People have long been fascinated or terrified by the spells that witches cast especially at Halloween. In his play “Macbeth,” William Shakespeare wrote:
The Witches Cauldron
“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing
“For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and babble
“Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn, and caldron bubble”
There are legends that abound that tell of witches gathering twice a year; once the night before spring began on April 30 (the eve of May Day), and the other on the eve of the beginning of winter on October 31 (All Hallow’s Eve).
According to the legends, the witches arrived at the gatherings on magical flying broom sticks. The parties were hosted by none other than the Devil himself. Stories based on superstition have been told about witches casting spells that transformed themselves into different forms and casting spells on unsuspecting humans, using their magical powers, which brought pain and trouble. Legend has it that if you want to meet a witch on Halloween, you must put your clothes on wrong-side-out and walk backwards at midnight.
The belief in witches and the spells that they cast was brought to America with the early settlers. Then the settlers’ beliefs kind of blended with the beliefs of the American Indians. Later the beliefs of the African slaves were also added to the mix. That strange mixture is what constitutes the general beliefs about witches that abound today.
There is no scientific proof that witches exist or that they can cast spells good, bad or otherwise. But believers don’t need proof! They simply believe. I’m personally not sure, but if a frog spoke up and asked me to kiss him so he could turn back into a prince, I might just do it! I’ve kissed frogs before, but none of them have ever turned into anything resembling a prince, though — so maybe I’d just pass.