We all have images of real witches burned into our retinas that make our hair stand on end. If you wonder if witches really exist , you have to read this article, and go deeper into the anthropological concepts of witch and sorceress.
You will also learn about the history of captured witches who have gone down in history for their supposed powers and real curses. What’s the true about all this
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1. Are there real witches?
2. The scariest real witches in history.
3. The most famous royal witches in Spain.
Were witches real?
Sorcery and misogyny
Since the medieval centuries, the Judeo-Christian tradition cultivated in Western cultures the image of the witch as a scapegoat for social ills . The construction of the archetype of the witch as an old woman with a hooked nose who used supernatural forces to make evil take root in superstitious societies.
In reality, the extension of the criminalization of the witch responds to a misogynistic vision of womenin Christian societies, which refers without going any further to the Holy Scriptures: “You shall not let the sorceress live” (Exodus 22:18).
However, although their activity was related to the cult of Satan, in reality they were women who sought an encounter with nature in order to free themselves from the moral restrictions of the time. The women gathered to dance at night and seek the adoration of pleasure, and what for the Inquisition were covens, was actually the celebration of life against the imposition of the prohibition on their own body.
It must be said, contrary to widespread belief, that in the Catholic societies of southern Europe, such as Spain, the famous witch huntsthey had hardly any incidence, with the exception of some outbreaks such as the famous case of the Witches of Zugarramurdi. On the other hand, in the north of Europe there was an authentic fever of witchcraft, especially in the 16th and 17th centuries.
It is estimated that 3,229 witches were burned in southern Germany during this period, 4,400 in Scotland and more than 2,000 in Lorraine. In the midst of witch hysteria , treatises were published such as the Malleus Maleficarum, spread in Germany from 1487, or the Demonomania of the French jurist Jean Bodino.
But, did witches really exist? We
must differentiate, at this point, between witchcraft and sorcery. While the witch is a rural character linked to the cult of the devil and a victim of superstition and religious instrumentalization, the sorceress is an urban character who uses empirical means to conjure supernatural powers in her favour.
The creepiest real witches in history
That explains why there have been real witches throughout history, sorceresses who have gone down in history for their ritual practices, their supposed supernatural powers and their truly creepy histories.
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1. Elly Kedward, the Blair Witch
Her story rose to popularity thanks to the movie The Blair Witch Project (1999), in which three filmmakers get lost in the woods of the Black Hills, Maryland, while looking for the trail of the local legend of the Blair Witch.
The real basis of the fiction is the story of Elly Kedward, an old woman from the town of Blair (currently renamed Burkittsville) who in February 1785 tricked some local children into coming to her house , where she took blood for, supposedly cast spells. The outcome of the story is even more macabre.
When the children explained what had happened at home, the villagers captured Elly Kedward, tied her to a wheelbarrow, and abandoned her deep in the woods, where she died in the bitter cold. Far from disappearing the problems , after the death of the Blair witch began some mysterious disappearances.
Prisoners of hysteria and believing that it was the curse, the inhabitants of Blair left the town.
2. Madame Blavatsky and theosophy
Helena von Hahn, better known as Madame Blavatsky, is one of the best-known witches in history. She was born in Russia in 1831, she is known for being the founder of the Theosophical Society through which she transmitted a whole series of beliefsand knowledge about reincarnation, clairvoyance and the occult.
In reality, Madame Blavatsky was persecuted for questioning the scientific and religious foundations of society at the end of the 19th century. In 1875, in her first major work Isis Unveiled, she collected the history of the occult sciences and the origin of magic, emphasizing the failings of Christian theology.
Later he reinforced his beliefs from several trips to the Himalayas where he came into contact with the Buddhist universe. Her fame grew, and mediumistic and prophetic powers were attributed to her.. As would happen later with the Bulgarian seer Baba Vanga, at the same time that she was reviled by the official establishment, many powerful men and members of royalty requested her services.
She died in 1891, at the age of 60: it is believed that she died prematurely from having repeatedly used her own body to produce phenomenal manifestations .
3. The prophecies of Mother Shipton
In the England of Henry VIII, in 1488 , a girl was born who from a very young age revealed powers of divination. Ursula Southeil, who would go down in history as Mother Shipton, became famous for prophesying remarkable events such as the appearance of the Internet or the outbreak of World War II. Reality or montage
They say that she was born in a cave, in Knaresborough (Yorkshire), and that from a very young age she demonstrated the ability to predict the future. Among his prophecies are the fall of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, the suppression of Catholicism during the reign of Henry VIII and the premature death of his son, the London plague of 1665 , the capitulation of the Spanish army and the arrival of Queen Victoria in english throne.
In some of his verses, many see the divination of the arrival of the Internet and mobile telephony: “The carriages will run without horses and accidents will fill the world with pain. Thoughts will fly around the earth in the blink of an eye.” Twitter
In reality, the figure of Mother Shipton is parallel to the emergence of the famous seer Michel de Nostradamus , but being a woman, she did not receive instruction or transcend her figure, which even today is still shrouded in mystery and many believe it to be a story. made up.
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4. Laurie Cabot
Not in vain Mercedes Elizabeth Kearsey, better known as the pagan priestess Laurie Cabot, chose the city of Salem as a place to live and carry out her work , famous for being the center of the largest witch hunt in the history of the United States. United in 1692-1693. Today, Laurie Cabot is one of the most prestigious and well-known witches around the world.
She was born in Oklahoma in 1933, and as a child she developed a keen interest in occult matters. She herself tells how she devoured esoteric books in the Boston Public Library, and in her younger years she began to delve into the rituals of Wicca magic (mixture of Celtic pagan tradition and occult practices).
For decades he has led Wiccan celebrations and rituals such as Sabbaths and Samhein, as well as running a famous witch shop called “The Cat, the Crow and the Crown”. However, she too has become famous for some controversy such as having threatened a police officer with a firearm.
Laurie Cabot, the “Official Witch of Salem”, is not only one of the best known real witches but also one of the main disseminators of magical knowledge through numerous books that attract numerous occult fans.
5. Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen
Without a doubt one of the most terrifying witches is Marie Laveau, a woman born in 1794 in the port city of New Orleans. This locality isfamous for urban legends and its customs linked to African voodoo, a breeding ground more than enough for the black legend to develop around that woman.
The death of her first husband, in 1820, under unclear circumstances, began to spread rumors about certain witchcraft practices of this woman, who otherwise had an exotic and mesmerizing physical appearance . This coincided with the time when Marie Laveau began to really get acquainted with voodoo and witchcraft.
In 1830, her second spouse died, cementing her fame as a witch and being dubbed the “Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.” Her ritual practices, in which she mixed elements of Santeria with African traditions, attracted many white women from the area while spreading her feared fame as a seer and sorceress.
She was believed to have the ability to cast the evil eye and cause people to die. She died young, at the age of 41 , leaving several children in the world, including another of the real witches who have gone down in history: Marie Laveau II.
The most famous real witches in Spain
The most famous witches in history are found in northern Europe and in the English colonies of the United States, but also in Spain there have been cases of witchcraft whose work as pimps and sorceresses is mixed with superstition and the accusations.
6. The pimp of Cuenca
The Cuenca archives are full of documents that attestthe witch hysteria of deep Spain during modern centuries. Fernando de Rojas managed to capture the figure of the sorceresses of that time in the fundamental work of Spanish literature La Celestina, whose character could have been inspired by the pimp of Cuenca.
In 1602 the Inquisition opened a process against several women, including Teresa Hernandez, a gypsy accused of practicing witchcraft along with the minor Juana Perez, also prosecuted. According to witnesses, the witch prepared ointments and cast spells to get the favor of some men.
Teresa Hernandez was found guiltyand forced into exile, and was the precedent of the wave of witchcraft that spread through Cuenca from 1615, only five years after the famous trials of Zugarramurdi.
In the statements, the witnesses claimed to hear strange noises at night, as well as the performance of macabre dances consisting of making circles and finally throwing themselves to the ground. The pimp of Cuenca, as well as the witches who followed her, were especially attacked for dealing with issues of love and the sexual potency of lovers .
7. Enriqueta Marti, the vampire of Barcelona
In the story of Enriqueta Marti, the vampire of Barcelona, superstition and the criminal career of a serial killer with mental disorders are mixed. What is true and what is false in this file continues to be a source of controversy.
In fact, despite the fame that his figure has dragged in popular culture to this day, recent police investigations cast doubt on the murders attributed to him.
Enriqueta Marti was born in Sant Feliu de Llobregat in 1868, and in her youth she showed an elusive and problematic character that worsened when she began to work as a prostitute. Researchers have always been attracted to her double life: by day she begged and wandered the streets, while at night she wore luxurious dresses and mixed with the social elite.
She probably came into contact with Barcelona’s wealthy classes as a pimp of children. The police arrested her foruse his house as an illegal brothel where he prostituted children between the ages of 3 and 14. At the same time, Enriqueta Marti worked as a healer preparing ointments and potions for diseases such as tuberculosis.
Soon the belief began to spread that the “vampiress of Barcelona” used the children to extract their blood and use it, along with their hair, their bones and their fat , to make magical ointments.
In 1912, the body of the only victim whose authorship could be confirmed was found on her floor. It was about the girl Teresita Guitart Congost, a girl who had disappeared days before and whose body appeared in the house of Enriqueta Marti .
This was the start of other child murder accusations that turned her into a serial killer.
8. Dominica la coja
Another example of real witches that exemplifies inquisitorial practices and witch hysteria in modern Spain is the story of “Dominica la Coja”, a midwife who performed abortions and other methods of women’s medicine in contravention of the precepts marked by the restrictions of Catholic morality.
Her story is set in Pozan de Vero, a small town in the Aragonese Pyrenees, where in the 16th century this wise woman developed an admirable knowledge of the medicinal plants of the place that she soon applied to her work as a midwife and healer .
With these natural remedies, Dominica helped the sick people of the town, although soon rumors began to spread that she had made a pact with the devil, and that she was seen extracting poisons from toads and snakes to make ointments with which she killed to the kids. She, too, was accused of performing curses and abortions.
In a plenary meeting the inhabitants of the place decided to implement a new legislation to be able to accuse witchcraft with the simple support of the testimony of the witnesses. Without the need for any proof, Dominica was accused of witchcraft, tried and tortured. Old and dying, the midwife was executed by hanging by the Zaragoza Inquisition .
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