Being as though they are such an exemplary Halloween cliché, we couldn’t think of a better way to get everyone in the festive spirit, than to put together a list of the 13 most famous witches in history. However, witches are so much further from the stereotypical image we hold of these green-skinned women who dress in black and fly atop of broomsticks. They, in fact, have a deep tumultuous history that has existed all throughout the world; even long before the coming of science. Because witches didn’t have resources such as our list of 12 popular science myths debunked, they were often blamed for bad things that happened; including things like storms, famines, and disease. Somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 men, women and even children were taken into custody for the suspicion of witchcraft in medieval Europe, alone! Roughly, half of those accused were sentenced to death.
Long after the years of witch hunts, many cultures are still spellbound by witches and have let their presence linger into the present with characters like the most famous witch in pop-culture history: the Wicked Witch of the West. Although her green skin was just a glitch in the advancement of technology with technicolor, the rest of her attire are very common symbols associated with these reviled human beings. The tall, pointy hat was a style that most European upperclassmen wore in the 15th century. A similar style was eventually spread to commoners; which were often the poor people associated with witchcraft. Her broom was also commonly used by pagans during the ancient crop fertility rights. It was believed that witches would use their broom to hide their magical wand in the event of a witch hunt, and they would rub a special potion into the broom to give it the ability to fly and perform magic. The hat in conjunction with the broom developed into a common symbol for witches, which still exist today! Although witches today are far from the stereotypical representation we uphold as well as that of the witches we present as the 13 most famous witches in history.