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Chinese Communist Party organizations in coastal Jiangsu province were shocked to discover that a woman practicing witchcraft was a 15-year party veteran and had been selected as a model party member.

Huang Yaying's party membership was discovered during her investigation and trial on charges of witchcraft, said the weekly Newspaper Digest, received in Beijing Friday."Departments supervising the party were shocked - from the township to the county to the city and even to Jiangsu Province," the newspaper said.

It said that in January, Huang had almost killed villager Lu Zhifang after trying to exorcise demons causing Lu's depression and mental illness.

During an exorcism lasting more than seven hours, Huang stuck sewing needles into Lu's temples, upper lip and hand, and applied a candle to the woman's face, throat, armpit and abdomen, causing second and third degree burns.

The paper did not say how Huang's case had been settled and did not explain how she could have joined the party, which has tried to ban all superstitious practices.