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Iraq's clairvoyants see fame, fortune — for themselves

The practice of magic and sorcery has become widespread in Iraq as TV channels give them a platform and people pay huge amounts for quick remedies and potions.
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BAGHDAD — Reports of a haunted house in Karbala, south of Baghdad, circulated in media outlets and on social media late September demonstrating the growing interest of Iraqis in magic and superstition. Iraqis’ growing enticement with the supernatural, jinns, clairvoyants and healing potions have been on the rise with the publication of books narrating people’s “first-hand” experiences with haunted houses, TV shows on satellite channels, clairvoyants on social media and the public seeking potions or visiting coffee readers in the markets.

The recent myth of the haunted house shows the growing interest in the supernatural, according to Karbala-based engineer and civil activist Reyam Salah. “The haunted house — although it actually isn’t haunted at all — reflects people’s interest in superstition,” she told Al-Monitor. “In fact many haunted houses are just shams where a buyer wants to buy the house at a lower price and spreads rumors so no one else would make an offer.”

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