Witch dunking, familiars, the witches’ cradle, burning at the stake, the Wiccan code of ethics, familiars, African witch camps and witchcraft accusations in the modern world. Plus pop culture!

Music: “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” by Glenn Miller (1939)

Charity: ActionAid




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Showing 15 comments
  • Joe

    Sorry Soda Jerks. Comments weren’t disabled on purpose. I’ve re-enabled them and looking for an explanation of how it happened.

  • claw

    In Doctor Who there have been a few alien species that use advanced technologies with the trappings of witchcraft. The Sychorax (that’s a reference to th Tempest i think) used ‘blood control’ -a device that allowed them to use a sample of human blood to place anyone with the same blood type into a hypnotic trance. they described their techniques as spells to scare less advanced races.

    Then there is also the Carionites, ancient apparently all female aliens who harnessed psychic energy through the use of words and symbols to achieve super-sciencey things. They were using Shakespeare’s plays to gather energy to free their species from some time-space prison.

    two alien species i’d like to see more of on DW, but at the same time i don’t because of the show’s tendency to take something that is fun and scary and then nerf it like how they ruined the Weeping Angels and the Silence.

    and there was some other alien during Sylvester McCoy’s run who also did the whole ‘is it witchcraft?’ thing though i don’t remember much about that one. probably for the best.

    and Neil Gaiman also loved using the Three Graces/The Hecatate/The Furies/The Wyrd Sisters during his time doing Sandman. At one point one of the three remenisces about ‘that time where we only had that one eye between us… or was it another body part?’

  • Darren

    How come you guys don’t show images of the movies you talk about?

    • thickets

      Normally we do, not sure what happened this week!

  • Theo

    Witches of Eastwich was 1987, Batman was 1989. Wrong again, Kevin!

  • Sean West

    Willow did have a familiar on Buffy. Ms. Kitty Fantastico, but sadly Dawn shot it with a crossbow accidentally

    • thickets

      AHA! Joe loses his Buffophile card and privileges!

      • Joe


        From Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Season 4, Episode 19, “New Moon Rising”.
        (Emphasis mine)

        WILLOW: That would be cool. You mean it’d be sort of like a familiar?
        TARA: Actually, I-I was thinking it would be sort of like a pet. You know, we could … we could name her Trixie, or Miss Kitty Fantastico, or something.

        Miss Kitty Fantastico was a pet.

        • thickets

          Privileges restored…for now.

  • bred

    Now I’m curious about the privileges Joe gets from his Buffophile card…

  • Him Again

    Can’t let a witches episode go by without mentioning Terry Pratchett’s Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg my favourite witches in fiction, though granted not as visually appealing as the ones in The Craft.

    Granny Weatherwax was a witch. That was quite acceptable in the Ramtops, and no one had a bad word to say about witches. At least, not if he wanted to wake up in the morning the same shape as he went to bed.

    Which I always thought raises a pretty good point.
    If witches are so evil and deadly then how did witch hunters explain why they and theirs weren’t dropping dead or getting transmogrified into frogs left and right?
    Also given the frankly monsterous methods of witch hunters I have to wonder just how many of them ended their lives at the hands of berieved family members looking for a little retribution.

  • frothyham

    Nothing really useful to add, but holy crap Toren’s witch voices were ON POINT at the beginning of the episode.

    Totally had me CMAOing in my office cubicle. I mean, I was totally ROFCing (sorry).

  • Derek Weber

    +1 to the voices and I really like the intros too – I like the Wiccapedia one. 😉

    The details of the tortures they used just reminded me that the character Ramsey Snow in Game of Thrones really wouldn’t stand out in real human history, which I’ve heard described as the autobiography of a madman. People are just horrible sometimes.

    Just a note on the pronunciation of AusAid too, btw. Rather than it being ‘owz-aid’, it’s ‘Oz-aid’. I suspect they thought actually spelling it ‘OzAid’ might have detracted from its gravitas somehow. 😉

    I really enjoyed this episode and will be listening to it over and over.

  • etopp62

    No love for Charmed? Or was that show too girlie for you boys? (Or just too crappy)