Sarah Anne Sumpolec once found herself enraptured by incantations, Tarot cards and casting spells — until an encounter with Jesus transformed her perspective.
Decades later, she’s now a devout Christian who shares her experience as a former real-life teenage witch to help people see God’s power to change lives and perspectives. Her harrowing story of engaging the spirit world and nearly losing her life is nothing short of deeply compelling.
The beginnings of witchcraft
Sumpolec recently told “The Playing With Fire Podcast” that she grew up a “nomad” with her father frequently moving her family around; at moments, they faced near-homelessness.
But when she moved to a house in Delaware at age 13, something seemed different.
“My dad had said that we were going to stay, which, of course, was a big deal,” she said, recalling her hope the home would become a permanent place of residence.
The dwelling, which belonged to a former governor of the state, surprised Sumpolec, as she wondered as a child how her family could so rapidly go from financially struggling to living in such a great place.
“My dad, from the beginning of introducing us to that house … he was insinuating that this was a special house,” she said. “He hinted at it all along the way, and then when we moved there, he was like, ‘You know this house is haunted,’ and, of course, he tells me this in excitement.”
Listen to Sumpolec share her journey from witchcraft to Christianity (and subscribe):
Sumpolec said her father found the prospects of a haunting “awesome.” Considering how much she looked up to him and wanted to connect with him, she said she “just went with it.”
A ‘turning point’
“Arriving there was very much a turning point in a lot of ways,” she recalled of the move into the home. “That was the first time he really ever introduced the supernatural or his interest in the supernatural.”
While Sumpolec’s dad was “cagey” about the details surrounding the home, the mystery and intrigue piqued her curiosity and further drew her in. Thirsting for a deeper connection with her father, she became increasingly intrigued by this otherworldly “worship.”
Then, when her dad gave her a book on witchcraft, proverbial gasoline was tossed on the fires of that rabid interest.
“My dad introduced me to it very specifically through a book that he handed me when I started asking more questions,” Sumpolec said. “It was a very old book.”
Soon Sumpolec was diving into that book and consuming other New Age texts, “voraciously reading” anything she could get her hands on. Witchcraft suddenly became the connective point she had always wanted — something that would draw her closer to her dad.
And strange events inside the home only added to that connection.
The more Sumpolec asked, the more her dad engaged, and the more he engaged, the closer she felt to him. Over time, her father told her witchcraft is “who we are as a family,” indicating it was deeply embedded in the familial fabric.
That revelation suddenly clothed Sumpolec with a newfound identity of sorts.
“I really felt like I had … like opened up this key of something that I was meant to do, and identity is huge, especially when you’re a teenager,” she said. “I had an entire altar set up in my bedroom.”
Sumpolec, who considered herself a “good witch” and practiced so-called “white magic,” would often cast spells.
“Everything in witchcraft is a truth from God, perverted,” she said. “Satan doesn’t have any new ideas; he takes truth and twists it.”
Spirit guides and the roots of chaos
Over time, this apparently enrapturing experience started to evolve into something else. While it “started out great,” soon Sumpolec’s relationship with her father began to unravel, as did her family circumstances.
“There was nothing ever scary about it for a long time until it changed, and that is this is the biggest thing that I wish I could communicate on a grander scale to, especially teenagers … that the enemy is all about seduction,” she said. “He doesn’t come in with this big evil intention … it’s a slow luring in, and it’s like, ‘Oh, look at this power.'”
Over time, Sumpolec said, playing with fire birthed consequences; eventually, it all “turned on its head.”
“[There were] all these spirits that I thought I was messing with that I thought were good and that were guiding me,” she said.
But her communication with these spirits soon turned sinister, sending her on a diabolical path that could have ended her life.
‘The most terrible moment of my life’
Everything came to a head when her father, also in crisis, reportedly began using drugs. Substances suddenly clouded the bond they built — and things turned ugly.
One night, her dad — in a fit of rage, confused, and not realizing who she was — allegedly pointed a gun at her in a potentially deadly showdown.
“It was the most terrible moment of my life,” she said. “He had, like, three guns with him at the time, and my mother had left with my younger sister to take her somewhere safer but had left me there.”
Sumpolec’s father luckily never pulled the trigger, but the event changed everything and likely played a role in her suicidal inclinations that soon followed.
“[It] shattered my trust in him,” she said, noting how the incident also drove her deeper into witchcraft. “I was lost … but because I had this altar in my room and the witchcraft stuff, I was like, ‘OK, you know, I’m gonna just dig down here.'”
A suicidal shift
Around the same time, Sumpolec recalls being plagued by scary dreams, and a feeling like the spiritual experiences she had so fervently embraced were starting to turn negative.
At first, she assumed she was doing something wrong that made the spirits angry and attempted to remedy it.
“I was aware of the shift, but I didn’t know why the shift had happened,” Sumpolec said. “And I assumed I was doing something wrong, and so I kind of doubled down with all of it, because it was the only place I had to go.”
That plan left her even more destitute, as she felt prompted by these spirits to embrace the idea that the only way she could heal herself was to end her life.
At first, she said she was fearful but assumed the lies being spoken into her were somehow truths.
“I definitely had to work up the courage to do it,” Sumpolec said. “I walked out [one] day, and it was like, ‘I’m not coming back. … I’m gonna trust the spirits and do this.'”
But her attempt to use her vehicle to inflict carbon monoxide poisoning and end her life miraculously failed. Sumpolec still ponders whether she was supernaturally rescued, as she has no memory of what unfolded before she woke up lying on the ground outside her car.
“I think I was rescued. I honestly think I was rescued because I woke up. I don’t remember stopping my car. I don’t remember getting out of my car,” she said. “I literally woke up on the ground next to a tree. So I fully believe an angel got me out of that car.”
Other attempts to end her life were fortunately just as fruitless.
Finding Jesus amid the ashes
As Sumpolec’s family chaos and financial woes worsened, she headed off to college — and that’s where she experienced an unexpected life change. The teen witch suddenly found herself rooming with Christians — a shocking experience, to say the least.
Those newfound friends eventually convinced Sumpolec to attend a Christian gathering on campus, and that’s when she was introduced to the Gospel.
“I still remember the whole sermon … it’s been 30 some years now … because it was about altars,” she said, noting how the message was, in part, about Elijah and the prophets of Baal.
She pondered how mistruths are often crooked truths as she sat and listened. As these sentiments are corrected, things begin to straighten out, and the pure, unadulterated truth becomes easier to see.
Sumpolec began to wonder if she, amid her witchcraft and occultism, had been living out a twisted version of reality.
“I was searching. I wanted truth. I wanted things that were true, and I fully believed that what I had found in witchcraft was true,” she said. “So when I heard that sermon … I realized that … if this is true, then this was off. And maybe this is the truth that I’ve always been looking for.”
That realization brought Sumpolec into the Christian fold and entirely transformed her life. She embraced the Bible and renounced witchcraft, which created tension with her father.
“It was like anathema to him because he was like, ‘I taught you better than this,'” she recalled, explaining how her father saw Christianity as essentially “stupid.” “It was a betrayal to him that I had become a Christian, and he was furious for a long time.”
Nothing stopped Sumpolec from her Christian journey. Today, she’s thankful for her “dramatic testimony” and often shares her conversion from teen witch to Christ-follower through interviews and the written word.
“I should be dead. I would have been dead,” she said. “I was truly transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.”
Listen to her full testimony on “The Playing With Fire Podcast.”
This story originally appeared on Faithwire.com.