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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 March, 2005, 11:37 GMT
Witch warns of Curse Stone power
Kevin Carlyon
Mr Carlyon is high priest of the British White Witches
A white witch has warned against removing a city centre sculpture inscribed with a Scottish curse.

Since the Cursing Stone was placed in Carlisle, the city has suffered floods, foot-and-mouth disease, job losses and a goal famine for the football team.

Now the city council is considering destroying the stone, to try to bring the run of bad luck to an end.

But Kevin Carlyon, high priest of the British White Witches, says that would only increase belief in its power.

I think there are enough rational people on the council to make sure there's no chance of it being destroyed
Artist Gordon Young

He said: "A curse can only work if people believe in it. I think at the moment the sculpture is a nice piece of history, but if the council destroys it, they would be showing their belief in the curse.

"Most of us have some kind of superstition, and I think that destroying the stone would be very bad for Carlisle because it would feed that power.

"The council could make things a lot worse for the city."

The 14-tonne stone is inscribed with a 1,069-word 16th Century curse which was first invoked by the Archbishop of Glasgow against cross-border families, known as the "reivers", blamed for stealing cattle, rape and pillage.

Cursing stone
The stone is inscribed with a 16th Century curse

It was designed by artist Gordon Young whose own ancestors were reivers, and who believes recent events have nothing to do with the stone.

He said: "I think there are enough rational people on the council to make sure there's no chance of it being destroyed, but the fact that they are considering that is truly amazing.

"Having been brought up in Carlisle, I can remember factories catching fire, flooding, unemployment, and consecutive relegations by Carlisle United. It just doesn't stack up for one second."

The council is meeting on Tuesday evening do discuss the fate of the Cursing Stone, which would cost the council about 7,500 to remove.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
One councillor on why he thinks the stone should go



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