View Full Version : Legendary and Folk Witches...

January 30th, 2002, 02:24 AM
Keep in mind, some of these are only "Rumored" witches, or people accused of witchcraft :)


March 30th, 2002, 10:53 AM

I thought this might be interesting for those who were interested in Lady Alice, more legendary witches here.

March 30th, 2002, 11:11 AM
I wish the author had clarified a bit - most of those people considered themselves Christians. Ronald Hutton nicely debunked "Old Dorothy" Clutterbuck in The Triumph of the Moon. Isobel "Goldie" was actually named Gowdie. Too many mistakes in there in general to make me comfortable.

March 30th, 2002, 02:18 PM
yeah, i was going to point out the Isobel Gowdie (or Goudie) thing too. and she WAS in fact hanged for her 'crimes'.

Baba Yaga was the first one that popped into my mind when i saw the link, and i was beginning toi think they were going to overlook her! one version of her legend says that she rode through the sky in a cauldron. she is the old hag who lived in the 'hut on fowls legs' which could take off running to avoid danger. that'd be kinda cool!

i'm surprised that there was no mention of Tichiba(sp?), the Jamaican 'witch' who inadvertantly started the Salem craze.
or Walpurga, the German witch for whom 'Walpurgisnacht' (Beltane) was named.

but i guess we have to realize that this is for fun, and not meant to be an academic resource.

March 30th, 2002, 04:15 PM
Tituba..probably the only "real" witch in the whole Salem Fiasco...

As an aside...my father met Arthur Miller author of the play "The Crucible" about the Salem witch trials.

March 30th, 2002, 05:11 PM
... or was it about the McCarthy witch trials? hmmm...
that's cool though. Mr. Miller was (is?) an interesting fellow.

March 30th, 2002, 06:42 PM
My ten times great grandmother was called Walpurga (she came from Switzerland).

There were several other famous witches they left out. And weird that they'd mention the charge of witchcraft against Anne Boleyn and not mention the same charge against Katherine Howard. Or the same rumors about Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. It's sort of selective history.

It seems to me that the word "witch" has always done more to connote the image of strong independent women than any religious affiliations.
Did anyone ever read, or see the movie based on, Fritz Leiber's "The Conjure Wife" that played up the idea that all women were really witches, using magic to manipulate their husband's worlds whole pretending to be content little homemakers? (Of course, the heroine really wanted to be the dutiful 50s wife. . .).

March 30th, 2002, 07:00 PM
according to Sprenger and Kramer (the infamous authors of the 'Malleaus Maleficarum'), NO women have souls and therefore ALL women are potential witches.
and they determined this scientifically, so it must be true!

March 31st, 2002, 12:38 AM
Wasn't a new idea for them - they stole it from St. Jerome and other sources.

March 31st, 2002, 06:29 AM
Kramer & Sprenger!

I have a copy of the Malleous that I tried to read recently.

(I think a lot of my problem is the translation. I recently got done with a really tortured sentence & realized that sentence-structure was German, not English. A better translation might be more readable.)

In the first chapter, they set out to determine whether witchcraft can actually exist. Part of their proof goes:
-We have just proved it is not possible for devils to have any real "supernatural" effect on things.
-Distracting sentence to make you look the other way.
-Therefore, supernatural effects are clearly caused by devils.

Yeah! Logic! ~shakes head in disgust~

March 31st, 2002, 11:47 AM
For those of you interested, I posted a thread with a text version of some of the chapters of the Malleus Malificarum in here a while ago...if you run a quick search in the search engine here at MW, you can read it:)

March 31st, 2002, 03:36 PM
Obviously either before I joined, or before I started visiting "History".

Cool! :sunny: I'll have to look it up.

It's one of those books we hear about so much, without ever really reading it for ourselves. That's one of the reasons I picked up a copy.

I really want to try to get another copy for myself, hopefully in a better translation (mine is the Montague Summers), but will certainly look up the thread here! Thanks for the resource!

October 18th, 2003, 12:26 AM

Moon Dragon
October 30th, 2003, 12:06 AM

I thought this might be interesting for those who were interested in Lady Alice, more legendary witches here.

Intriguing, but also a disturbing site when you get into other areas ...

Lady Alice Kyteler ?-1324. Lady Alice was a wealthy woman from Ireland who was accused of witchcraft as a result of the fact that her fourth husband and his family believed she had lured him into marrying her more money. These charges were dropped and later she moved to England were she lived in luxury until her death.

I had to read a book on her when I took my History of Witchcraft about four or five years ago.
The Sorcery Trail of Alice Kyteler Together With Related Documents

It can be purchased on Amazon.com

It was intereting .. one of the few books that I could actually read and not be upset with (at this point in time of the class, I was more agnostic than anything .. it wasn't until a year and a half later that I took an interest in Wicca and really found my true calling. If all aspects of witchcraft are interesting to you, then this would be something worth taking a look at. It was actually the first book he started us off with.

Bright Blessings,

Ben Gruagach
October 30th, 2003, 12:32 PM
Be sure to check out the public domain texts available at http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/index.htm as well. There is a copy of the Malleus Maleficarum there too for those who want to check it out but aren't interested in buying a copy.