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Pagans Celebrate A Different Halloween

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BURLINGTON — Halloween conjures up many dark images,which is why some Christian churches urge members not to celebrate theholiday. But there is a group which treats halloween as its most importantreligious holiday.

They call themselves witches and say they do believe in magic, but thePagans say they do not represent or worship evil. They say myths aboutthem worshipping the devil and sacrificing animals have given them a badname. For them, according to Alamance County's Pagan HighPriestess Diana Rice, Halloween isn't about ghosts and goblins, it's asacred day set aside for remembering the dead.

Rice, head of a group called Lunatic Fringe, wants to set the recordstraight. Shedoescall herself a witch, but says she onlypracticesgoodmagic.

Rice holds rituals in her outdoor temple, complete with a cauldron andan altar.

She plans to hold a ritual to celebrate So-Waine, the day most of uscall Halloween. While the setting may seem frightening to some, Rice saysthe ceremony is not about evil.

Pagans believe in reincarnation, worship multiple gods, goddesses andnature. Rice knows some people are skeptical and even afraid of herbeliefs, but she say they just don't understand.

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