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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Man Seeks Marriage Advice, Then Ends Up Dead After Dark Ritual to Save Relationship: Report

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Desperate times call for desperate measures, but perhaps not quite so desperate as the measures one poor man took in a last-ditch effort to fix his marriage.

Russian couple Anton Shabanov, 33, and his estranged wife, 29-year-old Lyubov, separated after less than a year of wedded bliss.

Their lives had taken different paths, and Shabanov, an engineer, was distraught and willing to do anything to bring them back together.

It’s unclear how many other, less-occult methods Shabanov tried out before turning to the dark arts, but at some point, he decided that a supernatural solution would be necessary.

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His search for someone to perform such a ritual reportedly led him to 32-year-old Nikolay Ivanov, a convicted fraudster.

The Russian Investigative Committee said that the couple’s possessions needed to be buried in a local forest, but as the work commenced, Ivanov apparently mocked Shabanov and his wife and the two men began to fight, according to The U.S. Sun.

“The court established that a local resident, wishing to restore relations with his wife, decided to resort to an occult ritual,” a committee reviewing the case later said.

“To perform the ceremony, he needed to bury their personal belongings in a deserted place outside the city.”

At some point, Ivanov allegedly clocked Shabanov in the head and neck with an axe, killing him. After covering the body with branches, he fled.

Ivanov later confessed to the murder when caught by police, was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison and was fined over $27,000 in damages.

The Privolzhsky District Court in Astrakhan determined that Ivanov’s time would be served at a “strict regime” labor camp.

Shabanov’s decision to turn to black magic surprised a friend of his, who said he’d known the man was sad about the separation but didn’t seem the type to turn to such methods.

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“They had split up — they did not divorce but had been living separately,” the friend told Russia’s 360TV, according to the Sun.

“Naturally he was upset, but I cannot imagine he would be involved in rites to bring her back.”

Some commenters have said that nothing will drive a person crazy like having a broken heart, and others suggested that if the man was willing to involve the occult, perhaps the estranged wife was right to leave.

Either way, if you have a problem that needs to be solved, as a general rule it’s probably best to go about solving that problem without involving either the dark arts or conmen.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking