Witches in the Misty Isles
|How to Recognise a Witch 13th Century.
||How to Recognise a Witch. 21st Century.
Disease spreads among crops, cattle and people
Accompanied by an animal companion or "familiar", usually a toad or cat
Has a squint, being the mark of the evil eye
Floats when thrown, bound, into water
Bears “Devil’s marks” which do not feel pain or bleed
Confesses after torture.
Tori Buxbury. Alleged witch.
Hang around shops shouting racial abuse.
Sit on bus shelter roof, shouting, screaming, throwing bricks at cars.
Has mark of evil witch coven written in biro across face.
Bears Devil’s ASBO marks.
Has diabolical presence on Facebook.
Confesses after interrogation.
Britain has been a centre of magic for millennia. I’m not talking about Paul Daniels and his card tricks, or Tommy Cooper and his maniacal conjuring disasters. Real magic is taken seriously in Britain. Most homes have a pair of shoes under the floorboards, or a a cat bricked into the wall, as a deterrent against witches. The country is full of women who cast spells to improve your bank balance or mix up potions to make someone fall in love with you. New Age, white witches have been flying in on their Intercity 125 broomsticks for decades.
The revival of the dark arts was heralded by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, at the 1971 Glastonbury Festival, when Arthur cast a spell which involved hanging on a life size crucifix, setting himself alight and singing, “I am the God of Hellfire”. (No rock stars or animals were harmed during this performance.) His ascent to the blazing cross opened the door between the world of the Dark Lord and England’s green and pleasant land. The door, locked in the 17th Century by the execution of the Pendle witches, had been reopened in a satanic rite, by a New Age hippy drug fiend.
This pyromanic crucifixion unleashed dark forces throughout the Misty Isles. LSD began to curdle on the blotting paper, future fourteen year-old heavy metal punk guitarists threw their Incredible String Band albums into the street, sprayed, “DEATH TO HIPPIES” on their bedroom walls, turned the amp up full and began playing hymns to Satan. And the witches came out of hiding.
Every cult or religion has its public face, presented by people who put a rational, reasonable explanation on whatever insanity their group are preaching. This group protect and hide the hordes of lunatics who form the bulk of the membership. The same is true of the witches. The frontline call themselves “White Witches”, and claim their magic is only used for “good”. They run several respectable witch businesses. They’ll even organize a pagan wedding for you, or supply you with a cauldron for the kitchen.
Modern, middle-class witches have a strong presence on the internet. Enter your credit card details and furnish yourself with spells for psychic self defence, healing broken hearts, fertility, business success and attracting love. Drop them into your virtual shopping basket, along with your dowsing rod, crow wings and jackal skull (£54.00 from Witchcraft Ltd). As viewers of the Time Bandits are aware, The Lord of Darkness loves microchip technology.
Strangely enough, Witchcraft Ltd, along with several other British magical outlets, are based in Glastonbury, the place where Arthur Brown opened the door to Hades in 1971. I took Natasha, my friend from Omsk there, hoping the door was still open, so I could cast her in. Unfortunately all I found was a field of cows and a souvenir stall.
The hardcore English witches, however, come from Lancashire, not namby-pamby, New Age Somerset. In Lancashire, the witches murder people, throw bricks at cars, then get executed, or more recently, served with spells called ASBOs. (Anti-Social Behaviour Orders). In 1612, ten witches from Pendle, Lancs, were hanged for witchcraft, at Lancaster gaol.
They were accused of selling their souls to familiar spirits or devils who appeared to them in human and animal form. In return for their souls, the witches received the power to kill or lame whom they pleased (an offer I’d certainly take seriously). The Pendle witches, in league with the devils, killed eleven people before their diabolical pact with Satan was exposed. Unfortunately political correctness wasn’t there to save anyone in the 17th Century, and they went to the gallows. Happily, witches get off more lightly in 21st century Lancashire.
Tori Buxbury and Amanda Holt, come from Whitebirk, a suburb of Blackburn, only a few miles from Pendle. They were given the name, the Whitebirk Witches, by terrorised residents. The girls sat on the roof of a local bus shelter, banging and screaming, throwing stones at cars. They wrote antipolice spells on walls, using aerosol paint. The witches also had their own Facebook page, which they used to insult rival covens. They challenged a group known as Great Big Giants to a fight attended by over 30 witches and giants. They frightened some residents so much, they were afraid to leave their homes, or put their lights out at night.
The two witches are banned from seeing each other, and banned from inciting anyone to cast anti-social spells. The face an immediate jail spell from the MAGISTRATA if they break the ban.
Will the power of the ASBO defeat the witches of Lancashire? Will Amanda and Tori make it back to the Light Side? Or will Britain descend deeper into an age of satanic darkness? Perhaps I’d better spend £23.00 on a spell to banish forces of darkness. I can get one from newagerippoff.co.uk.