Happy Halloween, Readers!
I’m going to share a secret with you– I originally was going to write this post in the beginning of September with the idea of simply posting it on a Thursday. But when I considered that the next month was October, and then found out that Halloween was on a Thursday, it was just too perfect not to wait and use it for my Halloween post.
Now, most of you are probably familiar with “Throwback Thursdays,” where you post some sort of old picture of yourself from the past. So, my last post was a poem that I did as a sort of Throwback Thursday post for the blog because it was from high school. Somehow after doing this, in the strange workings of my mind, I began to wonder what would happen if on Throwback Thursday, you were literally thrown back into the past at some random point in time. Then, I combined this idea with it being the month of October and Halloween (because these are totally normal and obvious trails of logic, obviously) and began pondering what the consequences would be if I were thrown back in time to when they still suspected and persecuted people for being witches. (Yep. This really is how my mind works.)
My terrifying conclusion? I totally would have been burned as a witch. Let me explain why.
I had just some general knowledge I’ve picked up over the years of what might prove you’re a witch, but for this post I really wanted to do some research and be accurate (becuz I am a srs journalist, guise). So I looked up and read some parts of the Malleus Maleficarum, which is an infamous medieval treatise written about identifying witches. It’s a disturbingly nasty piece of work, and it was long enough that I couldn’t stomach reading all of it. I wanted something a little easier to read, a little more concise–also a little more in modern English. Luckily, I found this handy, perfect list from Mental Floss that gives you 10 Ways to Identify a Witch (according to the Salem Witch Trials). Take a look at the ones I qualify for, and you might even find yourself with the itch of witch suspicion against me.
10 Ways to Identify a Witch and How I Match Up
1. Make a witch cake.
Sadly, this is nothing delicious to consume. According to the article, this is made using urine from suspected witches. When fed to a dog, this “cake” supposedly makes the witch cry out in agony.
Do I Qualify? Yes (Kind of)
While I never have made anything using urine, of the witchly variety or otherwise, any regulars readers of my blog will know I am a bit of a disaster in the kitchen, as documented in my post about the spectacular failure of two desserts I attempted to make. I can just see it now, I’m trying to make a lovely cake for the witchhunting committee just so they won’t suspect me, and manage the opposite when they accuse me of it tasting like piss. Then they’d probably throw it to the dogs because it’s so bad, and guys… I would totally cry. But who doesn’t cry when someone thinks your cooking is so bad they feed it to a dog!!!
2. Weigh them against a stack of Bibles.
If you’re lighter or heavier than a stack of Bibles, you’re guilty. It’s only if they balance out that you’re in the clear. “The Bible Body”– talk about unrealistic body expectations for women, sheesh.
Do I Qualify? Yes
Though I did lose about ten pounds in the months I was sick (not eating– dieting the HEALTHY WAY!), I have to admit that I am not the same weight as a stack of Bibles. Unless they weigh about 132 pounds, that is. But I feel like that’d take a LOT of Bibles. How much does a Bible weigh anyway? And how many Bibles is this determined by? Hmmm… it’s ALMOST like this one is rigged…
3. Check for moles, birthmarks, scars, or extra nipples – they’re marks of the Devil.
These are the places where the Devil has entered your body, or left his mark on you, or even where your little demon familiar (more on those later) drink from.
Do I Qualify? Yes
Okay, friends. Are you ready for TMI Confession Time? This is the sign of a witch that originally got me thinking about doing this post. Because I have a deep dark secret. Are you ready? It’s kind of gross. You’ve been warned. Here it is: I have a third nipple.
True story, guys, confirmed by a dermatologist. Hopefully I haven’t sent you running in disgust. Also, as you all might recall, I have a genetic skin condition where I have no pigment in parts of my skin, and one of those spots looks like a straight up ghost:
So on the Devil’s marks things, I am basically just straight up out of luck.
4. Observe them talking to themselves.
This means you’re casting spells under your breath on people.
Do I Qualify? Yes
GUYS. I’m a writer. I think people would wonder if I didn’t talk to myself. And while sometimes I might actually be guilty of casting spells, let me assure you that none so far have come true, because I would already be a best-selling author married to the man of my dreams by now and all my haters would have warts.
5. See if they can say the Lord’s Prayer.
A true witch couldn’t utter the holy words.
Do I Qualify? NO
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside still wat- OH NO WAIT WAIT THAT’S THE 23RD PSALM JUST KIDDING
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME THY KINGDOM COME THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER PLEASE DON’T BURN ME THE LEADING US PART MADE ME CONFUSED I RECITED TWO THINGS DOESN’T THAT MAKE ME DOUBLE HOLY?!
6. Ask a hard-of-hearing elderly woman if she’s guilty while her good ear is turned the other way.
This happened to a specific lady named Rebecca Nurse. When someone claimed she was also a witch, she didn’t respond to deny it because she literally could not hear it.
Do I Qualify? No
I am not elderly, and I’m only hard of hearing while reading or when someone is trying to give me chores to do.
7. Observe the number of pets she has.
If you know anything about what used to qualify people as witches, you know that having a cat was a pretty black mark against you. That’s because witches were known to have “familiars,” which were like demons in the body of animals that they used to carry out dark purposes and communicate with the devil. These familiars were also known to drink from the “devil’s marks” that were found on a witch.
Do I Qualify? Yes
If you have ever read this blog, or really even read the title of it, you know I am a Crazy Cat Lady. I also have four dogs, so there’s that. I have a cat and a third nipple, which I guess is just pretty undisputably solid evidence.
8. Take their sarcastic comments seriously.
A constable apparently got tired of all the witch trial nonsense and refused to arrest anyone else, remarking, “Hang them all, they’re all witches.” He was then immediately accused of witchcraft and hanged.
Do I Qualify Yes
Sarcastic? Me? I’ve never been sarcastic a day in my life, oh nooo. And I think witch burning is just a fantastic idea, and you’re not hysterical, inhumane monsters at all. And we all know that because I have a third nipple and a cat, that I’m absolutely a witch. I might as well just light myself on fire!
9. Ask if they’ve had dreams about Native Americans.
Seriously, guys? Seriously?
Do I Qualify? Yes
I’m from Oklahoma, for godsake. A Native American or two has snuck their way into my dreams now and again. Plus, there was that one time I had the nightmare about Kesha chasing me…
10. Check to see how many times they’ve been married.
Because if it’s more than once, you obviously bespelled and killed your husband.
Do I Qualify? No
HOLLAAAAA, being single does have its perks!!!
FINAL TALLY: 8/10
See my point, guys? So this Halloween, I bring you a PSA– don’t stereotype. Much of the time stereotypes don’t reflect the truth, and instead reveal your own prejudices and character flaws. Though much evidence to the contrary exists, I am not, in fact, a witch.
A real life example that is especially relevant on Halloween: Tonight, lots of girls are going to wear skimpy costumes and use impaired judgment to make decisions, but do me a favor– don’t assume they’re skanky. Don’t slut shame. That’s a real problem I’ve noticed in the culture of my generation, is for people, girls especially, to hate other girls because they make different decisions from our own and fall outside a cultural norm. Please don’t.
And whether it’s tonight or any other night of the year, I hope you won’t judge others based on some list that somebody tells you qualifies them as something unacceptable. Remember, in the 15th century some old guy tried to persecute witches and got thrown out of his region, accused of being “a senile old man.” So he wrote The Malleus Maleficarum, basically a whole book about how he didn’t like people who were different, and women especially, as revenge. And then the world picked it up and ran with it.
Don’t be that guy.
But most importantly, don’t be that world.
Because if that’s where we go, I am so totally dead.