Pretending To Be A Witch Was Actually A Punishable Offence In Canada Until 2018

There were no spells in these parts! 🧙‍♀️
Weird Canadian Laws: Pretending To Be A Witch Was A Punishable Offence Until 2018
Senior Editor

Beware, witches and wizards! Until pretty recently, there was a very weird Canadian law related to spells, magic and fortune-telling.

Up until 2018, it was actually a totally-real punishable offence to pretend to be a witch or wizard in Canada.

Section 365 of the Canadian Criminal Code prohibited “pretending to practise witchcraft,” as well as a few other spooky things.

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Everyone who fraudulently pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft [...] is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Government of Canada

Anybody caught pretending to practice “sorcery, enchantment or conjuration” could also have landed themselves in trouble, prior to 2018.

In addition, telling fortunes or faking a skill in “an occult or crafty science” was also banned under the same legislation.

If you were wondering whether anybody was actually charged for such things — the answer is yes!

An Ontario woman was faced charges of fake witchcraft just days before the unusual law was swiped from the Criminal Code.

Fortunately for the witches and wizards among us, the House of Commons passed Bill C-51 back in December 2018, which repealed Section 365 altogether.

Now, Canada’s sorcerers are free to practice fake magic and spells as they please once again!

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.