Throughout Ghana’s history, there are certain names that instantly raise eyebrows the very moment they are mentioned in certain quarters.
Such names either send shivers down the spine, exact fear or troubling memories in the minds of persons who either knew of these personalities or had heard tales of them.
One such name is Dr. Sri Yogi Ram Beckley, who was a witch doctor and occultist in the early 1990s.
Dr Beckley was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of young school children and women to sacrifice them to his gods as part of rituals.
His residence, which was situated at Fadama in Accra was said to have been surrounded by very high walls that no one could see inside. All that was said to have occurred in the building was shrouded in secrecy and neighbourhood gossip.
The witch doctor, Dr. Beckley was reported to have inflicted rather gruesome actions on his victims who either had a difficult time getting away from his grips or gave up the ghost.
Although an exact figure as to how many victims he kidnapped or killed still remains unknown, the popular PnP newspaper from the 1990s often detailed the actions that took place at his residence.
The paper once reported that Dr. Beckley allegedly ate his victims’ flesh and drank their blood as part of his rituals.
The Fadama community began to get weary of his ordeals as kidnappings began to increase especially among school children.
School authorities at the time had to deploy safety measures to avoid the situation but it soon became obvious that the occultist was not working in isolation.
Parents also used to deploy measures including hiding their kids in bedrooms for hours in fear of Dr. Beckley and his assigns taking them and using them for rituals.
Beckley and his team reportedly wooed their victims by posing as either consumers of mostly fruits and vegetables or the supposed relatives of kidnapped victims.
He was said to have other tactics in pursuit of victims.
Despite failed efforts to clamp down on his activities, Dr Beckley’s home was in February 1994 raided by the police. At the premises, they found many school uniforms and human skulls.
This forced an angry mob to burn down his home.
He was later put before a Regional Tribunal on June 25, 1994, which surprisingly granted him a five million cedis bail (GH¢500) after the Adjabeng Community Tribunal had earlier denied him bail.
Shortly after being granted bail, Dr Beckley was on the move again with his antics but was finally arrested after allegedly taking two teenage girls, one of whom was 13 years old, to his home in New Gbawe in Accra.
According to reports, Dr Beckley tied one of the girls to a tree in the house while the other was dragged into a room. The Police on their part could not find one of the girls upon their search.
This further angered the youth in the community who took it upon themselves to put an end to Beckley’s dealings as it began to pose grave danger to the community and security of the nation.
Details as to how Dr. Beckley’s life came to an end remain scanty but it is said that one of his homes in Accra is now a place of worship for a church and a prayer camp.
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