Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why Are Witches Stereotypically Portrayed as Ugly Green-Skinned Things?

In honor of Halloween, I thought I would show my readers this vlog post from a Witch historian on why witches are so ubiquitously portrayed as green skinned:

After all, we all know all witches look like this!


  1. Very informative. The explanation I usually encountered in foreign books is that the green color has something to do with witches and playing/rubbing frogs' skin. (bleh!)

    Re Dias de los Muertes: Not allowed for viewing in my country due to copyright reasons, but thank you anyway...Most Filipinos still honor All Souls' and All Saints' in the trad way--paying respects to departed loved ones and ancestors by going to cemeteries or lighting vigil candles in home altars. It's also a time to get together with relatives.

  2. Halloween Witch

    Each year they parade her about, the traditional Halloween Witch.
    Misshapen green face, stringy scraps of hair, a toothless mouth
    beneath her deformed nose. Gnarled knobby fingers twisted into a
    claw protracting from a bent and twisted torso that lurches about on
    wobbly legs. Most think this abject image to be the creation of a
    prejudiced mind or merely a Halloween caricature. I disagree, I
    believe this to be how Witches were really seen.

    Consider that most Witches were women, were abducted in the night,
    and smuggled into dungeons or prisons under the secrecy of darkness
    to be presented by light of day as a confessed Witch. Few if any saw
    a frightened normal looking woman being dragged into a secret room
    filled with instruments of torture, to be questioned until she confessed
    to anything suggested to her and to give names or what ever would stop
    the questions.

    Crowds saw the aberration denounced to the world as a self-proclaimed
    Witch. As the Witch was paraded through town en route to be burned,
    hanged, drowned, stoned or disposed of in various other forms of
    Christian love all created to free and save her soul from her
    depraved body, the jeering crowds viewed the results of hours of
    torture. The face bruised and broken by countless blows bore a hue of
    sickly green. The once warm and loving smile gone replaced by a
    grimace of broken teeth and torn gums that leers beneath a battered
    disfigured nose. The dishevelled hair conceals bleeding gaps of torn
    scalp from whence cruel hands had torn away the lovely tresses.
    Broken twisted hands clutched the wagon for support, fractured
    fingers with nails torn away locked like groping claws to steady her
    broken body. All semblance of humanity gone this was truly a demon, a
    bride of Satan, a Witch.

    I revere this Halloween Crone and hold her sacred above all. I honour
    her courage and listen to her warnings of the dark side of man. Each
    year I shed tears of respect when the mundane exhibit their symbol of
    Christian love.

    Author: ~Angel~ © 6-26-99
    Petals & Thorns

  3. I never thought of that! Thank you. You made me feel all the emotions you said too! Without at all meaning to diminish your sorrowful insight, though, I wouldn't lay all the blame on Christian love...there seem to be sad/horrific justifications of witch-hunts all over the world and throughout history...and today...still showing the dark side of man in such need of spiritual transformation ...for which perhaps the hopes and fears of the magical can also be a sign.


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