The make-believe world of Harry Potter has been banned from a Tennessee Catholic elementary school after a pastor deemed the beloved books could conjure evil spirits.
The main series of seven installments chronicling the magical adventures of a boy wizard and his gifted friends has been exorcised from the library of St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville, after the parish pastor issued a declaration decrying their content.
According to the Rev. Dan Reehil, the tomes are full of "actual curses and spells" that could bring forth ghastly ghouls.
"These books present magic as both good and evil, which is in fact not true, but in fact a clever deception," Reehil said in an email obtained by the Tennessean. "The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells, which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text."
Reehil also wrote he had contacted several exorcists at the Vatican and in the U.S., who agreed the books should be removed.
The cherished literary series written by J.K. Rowling spawned a hit film franchise, a Broadway play, a theme park and a merchandising mecca that includes clothes, hats and faux flying broomsticks.
The supernatural saga has previously run into problems with religious conservatives who claim children could be coerced into evil-doing by reading the books.
Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of schools for Nashville's Catholic Diocese, said the church does not have an official position on the series. But individual pastors have the power to decide whether or not the books are allowed in parish schools, she said.
"He's well within his authority to act in that manner," Hammel told the paper.