DeFlip Side #51: Witchcraft Rehash


Welcome everyone. I’m Christopher DeFilippis and this is DeFlip Side.

In a move befitting the spirit of this Halloween season, I have decided invoke ghosts of the past to exhume the rotting corpse of my radio career for the fun and enjoyment of all you loyal DeFlip Side listeners. Forget the DeFlip Side archives I spoke about last month; this dig goes much deeper, way back before there even was a DeFlip Side. We’re talking about my college days in Missouri, when I was just another grunt in the University of Missouri-Columbia Journalism School, trying to scratch out a name for myself.

This radio thing isn’t new. In fact I once harbored serious aspirations of becoming a radio journalist. But they withered even before I left school, once it became apparent that the average radio newsman makes about as much as a mop pushing high school drop out, only without all the terrific benefits. You gotta figure that if you schlep half way across the country and bust your ass putting yourself through school, it should be worth something in the end.

And so radio remains a hobby, driven by earlier passions I’ve never been quite able to quell. And even back then, in my so-called serious radio days, precursors of DeFlip Side were everywhere, especially in the topics I chose to cover. While fellow students were pounding the city beat, I was filing stories about the realistic possibilities of time travel. While other reporters were scanning the police band, I was interviewing Santa while he dropped in at the children’s hospital. If there was an esoteric idea or an offbeat angle, I was covering it. Which brings us back to Halloween.

The story you’re going to hear tonight aired on a Halloween about 13 years ago. The topic: Witchcraft. I found a coven of real live witches in the Missouri heartland and joined them in their rituals and ceremonies while they shared their tenets and ideologies. And let me tell you, you never ran into a nicer bunch of pagans. The upshot was that they loved my story, and I actually learned something. I also won a few journalism awards in the process, but I’m too modest to dwell on such things.

And what you’re about to listen to isn’t flawless. I cringe whenever I hear myself speaking in my slow and serious radio voice. If nothing else, you should at least have a good laugh at my expense. But it’s still not bad for a beginner.

One final caveat: as I said, this report is 13 years old. For all I know, the folks featured in it are now dead, agnostic or have found Jesus and been born again. But their story still serves as a perfect little trick or treat. Happy Halloween!

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Hey, gang! The computer file for this radio story no longer exists and I’m far too lazy to type the whole thing out again. You’ll just have to listen without script accompaniment—just like the enthralled Missourian masses who heard it on KBIA FM when it originally aired.