Cheyenne “Voodoo Man” Arrested, But Business Owners Worried He'll Be Out Soon

Cheyenne business owners were relieved to hear that a towering man who wields a staff and pronounces voodoo curses and death threats toward them was arrested Thursday, but they suspect he won’t be in jail long.

Clair McFarland

June 29, 20245 min read

Joshua Hayden Ali
Joshua Hayden Ali (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

Cheyenne business owners were relieved to hear that a towering local who wields a staff and pronounces voodoo curses and death threats toward them was arrested Thursday, but they suspect he won’t be in jail long.

Joshua Hayden-Ali, 42, has frustrated many Cheyenne business owners for years, especially in the historic downtown area. Those who spoke with Cowboy State Daily said he stands 6-foot-4, he calls himself “Wisdom” and wields a large staff like a rifle and pretends to shoot people. He also spews death threats and behaves as though he’s hexing them.

Laramie County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested him Thursday on suspicion of trespassing and breach of peace after he allegedly threatened a Safeway Fuel Station attendant on South Greeley Highway just outside Cheyenne days earlier, according to an agency statement to Facebook.

Hayden-Ali had been threatening to kill a woman and her family because he recognized that the woman had gotten him banned from the store, according to the evidentiary affidavit Laramie County Assistant District Attorney Jacob Steers filed in the case June 24.

“He was gone when the deputy arrived,” says the statement. “However, the deputy requested a warrant from (Cheyenne) Circuit Court to arrest him.”

The affidavit says Hayden-Ali has been warned, trespassed, cited in municipal court, “contacted” and named in protection orders.

He was arrested on suspicion of brandishing a gun at the Frontier Mall in 2020. Former Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove reduced the two counts of aggravated assault against him to lesser charges the following year. Police never found a gun in that case, according to a Cheyenne Police Department statement issued after the incident.

This time, Hayden-Ali could face up to a year in jail if convicted on both the trespassing and breach of peace charges, and if sentenced consecutively.

The Laramie County Sheriff’s Office’s statement says law enforcers want to help business owners.

“We wanted to advise the community that we are aware of the concerns downtown shop owners have and (we want to) work with our mental health counselors toward a possible solution,” the statement reads.

Not Super Optimistic

Brian Snyder, owner of Bohemian Metals, said he’s not optimistic that this arrest will cure Hayden-Ali’s behavior. He’s been dealing with the voodoo shaman and his threatening outbursts for a long time.

“He’s been arrested a couple times (already),” said Snyder. “It’s sad that there aren’t more resources like that for someone who has such obvious mental issues.”

The Sith Lord

Michelle Shimmin, who owns 307 Made, said Hayden-Ali has been lurking around her business since it opened in July 2021.

“The first one was just weird. He asked me if I was the Sith lord,” said Shimmin. “I said ‘No. I’m the Tupperware lady.’”

Though Shimmin said she’s heard other people report death threats, Hayden-Ali has never leveled any against her.

One day she was helping orchestrate a man’s adoption of a rescue dog in front of her store and Hayden-Ali arrived, Shimmin said.

The dog cowered.

“He could sense something already,” said Shimmin of the dog, adding that Hayden-Ali started yelling at the people in front of her store, then he threatened to sacrifice the dog.

Shimmin emerged with her stick and taser and said, “You step foot in front of my store again and I’ll have you arrested,” she recalled.

She said Hayden-Ali looked at her and walked away.

Like Snyder, Shimmin said she doubts that Hayden-Ali will be in jail long, but she theorized that the accumulating charges against him can help authorities confine him for longer stretches.

Not A Shaman

Hayden-Ali has reportedly called himself a shaman and touted the practice of voodoo.

Patricia Miller at Twinkle Twinkle Little Store said he’s not a real shaman or voodoo practitioner.

“Shamans are healers in our communities … there to assist people in need of energy work and healing,” she said. “I know some people that have earned that shaman modality and I respect them greatly, and I don’t respect (Hayden-Ali) at all.”

Miller said she’s banned Hayden-Ali from one of her store locations after he distressed some of the women who attend a group session there.

Since then, he’s pronounced curses on her and her family, Miller said, adding that he’s been covering the building with stickers, walking past and using his staff like an energy portal to send bad energy to her.

“He’s gone up to the parking garage and chanted and ‘shot’ his staff at us for quite some time,” said Miller. “I’m not worried about him. I think for some reason he’s afraid of me.”

Miller cited occasions on which she’s spoken forcefully to him and he’s slunk away.

The Red Paint Incident

A couple weeks ago, Miller said Hayden-Ali dumped red paint on a banner she sponsored for a veteran’s fair at the depot. To replace it cost her a couple hundred dollars, she added.

This hearkens to another alleged incident one Cheyenne woman described in a comment under the sheriff’s office’s post about Hayden-Ali’s arrest.

“He threw fake blood all over our bathroom and sticks devil stickers all over our building,” wrote the woman.

The commenter did not immediately respond to a Cowboy State Daily message requesting comment.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter