A Burmese exorcist has pleaded guilty to murder charges in the deaths of three children he is accused of beating and injuring another after telling their parents they were possessed by evil spirits.

Tun Naing told the court in Twante, south of Yangon, that he "lost control of my mind" and beat the children during an exorcism ritual on Oct. 18. Three children died and another was severely injured before villagers called authorities to arrest Naing.

Superstition and belief in sprits is common in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.