Cheddleton born Sybil Leek, the self proclaimed “Queen of the Witches” was a contentious figure and a colourful one as well: her trademarks were a loose fitting cloak, hoods a pet jackdaw called Mr Hotfoot Jackson and a snake named Sashima. Even Sybil’s birth date was the subject of some argument. She gave the date as 22nd February 1922, while others set the date at 5 years earlier. She also claimed to be the reincarnation of the Burslem witch Molly Leigh. Sybil maintained many things in her life for example that she had a friendship as a child with HG Wells and Lawrence of Arabia.
She was interested in paganism from an early age and was on good terms with Aleister Crowley- the self-proclaimed most evil man in the World and a great fraud. There is a story that Crowley and Leek visited Burslem to seek out Molly Leigh’s grave- a jackdaw perched on Leek’s shoulders. After the war Leek went to the United States and became a media star appearing on TV shows. She met and married a man named Brian.
Sybil was also involved with a number of American celebrities including Ronald Reagan who maintained an interest in clairvoyance throughout his life. She also had a friendship with the writer Robert Bloch best known for his novel Psycho.
She believed that she could predict events and scored an undoubted hit with a prediction she made in the early 70s.
"There is one menace to the career and potential of George Wallace”- the candidate for the American presidency in 1972," Leek asserted in her Astrological Guide to the Presidential Candidates.
"The nearer he gets to his goal, the greater the danger of political assassination”.
Written in early 1971, these words were of more interest to horoscope buffs than to political ones. But when Arthur Bremer, nearly 18 months later, fulfilled the prophecy and shot Wallace, crippling the Governor of Alabama some political pundits decided to take a closer look at what is written in the candidates' stars.
Not that Leek's peeks into the future always proved entirely accurate. She once predicted, for example, that in 1970 President Richard Nixon would become embroiled in a sex scandal that would jeopardise his renomination by Republicans, nor did she predict Watergate which really did bring Nixon down.