Despite the wishes of many readers eagerly awaiting their letters from Hogwarts, the magic of Harry Potter has always been confined to the best-selling books.
However in Nashville, Tennessee, some people fear that this may not always be the case.
A pastor at a Catholic school in the American state has banned the JK Rowling books for students, for fear that they might actually contain real spells and curses.
Reverend Dan Reehil, of St Edward Catholic School, allegedly consulted several exorcists in both the US and Rome to reach the decision.
‘A clever deception’
Local newspaper the Tennessean reported that Rev Reehil wrote in an email, “These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception.
“The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.”
St Edward Catholic School teaches children between the ages of pre-kindergarten (three years old) up to eighth grade (14).
The superintendent at the school, Rebecca Hammel, said that while the Catholic church does not have an official position on Harry Potter, the final decision does lie with the pastor.
Spells in the Harry Potter series include ‘Imperio’, which gives the user control over another person’s actions, ‘Avada Kedavra’, which kills people, and ‘wingardium leviosa’, which makes objects levitate.
Move has been ridiculed
The move has been ridiculed by many on social media.
Jason Cross tweeted, “If your child attends this school, pull them out immediately.
“If the school thinks there are *real magic spells* in *Harry Potter* then it cannot be trusted to teach your child real scholastic skills.”
And Southpaw said, “My favorite part of the email is the clarification that the spells are dangerous “when read by a human being.”
“Like if an angel or a centaur or an elf or any other kind of creature that can read wishes to check out Goblet of Fire, that’d be okay.”
Others bemoaned their lack of success in getting the Harry Potter spells to work, given they were apparently so dangerous that children could learn them by reading the books.
“I have read that entire series 8 times. I have never been able to get any of the spells to work.
“What am I doing wrong?” wrote Welp...