Spooky Memories of Life Before Christ
By Renelle Richardson
The 700 Club
What started out as a childhood fascination with ghosts and goblins, became a journey that led Ginger Howell into the occult.
“I was always attracted to scary stories and ghost stories,” Ginger said. “When I read ghost stories, it excited me, and it thrilled me and it made me scared all at the same time.”
Even though Ginger’s family attended church, her mother had no objections to her daughter’s interest in the occult. She even bought her daughter an unlikely Christmas present.
“When I was 13-years-old, my mom bought me a Satanic bible just because I had been flipping through it at a bookstore. She noted my interest in it and went back and bought it,” Ginger said.
Ginger’s life took a drastic turn when her parents divorced.
“My mom married a man who was physically abusive and an alcoholic; and so my home life went from relative peace to just chaos,” Ginger said.
So, in search of stability, Ginger studied spell books and, as a young teen, became convinced that turning to witchcraft would give her the security she desired.
“I did a lot of spells of protection because my home life was so chaotic, and I had abuse issues with my step-dad,” Ginger said. “I felt that they had worked because out of all the children, I got beaten the least.”
“Doing rituals and spells gave me a sense of power. Reading tarot cards, I thought, was a way to see into the future and what was going to happen so I wouldn’t be surprised by things that would come my way,” Ginger said.
By the time Ginger was in college, she considered herself a wiccan and joined a coven of witches.
“We thought that we were just pagans, that we were worshiping nature,” Ginger said. “We didn’t feel like we were evil or wrong; in fact, most witches don’t believe in Satan. They believe that there’s a goddess and it’s almost like goddess worship.”
The coven seemed to provide the close bond Ginger lacked with her own family.
“It gave me a sense of belonging and people that were also like-minded. It gave me a sense of security, because I felt like any problem that we were having, we could deal with it by making a ritual,” Ginger said.
Ginger and the other members of her coven cast spells. Some, they claimed, healed people. Other spells were for protection; but, every once in a while, even the witches were frightened.
“We actually saw beings manifest in the room that we were in. They were very tall, probably 6.5-7 foot tall and they were dressed in robes. They stood behind those points on the circle that we had drawn. We didn’t talk about it during the ritual, but after it was done we said, ‘did you guys see that?’ And we all had seen the same beings,” Ginger said.
These supernatural manifestations scared Ginger to a point.
“Once I was doing a spell and I was in a room and it was rather dark. I had lit candles for the ritual, of course, and this shadowy figure came to the window of my room on the outside of my house. My dog started howling, not barking, but howling. At that time I saw the shadowy figure almost trying to get in and I blew out the candles really quick and ran from the room,” Ginger said.
“All the time that I was reading tarot cards or doing things that frightened me, I would almost be repulsed by it,” Giner said. “Then I’d put it down for a while, but then something would draw me back, always.”
But not all of Ginger’s friends were witches, one was a Christian.
“She was very insistent that I needed to go to church with her. So I went just to make her quit asking me,” Ginger said.
Ginger enjoyed the church services and went again. In fact, she didn’t see a conflict between Christianity and witchcraft until she started dating Jack, a backslidden Christian who knew nothing about Ginger’s other religion.
“I’d just gotten a new deck of tarot cards. I was really excited about them because the pictures on them were really neat. It was a very expensive deck and I called Jack in to show him the deck,” Ginger said. “I put them on the table and he acted like I’d thrown a snake down. He said, ‘get those away from me!’ And that was the first time anyone had reacted negatively to the stuff I had been involved in.”
As Ginger found love and acceptance from the church members, she realized she needed to make major changes if she was going to follow what the Bible said about avoiding evil influences.
“I started breaking off from the coven right away,” Ginger said. “They would call me; they would threaten me. They really were angry that I had left their path and started going down this other path. And finally, I just had to change my phone number and just sever all ties. I moved to a different house and they couldn’t track me after that.
Ginger and Jack married and enjoyed being a part of the church family, but Ginger still didn’t understand what a relationship with God was all about.
“When I was pregnant with my first child, I began to wonder what to teach him,” Ginger said. “At that time, I was no longer in the coven, I was not doing witchcraft or any occult things, and I was wondering what I would teach my child.”
Ginger found the answer to her question late one night. She was watching television while nursing her son.
“I landed on The 700 Club program because a Satanist was giving his testimony about how he was a satanic high priest and he wanted to come talk to a pastor about having a relationship with Christ,” Ginger said. “And I thought if the Lord could accept him, being a Satanist, then he could accept me for all that I had done and forgive me. That’s when I said the sinner’s prayer. At 2:00 a.m. watching TV, I became a Christian.”
Ginger put her tarot cards, incense, robes and spell books in the trash.
“And the next day when I took the bag out to the curb and the garbage man took it away, I felt like a whole burden had been lifted from me. I felt much lighter after all that stuff was gone,” Ginger said.
Ginger steadily grew in her faith.
“Before I became a Christian I had a lot of doubt and anxiety. I never had peace in my home life or as a child or when I was in the occult. But since becoming a Christian, I have moments of pure peace that you just can’t put any price on,” Ginger said. “Christianity is real. Christ is a real person and you can have a real relationship with him.”Can God change your life?
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