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Santet, a Black Magic

Santet is an Indonesia term for black magic used to harm or kill people. Using santet, someone can magically put nails, wires, or even insects into victim’s body, causing pain, or even death. This dangerous magic is still exist today.


In many cultures in the world, we can find black magic practice with various different names. But they have one thing in common: they are used to harm or to kill person indirectly, with little or no physical contact at all. Many black magic practices are originated from prehistoric animism or shamanism, but some of the rituals and practices are still exist within groups of believers, even now. A lot of modern people tend to see this phenomenon as superstition, but traditional people who live in villages or secluded places might think otherwise.

In Indonesia, there is a form of black magic known as santet (also known as teluh in some region). Santet is basically a black magic performed with ritual and mantra (spell) in order to harm or assassinate a specific person. The common method used in santet, is by transferring an object (usually sharp or scary object, such as nails, wires, glass fragments; or small animals such as centipedes, worms, poisonous bugs) into victim’s body. I don’t know how to explain this using modern science. Although it may be possible to transform an object into energy, put it into someone’s belly, then change it back into object. But what kind of person who has the ability to do this without using any advanced technology or scientific method?

The person who has the ability to perform santet usually called dukun (similar to shaman or black magician). It is said that dukun possesses supernatural powers and can communicate with djinn and ancestors’ spirit. By using his supernatural powers and with help from djinn/spirits, dukun can perform santet. Sometimes they also need belongings from their victim to perform santet; such as hairs, clothes, or blood. Not every dukun who has the power is willing to perform santet, some dukuns only uses his power for healing and other good intentions. But you know, latest economic crisis affected many dukuns to sell their service for some amounts of money. Some of them even advertise santet on magazines and internet!

Old people often says that this kind of black magic was quite common in their time, and even considered normal many centuries ago. But since the spread of Islam and Christianity in Indonesia, the practice of santet have been greatly reduced (or at least hidden). I know that many people will think about it as a nonsense or ridiculous, I myself do not believe it 100%. It is possible that many information about santet has been distorted and misinterpreted, or will be explainable by science in near future. But aside from it, I do believe in existence of spirits and spiritual beings around us.

As an addition, here is some videos about santet I found on Youtube

Wires come out from woman’s belly. A case of santet?:


An old movie about santet and dukun:

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