Sleep with the dead: Real-life ‘witch’ opens gates to Otherworld, offering Halloween stays in her home

By Tui Benjamin

A real-life witch is promising to reveal the true meaning of Halloween – inviting guests to stay with her and learn spells and even contact those that lurk in the Otherworld.

Mancunians can rent a room in Lucya Starza’s beachside Eastborne flat, where they can experience personalised Tarot card readings, lessons in spells and scrying, and even potion classes.

Lucya, who is a practising Wiccan of 25 years, is promising an authentically eerie experience for anyone who dares to rent a room.

The 52-year-old Halloween hostess said: “I’m really excited to show all my guests the true meaning of Halloween and how to get into the spirit of things – after all, who knows how to celebrate Halloween better than a witch?”

PUTTING POTTER’S POTIONS TO SHAME: Lucya Starza with her real life potions

We might already have begun counting the days to Christmas but for Lucya and other followers of the pagan calendar October 31, or Samhain, is the most important day of the year.

Lucya hopes that guests take away some good memories and whilst she is prepared to offer spells and potions, she insists that real-life magic is nothing like Harry Potter!

“Candle spells are very easy for a beginner and that would be the sort of thing I would show people how to do,” she said.

“I have a lovely recipe for a potion that tastes like mulled wine, but uses spices that are magically associated with good luck and energy. If people wish to have a go at making that, then I can show them how.”

PUTTING HER FEET UP: Lucya relaxing after a day’s hard spells

Lucya says that she is not interested in converting anyone and is happy to fit in with whatever guests want.

“If sceptics want to come along they are welcome, but Wiccans believe everyone has the right to their own beliefs,” she said.

“I hope they have a good time and take away some good memories. Sovereign Harbour is a lovely place for a holiday at any time of year!”

Lucya loves Halloween parties, ghost walks and apple bobbing but also takes time to appreciate the date as a pagan witch.

“For most pagans, Halloween is a time to honour the dead,” she said.

“I usually get together with a few witchy friends at Samhain and we invite the spirits of our ancestors who have passed away to join us from the Otherworld – maybe to give us messages.

“My mum and dad both passed away in the past few years and I would hope this Halloween to tell their spirits how much I love them,” she added.

She believes her family upbringing was instrumental in her becoming a pagan in the 1980s and joining a coven of witches in the 1990s.

“I think I’ve been a bit of a witch all my life, to be honest,” she said.

“My grandma was an astrologer and my mum and dad used to go on ghost hunts and go dowsing for ley lines. They were fascinated by the unexplained.

“When I was a kid my friends at school said my family were like the Adams Family,” she added.  

NOT YOUR NORMAL HOTEL: Put some haunting in your Halloween this year

Lucya’s flat in Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour enjoys an uninterrupted view of the full moon – the perfect Halloween setting.

Her decision to rent out her property through peer-to-peer accommodation site Wimdu ‘felt like fate’ after she had contemplated giving classes in witchcraft for a long time.  

Wimdu is a social accommodation community that brings together travellers from around the world.

Arne Bleckwenn, CEO and co-founder, said: “Wimdu is about more than just finding a place to stay for a night – it’s about experiences and really living like a local. Lucya shows that everyone can rent out their property and make their guests’ experience one they’ll never forget!”

To book a supernatural stay with Lucya go to

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