A woman and her daughter were hospitalized after their home was destroyed over the weekend by a fire just days after Paul Carroll, their husband and stepfather, appeared in court to face charges related to the brutal murder of their family dog back in December.
While seemingly unrelated incidents, both involved the use of a Ouija board, according to sources quoted in media reports. In fact, Carroll at one point blamed the board game for his crime while speaking with police, with his stepdaughter, Katrina Livingstone, purportedly claiming last Friday that the Ouija board told her just hours before the fire that she and her mother would die.
Neighbors claim that her mom, Margaret Carroll, 60, and Livingstone, 37, were playing the game Friday night in Consett, County Durham, U.K., with their home erupted in flames hours later.
Police are investigating the fire as an act of alleged arson and have placed Margaret Carroll and Livingstone under arrest, claiming that the two are suspects in the apparent act. While Carroll remains hospitalized and in stable condition, Livingstone has been released and is due in court on Wednesday to face claims that she committed willful arson, the Northern Echo reported.
Before diving deeper into their story, it's important to explore Paul Carroll's related case which preceded it.
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Consider that it was only a few days ago that Paul Carroll, Margaret Carroll's 51-year-old husband, stood before a court discussing how he had purportedly drowned and dismembered his family dog, Molly, after he came to believe that she had become possessed by an evil entity while using a Ouija Board to try and contact the dead on Christmas Eve, the Northern Echo reported.
He reportedly admitted to a court that he tried to dispose of the dog's remains in a drain on the property. It was after it became clogged that workers who came to fix the problem made the grisly discovery, the outlet reported.
"When initially interviewed by police the defendant said the dog had died while he and his wife were using a Ouija board to contact dead spirits," said prosecutor Blair Martin. "He said a bad spirit had entered the dog and it died."
Later, though, police claim that Carroll, who is reported to have learning disabilities and mental problems but no past brushes with the law, admitted to drowning the dog, according to the Northern Echo.
Carroll, who told the court he caused the dog unnecessary suffering, will be heading back to court until February 24, though the subsequent fire that followed his court appearance over the weekend adds an entirely new element to the bizarre story.
As noted, Margaret Carroll and Livingstone ended up in the hospital over the weekend after the fire destroyed their home, with the Northern Echo reporting that they were hospitalized for "a condition unrelated to the blaze," with police reportedly investigating the claim that they had used the Ouija board the night before the fire and came away feeling as though it predicted they would die.
Neighbor Donna Sowerby told the Northern Echo that Livingstone had informed her that the board had told them about the impending death; authorities arrived at the home to battle the flames around 8 a.m. the next morning.
Some in the neighborhood also claimed that Carroll and Livingstone were found in the home's garden during the blaze, though the condition they suffered from and the cause of the fire have not been revealed.
"Two women, aged 60 and 37, were taken to the University Hospital of North Durham where they remain in a critical condition and under arrest for arson with intent to danger life," said a spokesperson for the Durham Constabulary, a local police department.
For now, the investigation into the blaze continues.
(H/T: Northern Echo)
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