Monster 50

The Witch.

There are all kinds of witches. Some are hideous, others beautiful, some are good, some green, all are dangerous and few are to be trusted. They belong to a coven, unless they are on their own. A grimoire holds their spells, a broom provides convenient transportation, and apparently, a hat worn by a witch must be pointy. The witch’s familiar is an animal that she controls and can see through the eyes of, often a cat, but could even be a human under the right circumstances.

Several well-known witches have entered the popular culture; Sabrina, Hazel, Granny Weatherwax, Glinda, and Morgan Le Fay. Tales of witches permeate most cultures of the world. Seems that the witch has often become the figurehead of the Halloween holiday in the United States (most likely due to the ease of the costume).

A pair of literary witches that readily leap to mind are: The White Witch (Jadis) from the Narnia books is so cruel as to destroy all life but her own at one point. With her wand, she can turn her enemies to stone. She proves to be a formidable antagonist to the Pevensie children, but eventually is done in by Aslan, the lion.

The Wicked Witch of the West in the Oz books, is ruler of the Winkie Country. She subdued the Winkies with an army of flying monkeys, which she could summon while wearing a special hat. She had a fear of water, most likely due to her dry and bloodless nature (her wickedness dried her up). The well-known movie, The Wizard of Oz, portrayed her as carrying a broom instead of an umbrella, but stuck to her cruel and mean nature, throwing a fireball at the Scarecrow and chasing after Dorothy for the ruby slippers. Gregory Maguire’s 1996 novel Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West paints the witch with a better brush; as misunderstood vs evil, but such is the plight of most monsters.

I even featured a witch as the antagonist in my latest weird west short story, which is looking for a home by the way.

I could mention that a male witch is called a Warlock, but sadly, the Warlock does not make this list. The female version of this particular monster has all but eclipsed the male counterpart. This is no doubt, by her design and careful manipulation.