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Witch camp in Nalerigu, Ghana

Witch camps are settlements where women in Ghana who have been accused of being witches can flee for safety. Women in such camps have been accused of witchcraft for various reasons, including mental illness. Some camps are thought to have been created in the early 20th century.[1] The Ghanaian government has enacted measures to eliminate such camps.[2]


Women suspected of being witches sometimes flee to witch camp settlements for safety, often in order to avoid being lynched by neighbours.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

Many women in such camps are widows; relatives are believed to accuse them of witchcraft in order to seize their late husbands' possessions.[8] Many women in the witch camps also suffer from mental illness, a poorly understood phenomenon in Ghana.[9][8] In one camp in Gambaga in the north, women are given protection by the local chieftain, and in return, pay him and work in his fields.[10][11]

The Anti-Witchcraft Allegations Campaign Coalition-Ghana (AWACC-Ghana) has reported that the number of outcasts residing in witch camps is growing, and that food supplies there are insufficient.[12]


There are at least six witch camps in Ghana, housing a total of approximately 1,000 women.[8] The camps are located in Bonyasi, Gambaga, Gnani, Kpatinga, Kukuo and Naabuli, all in Northern Ghana.[13] Some of the camps are thought to have been created over 100 years ago.[8][12][14][15][16][17]

The Ghanaian government has announced its intent to close the witch camps and educate the public that witches do not exist.[18][8] In December 2014, Minister for Gender and Social Protection Nana Oye Lithur disbanded the Bonyasi camp located in Central Gonja District and re-integrated its residents into their communities.[19] As of 2015, the Ghanaian government had shut down several witch camps.[20]

See also


  1. ^ Igwe, Leo (13 June 2022). "Witch Camps and Politics of Witchcraft Accusations In Ghana | News Ghana". Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  2. ^ Meryer, Naa (2022-06-03). "TSI visits alleged witch camps with ActionAid Ghana and members of parliament". TSI - The Sanneh Institute | Offering scholarship as a tribute to God. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  3. ^ Briggs, Philip; Connolly, Sean (5 December 2016). Ghana. Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN 9781784770341. Retrieved 14 November 2017 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Dixon, Robyn (9 September 2012). "In Ghana's witch camps, the accused are never safe". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 November 2017 – via
  5. ^ Suuk, Maxwell (July 10, 2016). "Ghana: witchcraft accusations put lives at risk - Africa". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 17 March 2017 – via
  6. ^ Murray, Jacqueline; Wallace, Lauren (2013-11-25). "In Africa, accusations of witchcraft still a reality for many women". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  7. ^ "In Ghana, Witch Villages Offer Safe Haven From Superstition". Los Angeles Times. 25 January 1998. Retrieved May 23, 2014 – via
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Ghana witch camps: Widows' lives in exile". BBC. 1 September 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  9. ^ "Breaking the spell of witch camps in Ghana". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  10. ^ "'Spellbound': Inside the witch camps of West Africa". 24 October 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  11. ^ Badoe, Yaba (25 November 2010). "Ghana: the Witches of Gambaga". The Guardian. London. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  12. ^ a b Npong, Francis (2014). "Witch Camps of Ghana". Utne Reader (Winter): 48–49. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  13. ^ Ansah, Marian Efe (8 December 2014). "Bonyase witches' camp shuts down on Dec. 15". Citifmonline. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  14. ^ Cameron Duodu. "Why are 'witches' still being burned alive in Ghana? | Cameron Duodu | Opinion". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  15. ^ "Women still accused of witchcraft, lynched in Ghana" (PDF). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Condemned without trial" (PDF). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  17. ^ Lucy Adams. "Spellbound: the stigma of witchcraft in Ghana" (PDF). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Ghana's witch camps: last refuge of the powerless and the persecuted". 26 August 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  19. ^ Naatogmah, Abdul Karim (16 December 2014). "Gov't disbands Bonyase witch camps". Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  20. ^ Igwe, Leo. "Ghana news: Witchcraft accusation". Graphic Online. Retrieved 13 September 2017.