10) Merga BienA German heiress who happened to kill her 2nd husband and his children is our first witch of the day. A man by the name of Balthasar von Dernbach (and we have a winner for badassiest name) was a legit 'witch hunter' and tracked this lady down. She was convicted during the Fulda Witch Trials and at the time, laws dictated that women who were pregnant were exempt from execution. But Merga put the nail in her own coffin by saying the baby she was carrying was a demon. Where's Sam and Dean Winchester when you need them!? Miss Merga was tied to a stake and burnt alive, but she wasn't the last - roughly 250 other people were burnt at the stake and it only stopped because Dernbach passed away in 1605. Sheesh, talk about a vendetta.
9) Kael MerrieIn the Spanish Netherlands there was a Dutch woman by the name of Kael Merrie who seriously sounds like the crazy lady Hansel and Gretel encounter out in the woods. She was accused of making milk that was unable to be churned into butter, paralyzing some poor little piggy and of course, making children sick. Her fate was decided during the Roermond Witch Trials and were the largest that took place in the Netherlands. At the start of the trials, the Catholic Spaniards conducting them were pretty chill and let skepticism win over. Merrie got out of her charges and high tailed it out of there, only to be caught by a crazy group of Spanish mercenaries who threw her into the Maas River. You almost made it, Merrie.
8) RasputinWhen I think of Grigori Rasputin I think of the animated movie Anastasia and the weird little bat friend he had constantly flying around with him. However, this man was very real and very mysterious. A notorious boozehound and skirt chaser, he was the chief spiritual advisor to Tzar Nicholas II. The child of the Tzar, named Alexei, had hemophilia, which is a genetic disorder that basically means your blood doesn't clot and you therefore bleed on and on and on. Apparently Rasputin would do some magic voodoo stuff and suddenly Alexi would stop bleeding. Rasputin was loathed by many Russian nobles and after what seems like a billion attempts at his life, they finally assassinated him in 1916. Listen to this song below... it's priceless. I just need you to make it to the end of the song because that's the best part! http://youtu.be/5yTVWXYctoY
7) Aleister CrowleyRasputin has nothing on Mr. Crowley here when it comes to women. The Englishman would combine drugs, magic and sex to fuel whatever crazy plot he had going on in that head of his. He believed that in order to gain the power to perform magical spells he pretty much had to have an orgy, stat. Sex magic is usually supposed to empower the user either physically or psychically (or maybe both), but it can also be used to summon demons. What in the world was Crowley up to? Also, his crazy-ass inspired Gerald Gardner to found Wicca and gave a man named Anton LaVey (who is a whole other spectrum of batshit crazy) the idea to form the Church of Satan. For real. So the next time you listen to that "Mr. Crowley" song by Ozzy Osbourne, you'll know the truth behind it all. http://youtu.be/fF2oh1RRL5I
6) Agnes SampsonThis Scottish dame is believed to be witch #1, the one who started the lets-burn-the-nutjobs-at-the-stake extravaganza. In 1590, on Halloween night nonetheless, she went to a witches' Sabbath hosted by Satan himself (I wonder if they had hors d'oeuvres beforehand). They conjured up a colossal storm over the North Sea because Queen Anne of England was on a ship and well, she's probably better off dead, right? While the queen did survive the storm, she did have to abandon her trip, so something worked out for Anges. Later on, King James VI (hubby to Anne) went a-sailin' on the North Sea and Agnes sent out another brutal storm (or so it goes). She was later burnt at the stake that same year during the North Berwick Witch Trials, by the end of which saw about 70 executions.
5) Alice KytelerGuys, this is a weird one. Alice was fond of Satanic rituals that usually involved ingredients such as hair from the butts of unbaptized children, as well as the clothes they wore. Seriously. Like, what? I just... I can't even. Anyway, she killed 4 husbands and it was on the 4th endeavor that his children finally noticed something funny. She was accused of poisoning her husbands as well as sacrificing animals to dear ole Satan. In 1324 she was tried and convicted of witchcraft, becoming the first case in Ireland. Her story ends in an odd manner though: she was sentenced to death but vanished into the darkness the night before her execution. Maybe witchcraft is real, afterall?
3) Angele de la BartheApparently the Devil really gets around, because Angela here popped out his baby. A baby who happened to be 33% human, 33% wolf and 34% snake (even numbers = good) who had an appetite for babies (and I'd bet destruction). She was apart of a Christian dualist movement called Catharism and of course, that was seen as a bad thing in local religious eyes. Being accused of witchcraft that involved babies mysteriously vanishing, she confessed and was tortured all to hell by the Inquisition. Yes, THAT Inquisition. The one that set the standard for inhuman horrors. Even though she was a noble, she was executed during the Medieval Witch Hunt. I bet she was glad to get the torture over with.
2) Marie Catherine LaveauFor those of us who don't watch American Horror Story, Laveau is simply just another lady who gained a little notoriety for some mystical adventures. She was known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, and with as much mythical and witchcrafty things that take place in that city, that is one hell of a title. She was sought out by anyone and everyone for help, including some world leaders. She was highly influential and had a way with intimidation. Her resume included telekinesis, mind control, necromancy and pinning. She might be the ONLY person on this list that lived a decent life though, as she died peacefully at home in 1881.
10) MerlinFreakin' Merlin, duh. If you are unsure who this guy is, all you need is this: http://youtu.be/7bd5YUEOwlE Good luck getting this out of your head the rest of the day. You're welcome.
9) Morgan Le Fay (aka Morgaine)Another Kind Arthur legend that supposedly ran around with Merlin is this lady. She tried taking down Queen Guinevere and messed with the quests of King Arthur, which I'm sure was a dumb idea. The yin to Merlin's yang, Morgan Le Fay has also had numerous TV and movie appearances. She's been known as a fairy, sea goddess, shape-shifter, healer, magician and of course, witch. She's the half sister to King Arthur (I dare you to look up that family tree) and was definitely attracted to Sir Lancelot. She wasn't ever really evil in the sense, just kind of meddling in everyone else's business.
7) ElphabaDo you like to defy gravity? We know this 'wicked' this witch sure does. We first meet her as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz , but we are given a back story in Wicked: The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West by author Gregory Maguire. Her life story has been adapted into a Broadway musical of the same name, one that I have seen and adore to no end. A absolutely misunderstood witch in the truest sense of the term, she ends up being hated in the land of Oz. She and her flying monkeys still dominate my fears of being captured and flown into some creepy castle. Flying monkeys are the worst.
6) Gandalf The Grey/WhiteGandalf is baller and should be the true king/wizard/god of Middle Earth. He has pet eagles that do his bidding, a horse that's faster than the speed of sound and knows how to kick some ass with his wizard's staff. Also, he likes to share a little bit of Pipeweed with his amigos, the hobbits of the Shire. Excuse me, I have a Lord of the Rings marathon to go melt into right now...
5) Dolores UmbridgeImelda Staunton played this character so perfectly, it makes me get goosebumps thinking about her little *ahem* noise she makes. I cannot for the life of me think of a fictional character that has caused more unrelenting hatred in a community than the ultimate bitch, Dolores Umbridge. While reading of the torture she put Harry Potter through both physically and emotionally, I pretty much wanted to embed the book into my bedroom wall. She was a puppet for the evil Ministry of Magic and ultimately was ousted by the students of Hogwarts, disappearing into the forest with some very pissed off centaurs. Just writing about her right now makes me want to snap my keyboard in half - GAHHH!
4) HecateThis queen bee is quite literally the goddess of witchcraft. If there was ever an epicenter for magic, it's this deity. She was also the goddess of poisons, plants, necromancy, ghosts and sorcery, so drinking anything she brought to dinner would be tasty followed by a deadly dose of stupid. Overall, she was a nice goddess compared to some of the others (Hera, I'm looking at you) but I'd be curious to see her take on how witches and wizards have been treated through the years.
3) The Sanderson SistersIf you make it through the month of October, and especially on Halloween, and do not watch Hocus Pocus, you have done yourself a great disservice. I will be the FIRST person to file a petition if some idiot studio executive ever thinks it's even half of a good idea to remake this film. Do not touch it. Ever. http://youtu.be/Sxf2FeVyVhk
2) Mickey MouseWait, what!? Are you, Shannon Beaty, telling me, the reader, that Mickey Freaking mouse is a wizard?! Yes, darling, I am. In 1940 an AMAZING film came out of Walt Disney Studios called Fantasia, prompting children and maybe some adults everywhere to be a little more wary of brooms. Mickey had upon his mighty mouse head the coolest hat in the universe and commanded music like it was his little puppet. If you have yet to see Fantasia, go get it right now. Go find the original though, as it was presented back in 1940, because that's the only acceptable version. http://youtu.be/cWZJcKM8pO0
1) Harry PotterI'm still waiting on my letter from Hogwarts. http://youtu.be/z9GwIeh5FIY What witches and wizards did I miss out on? There are so many stories out there, let us know what you find!
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