Death Prayer

Der Tod ( 1977 ) by H.R. Giger

A death prayer is a Curse done by Ritual in which a victim is killed at a distance magically. The death prayer is especially prominent in the Magic of the Kahuna (“Keepers of the Secret”) priests of Hawaii. A death prayer is done as punishment for a grievous offense or crime and also for revenge. Unlike many other forms of cursing in which the victim knows she or he is being cursed, the victim of a Kahuna death prayer is given no warning. However, a sense of guilt over wrongdoing is important in the success of the curse. The symptoms of the death prayer are a slow paralysis starting with the lower limbs and gradually creeping up the torso until the heart is stopped. To perform a death prayer, a Kahuna must be able to control uphili, subconscious spirits. He inherits these from another Kahuna or captures and enslaves them by hypnosis. He orders them to absorb his own mana, or vital force, which is manipulated in many magical spells. The Kahuna sends the spirits to the victim. They shock the victim with the force of the mana and then suck off the victim’s own mana, initiating the creeping and fatal numbness. Death prayers, or ritual cursing to death, exist in other forms as well.


  • Long, Max Freedom. The Secret Science Behind Miracles. Los Angeles: DeVorss & Co., 1954.


The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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