Witch Myths and Candy Corn

Halloween is my favorite holiday. To begin my favorite month, yes The Prince Consort was born in October, I have a special treat for you from  author Ally Shields.

Witch Myths and Candy Corn
Halloween photo credit 
Andrew Stawarz
October is the month for all things eerie and witchy! Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, goblins, all the trappings of Halloween are already appearing in windows and on porches and decks. And here come the cute pointy hats, the green faces with warts, and the brooms.
Oops! I shouldn't have said that last sentence out loud. My witch character Ari is scowling at me. She claims no self-respecting witch has ever worn a black hat that looks like an upside-down ice cream cone or attempted to ride a broom. Witches can't fly, with or without a broom, and many of the strange legends were invented by storyteller types—like authors. As for the green complexion and the warts . . . well, if you look at the cover of Ari's first book, you know that is a fantasy too.
So where did we get all these weird ideas about witches? Many are relatively modern and came from film: the nose-twitching from Bewitched on TV, the green face and warts from the Wizard of Oz. People seem to forget there was also a good witch without the disfigured face!
Two of the best theories I've heard about the pointy hat come from history. In the 16th century women wore pointed hats, and as the fashion faded, only the poorer, rural women continued to wear them. Since this was the population most often accused of witchery, the two became associated. Another theory involves the pointed hats of the Quakers in early America and the anti-Quaker belief that they consorted with demons. Perhaps even more interesting is the modern explanation that the conical hat is used to channel a witch's energy to the heavens. Whatever the origin, the pointy hat is so ingrained in literature and movies that I think it's here to stay.
The alleged history of the broom is a little trickier and even harder to relate on a PG-13 blog. Let's just say it has to do with the application of an hallucination-inducing ointment to sensitive places with you know what and leave it at that. Personally, I think it's nothing more than a male fantasy!
So what things about witches are real? Belief in your spiritual side, rituals, covens, prayers to the Goddess. If you've ever looked a black cat in the eye, you believe those stories, too. And certainly magic of one kind or another. But the old legends and stereotypes are much more fun at Halloween. Along with my popcorn balls and candy corn, I plan to have my pointy hat on this Halloween. How about you? AS

Ally Shields is the pen name of Janet L Buck, a writer who lives in the Midwest, near the Mississippi River that is the setting for her fire witch stories. Book one of that series is available now; book two will be released Dec. 14, 2012. The author can be contacted through her website and attached blog at http://allyshields.com or on twitter.
You can purchase the ebook at any of the following and several other online sites. The print book will be released soon.
All formats: http://bit.ly/U25Q0G
Fabulous trailer! Want to see hunky Ryan and Andreas? http://youtu.be/xraKddWGIgM


Popular Posts