‘I was in a two-person teen witch sex cult’: Comedian Maggie Lalley shares surreal story in hit musical

Maggie Lalley wearing a long red dress

Between the ages of 13 and 15, Maggie Lalley says she believed she was a witch with dormant magical powers and in a romantic relationship with Harry Potter star Rupert Grint.

Maggie says she was a “very innocent Catholic school girl” before being lured into a “two-person witch sex cult” by her teenage best friend.

She tells her story of manipulation, realising everything she thought she knew was a lie and rebuilding her life in her one-woman coming-of-age show, Sex Witch The Musical. While its narrative is surreal, Maggie says the story is entirely true.

“I was just under her power, OK – there was a lot of mind control going on,” Maggie tells PinkNews. “I was very innocent, very gullible and had no reason to believe that she’d be lying to me.

“There’s a line in the show where I’m like, ‘I was already on board with Christ, and he wasn’t even eating me out. Why wouldn’t I give this girl, who was a witch obsessed with oral, the benefit of the doubt? Why would she lie to me?’”

Maggie says she met her friend – who she calls Bethany in the show – aged 13 and became “sort of obsessed”.

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“I look up to her. She’s the dominant. I do what she tells me … and then she introduces this witchcraft aspect to our friendship,” she says.

“She’s like, ‘I’m a witch’, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, amazing, love it!’ She goes, ‘By the way, so are you’, and I’m like, ‘I knew it. I know it. This is amazing.’”

Maggie lying on the ground in a blue tutu
Maggie Lalley has performed Sex Witch The Musical at the Edinbugh Fringe, and is now taking it to the Soho Playhouse in New York. (Sayaka Ueno)

Maggie says that Bethany began a “witchcraft training programme” with her, which became “dark and borderline abus[ive]”.

“She basically told me that she was going to train me to be a witch, and eventually I would come into my powers if I followed her orders and obeyed everything she told me to do.”

Maggie recounts being told that she would be able to perform bilocation – where an individual is located in two distinct places at the same time – and would live in a house full of other witches and warlocks.

When she wasn’t training Maggie, Bethany could allegedly shoot the breeze with famous friends including the cast of Charmed and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint.

Maggie says Bethany would pretend to be these celebrities while they were intimate, evolving to the point where Maggie genuinely believed she was in a romantic relationship with Grint. 

Throughout her experience, Maggie says, she kept a secret diary of her ‘training’ and what Bethany was doing to her.

The diary would become the two-person cult’s undoing when Maggie’s mother discovered it and confronted her daughter about the abuse.

Yet, Maggie says, she defended Bethany and still believed her lies until she saw Grint in real life.

Bethany had allegedly told her she would be “able to communicate with [other witches and warlocks] via telepathy” if she encountered them in-person. 

Maggie says she travelled to see Grint taping a TV show in New York City to try to psychically communicate with him.

“I’m just in the audience. I’m alone. I went to this in secret, and I’m just trying to communicate with him telepathically to see if he’s actually my secret warlock boyfriend,” she says. 

“He doesn’t acknowledge me. He does not look at me, and I’m like, ‘OK, this is all I needed. I just needed this one moment to snap me out of this psychological witch trance that I was in.’ And that’s when I knew this was all a lie.”

Maggie, cast in red light, dancing in a sheer skirt
Maggie Lalley no longer believes she’s a witch. (Sayaka Ueno)

Maggie says she confronted Bethany, who denied lying to and abusing her. She cut ties and began to rebuild her life.

Years later, after Maggie went through therapy, she realised the story was “pretty funny” and “traumatic”. It was then that she used her old diary to piece together a comedy-musical.

After performing Sex Witch The Musical at the Edinburgh Fringe and around the US, Maggie says multiple audience members have come up to her afterwards to share how they related to the story.

She had “no idea” her desire to write a “funny song about how [she] kind of dated Rupert Grint in [her] mind” would have a meaningful impact on people watching. 

“I had no idea. I’m out here just doing comedy, wanting to be funny and wanting to be honest about what I’ve gone through in my life,” she says. 

“I had no idea people would feel seen after seeing the show. I’m so grateful that it also has this positive and potentially healing impact for people watching. 

“I didn’t anticipate that. I wasn’t even aiming for that, and now that I have a deeper understanding of what happened to me because I’ve done the show, this is a form of therapy for me too.”

Sex Witch The Musical is running from 19 April to 6 May at the Soho Playhouse in New York City.