during which they would take part in a guided body scan meditation before completing a quality of life measure. Healing practices were conducted for Group A between weeks one and two and for Group B between weeks two and three.

Outcome measure: Wellbeing was measured using the 26-item WHOQOL-BREF.

Results: MANOVA analysis showed a significant, positive change in general health from week one to week four (F = 4.02, p = .025, eta2 = .149). Separate ANOVAs of the four WHOQOL domains showed significant improvements across the study in the Physical and Psychological domains only, there was no significant group difference on any of the outcomes.

Conclusion: All participants showed an increase in health and wellbeing domains directly related to their spell requests. However, there are no group differences to suggest that the spell casting intervention was responsible.