The Tonti family began to suspect that the young woman was a witch, specifically a Strega Witch and Carole laughed it off. Unfortunately one evening a terrible fire broke out in the bedroom of the Tonti familys three year old daughter this nearly destroyed the whole house. Thank goodness no one was hurt although when the police arrived they recognized the strange young woman who had also been at the scene of the Ricci house fires. The police had no option when presented with the evidence and arrested Carole Compton and she was charged with attempted murder.
Thanks to the propaganda and press coverage and all the newspapers in Europe coming up with shocking headlines such as The Girl They Call a Witch. The public themselves were split down the middle, with one side shocked with Italys justice for going on a witch hunt, and others who believed that the woman had a pact with the devil and deserved to rot away in a prison for her crimes.
The parapsychologist Guy Lyon Playfair well known for this work in the Enfield Poltergeist case tried to get involved with the case. Carole felt that any connection to the paranormal even if to disprove she was a witch, would stain her reputation even further.
Carole never once admitted to having any abilities or confess to setting the strange fires. This however did not convince the courts and they kept her in prison for sixteen months before her trial was set. Several forensic experts testified that it was a strange nature to the bizarre fires, even going so far as to refer that they are abnormal. The courts were afraid the young womans supposed powers, that she was only allowed in the courtroom if she was kept safely inside a iron-barred cage.
Fortunately for Carole, she was found not guilty for attempted murder. On the other hand, she was charged with attempted arson and sentenced for one and a half years inside an Italian prison. Since she had spent the same amount of time awaiting her trial, Carole was released immediately, and for pretty obvious reasons, she moved to America and put the whole terrible spectacle behind her.
There have been plenty of theories about what exactly happened to Carole during the years she spent in Italy, some of which include poltergeist activity, psychokinesis, to unintentional magic spells cast. Even Carol herself suggested the possibility of a poltergeist, as the activity always seemed to get worse as the tensions inside the homes built. Years after the trial Carol wrote a book about the experience called SUPERSTITION: The True Story of the Nanny They Called a Witch, in which she recaps the experience from her point of view.
While theres no way to make any definitive conclusions about what happened during the months that Carole Compton lived with both the Ricci and Tonti families, anyone familiar with poltergeist activity knows that people often report experiencing a violent activity that can range from objects moving on their own, to mysterious fires.
Carole Compton has never once faltered on her innocence, and at the end of the day, all of the accusations are just rumors, undoubtably interesting ones. We will never truly know, but there is one thing we can all agree on the cases like the Nanny Witch will always captivate our imagination and keep the paranormal debate going for years to come.