On Wednesday, 23 January 1924, Esther Smith, of no fixed address, arrived at the Killeigh, County Offaly, home of Mrs Mary Murray. Smith told Murray that she’d been sent by the fairies – whom she visits three days a week – to warn her of “certain impending deaths.”
Smith explained that the source of the problem was the evil spirits Murray had in her house. Murray was terrified.
Fortunately, Smith wasn’t just a messenger: she had come to help. The evil spirits had to go, and Smith could drive them out - for a price of course.
Murray gave Smith £3, which was all the money she had. Smith took it. But it wasn’t enough; so, she relieved Murray of most of her food, filling a flour sack with eggs, flour, onions and bacon.
After performing the “exorcism,” Smith gave Murray some advice: when sweeping her floors, she should always sweep in and never out. She also instructed Murray to keep a gallon of water on the kitchen table.
It’s not clear who reported the incident, but a Civic Guard arrested Smith soon after the “exorcism” was performed. She still had most of the money and food she'd taken.
Smith appeared before Tullamore District Court on Tuesday, 29 January 1924, charged with obtaining money and goods by false pretences.
Source:The Irish Times, 2 February 1924