Amoeblog

The Witch: A New England Folktale and Why You Need to Own It on DVD or Blu-ray

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 20, 2016 04:49pm | Post a Comment

The Witch

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


Did you ever try to hex your Algebra II teacher in high school the night before the final? Have you The Witchwatched the "Salem Witches" episode of In Search Of while sipping red wine from a black Madonna Inn goblet? Is your email password Pyewacket13? If your answer is yes to any of these and you have not yet seen The Witch: A New England Folktale (out now on DVD & Blu-ray), see it. If your answer is no but supernatural historical period horror films are your “jam,” see it.

Normally, I’m more into old school witch flicks, like City of the Dead (1960), Night of the Eagle (1962), and The Witches (1966), but The Witch is well done…just like my King Henry VIII steak at the House of Prime Rib. By the beard of Black Phillip the billy goat, when you watch this you will soon find yourself in an eerie trance in front of your boob-tube, being pulled into the dark and mysterious New England woods in the 17th century. If M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village (2004) and Avery Crounse's Eyes of Fire (1983) had a new little baby sister, it would be The Witch. (Eyes of Fire, if you can find on VHS somewhere, is totally spooksville too! View the trailer HERE.)

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Walpurgis Night

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 30, 2008 09:54am | Post a Comment

Tonight is Walpurgis Night. Saint Walpurga was, supposedly, an 8th century nun whose relics were transferred on April 30th and her name was given to the holiday. As frequently happened during Christianity's spread across Europe, this was merely an instance of co-opting and Christianizing a much older holiday.

Before Saint Walpurga was dreamed up, 30 April was known as day that Odin died attempting to retrieve the knowledge of the runes and, ever since, the barrier between the world of the dead and the living is at its weakest on this night. For this reason, Odin's faithful build bonfires, play drums and (nowadays) shoot off guns tonight to ward off evil. In some German-speaking areas, tonight is known as Hexxenacht because on this night witches are said to mount their broomsticks and fly from near and far to Brocken Mountain where they "hold revels with their Gods."

In rural Bavaria, children sometimes play pranks-- wreaking destruction on gardens, TP-ing homes, smearing toothpaste in places unintended by the manufacturer, and writing graffiti. In the Rhineland boys bring trees hung with colored streamers to the houses of girls they like. A tree decorated only with white streamers indicates dislike for the recipient. In southern Sweden children gather greenery at twilight and adorn their homes. In Finland, they drink sparkling wine and sima (a mead) and burn strawmen imbued with ill-will and bad luck. In Estonia and  Germany, girls dress as witches and make merry.

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The Witchmaker

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