MAGIC AND ME BY TOYAH
stage, Toyah Willcox is a spell-binding performer
with crazy clothes, brightly coloured hair and
new-wave music. Off stage she also knows a bit
about spells - having practised black magic and
put curses on her enemies. She even admits that
she has slept in a coffin. Toyah, now 23,
developed what she calls "a morbid
curiosity" in black magic when she was at
school. Teachers told her firmly not to meddle in
it. "But that, of course, just made me want
to look into it a lot further," says Toyah.
a pupil at an all-girls' public school in
Birmingham, she put curses on some of her
classroom rivals. "I would put them on girls
who had been really nasty to me.
do very badly in end-of-term exams."
well as her own curses, Toyah also experimented
with ouija boards and levitation, though she says
she has now stopped practising black magic.
chilling experience shook her family when she was
just 14. Toyah takes up the story.
sister was working in a hospital cancer ward,
which she found very disturbing. One particular
day, an old lady died and she was very
night my sister was in her room and the old lady
appeared by way of thanking her for her help.
sister began to rise out of her bed - levitate -
and, in the next room, so did my father. He
nearly had a heart attack!
posters in my room had started flying in all
things happened to me all the time. We always
thought the house was haunted. And it wasn't
until my sister married a psychiatrist that we
realised we did it.
get a lot of letters from adolescents who say
things like that happens to them. At the time, I
thought I was going mad."
added that, even now, she's the only one who can
sleep in her old bedroom in the house.
as if I left something of me there... my
vibrations." she says.
mother had to sleep there not long ago. She woke
up in the night to hear a man's voice saying what
he wanted to do to her!"
Toyah's bedroom was in no way as chilling as the
spot where she later slept. that was an empty
South London warehouse... and her bed was a
coffin in which it was said she slept naked.
certainly slept in a coffin," said Toyah.
"But as to sleeping nude, I don't see what I
wore or didn't had to do with it."
was living in the warehouse, she had to get by on
just £10-a-week dole money.
first, she had been sleeping on a blanket on the
cold concrete floor - but then she met two zany
French actors who were travelling round in an
ambulance with a coffin in the back.
was a fibre-glass accident coffin, and they gave
it to me," says Toyah. "It was much
warmer than sleeping on the floor.
below was a morgue, and the people who worked
there said I could have a proper coffin with a
lining. But the boss found out, so I didn't get
the new coffin."
Toyah was there, she was robbed of papers and
were these two guys living underneath, and I had
this really bad feeling about them. They kept
laughing at me, and I think I just concentrated
weeks later, a CID man knocked on the warehouse
door and asked Toyah and her boyfriend of the
moment to walk to the end of the alley that ran
adds: "We got to the end and these two men
came out of their door. At the moment, police
cars, with sirens blaring, drove up and
had robbed me. I got everything back. But I knew
there was something that really made me hate
for Toyah now is a North London flat which she
shares with her boyfriend and former bodyguard,
Tom Taylor, 25.
Toyah goes, the fans pursue her. Recently, 14
boys slept in her garden. "Just to say
hello," said Toyah.
she's becoming a singing superstar and is also
appearing increasingly as an actress on TV - the
BBC have offered her a magazine series - Toyah
restricts herself to a weekly "wage" of
explains: "I have been paying off debts for
finally the question that all Toyah's fans are
dying to know. What's her hair really like?
it's dark," she says. "I first dyed it
when I was 15. I have been dyeing it ever
Titbits, November 1981