Witches Facts

Witches Facts
A witch is an individual that practices witchcraft. Witches were not always considered to be evil. Originally they were considered to be magical and capable of healing, bringing good luck, and providing protection. Witchcraft began as a pagan religion that worshipped both a masculine and feminine god. It wasn't until 1000 A.D. that they became the target of priests and religious figures for being anti-Christian. As they became more feared by society, the practice of killing those suspected of being witches became common. As the fear grew, witches became associated with casting terrible spells, black magic, black cats, flying on brooms, and killing people.
Interesting Witches Facts:
Witches do not wear black pointy hats. They do not have warts on their faces and ride around on brooms. These are all myths that people created because of their fear.
In 1022 A.D. a suspected witch was burned to death during the first crusade against them
In 1200 Pope Gregory IX authorized the hunting and killing of witches.
Those suspected of being a witch had to prove their innocence, often by being drowned or stoned to death. If they died they were innocent. In many cases they were burned at a stake.
A book titled Malleus Maleficarum was written in the 1400s that was meant to tell how to deal with witches. There were other books written as well to teach people how to hunt and kill witches.
In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII confirmed that witches existed. This made it acceptable under the church to destroy those believed to be witches.
Both men and women were accused of being witches and persecuted for it.
Between 1581 and 1593, 368 people were executed at the Trier Witch Trials in Germany. Many of these suspected witches were men who held important roles in society.
The Wurzburg Witch Trial that occurred between 1626 and 1631 resulted in the deaths of 157 women, men, and children that had been accused of being witches. These people were burned at the stake which was a common method to kill witches.
During the Salem Witch Trials that occurred in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 and 1693, 165 people were accused of being witches. 19 of the accused witches were executed.
England's Witchcraft Act of 1735 was still legal up until 1951. It was replaced by the Fraudulent Mediums Act.
The Weird Sisters in Shakespeare's play Macbeth were evil witches.
Witches are usually portrayed in the media as being good or evil.
Evil witches in modern media include Willow (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz), Winnie Sanderson (Hocus Pocus), Melisandre (Game of Thrones), Queen Ravenna (Snow White and the Huntsman), and Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty).
Good witches in modern media include Glinda the Good Witch of the South (The Wizard of Oz), Sally and Gillian Owens (Practical Magic), Harry Potter (Harry Potter series), and Samantha (Bewitched).
Witches are most popular around Halloween but there are other times such as the winter and summer solstices, May Eve, Fall Equinox, and Candlemas.

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