Witches were perceived as evil beings by early Christians in Europe, inspiring the iconic Halloween figure. Images of witches have appeared in various forms throughout history from evil. Wart-nosed women huddling over a cauldron of boiling liquid to hag-faced. Cackling beings riding through the sky on brooms wearing pointy hats. In a world full of princesses be a witch quilt blanket. In pop culture, the witch has been portrayed as a benevolent. Nose-twitching suburban housewife. An awkward teenager learning to control her powers and a trio of charmed sisters battling the forces of evil. The real history of witches, however, is dark and, often for the witches, deadly.
Early witches were people who practiced witchcraft, using magic spells and calling upon spirits for help or to bring about change. Most witches were thought to be pagans doing the Devil’s work. Many, however, were simply natural healers or so-called “wise women” whose choice of profession was misunderstood.