Monday 15 October 2018
Witches in horror: eureka?
For today's countdown to Halloween post, I come back to one of my spooky obsessions: the character of the witch in horror stories. I once blogged about them, in 2015, explaining how I would like to see them coming back as villains in horror fiction. Modern self proclaimed witches try very hard to fight this negative perception of the evil old crone that send curses and poison honest people, but I always thought that when it comes to fiction, the folkloric trope character is overall more inspiring than the harmless one. I have been lucky enough recently to find one scary story in the many horror stories I have been binging on that features an evil witch. More importantly, I might have found a way to incorporate an evil witch in a modern setting. Reminiscing on what I know of witch hunts in Europe, I remembered that in England, unlike Catholic Europe, people condemned for witchcraft were hanged instead of burned, as witchcraft was a crime in common law, but not considered blasphemy. Ironically, England executed this way far more alleged witches than any Catholic country. That said, let's assume for argument's sake that there were sometimes some people that could really do witchcraft, in any way, and really had supernatural powers. Could there have been, among the many innocent victims of witch hunts, some, at least one, that were real witches? If there was any malevolent essence in their body, would hanging be insufficient for destroying the bona fide witch, probably capable of withstanding hanging? If so, could this some of these genuine witches have survived to this day, through their powers? Especially since some of these powers include resisting, at least to a degree, to the effects of age. I think I have my starting point for a horror story. Although I don't know yet where to go from here.