Will be your worst nightmare...
Probably everywhere in the world we can meet with stories about witches. They are portrayed as old women with warts, that prepare a variety of drinks or say spells and damage people or livestock. Generally speaking, they are evil, most of them are women, although sometimes we can also mention men - wizards.
Among the people there was the belief, that such women fell in love with the devil and "thanks" to him can bring death of cattle, bad weather or various disasters and diseases and crop destruction. They even had to steal the men. As in one of the stories, which tells Michal Kohn, when men came back once again, the guys who have been kidnapped were "scraped off, as if they were in the fight with the dogs. When they (the people) asked men who grabbed them, they said they did not remember, but they were so distraught and aching as if they were just dancing all their lives."
In the Middle Ages were even burning of witches, witchcraft and persecution of people took place. According to some estimates, more than 200,000 casualties died thanks to work of inquisitors. Often times, only accusations were enough, and during the torture the person admitted what the inquisitors wanted to hear. But the witch hunt is not as ended, as we can expect.
As stated by Jaroslav Mareš, who was in the nineties in northern Transvaal (South Africa), "people in the remote villages were horrified to be not accused of sorcery. Just over the course of the year (...), witch hunters killed over 80 people. It was enough to charge from anything. From the borrower who did not want to return the money he had borrowed, through the rejected suitor, to someone with whom the victim had gotten into a random dispute. As suddenly someone started to work well or something different from the others, there was a suspicion of witchcraft."
In general, it is resp. was the penalty for witchcraft death by burning. For example, according to Martin Stejskal in Bánovce nad Bebravou (Slovak Republic), in September 1603, a certain Zuzana Santova, accused of witchcraft, was burned alive because "she was painting with a magic ointment, she was dealing with devil, she could turn into various animals, hailing to destroy the harvest .."etc. During the tortue, she testified to everything."
A hundreads of people have admitted also to that, what they could not even imagine. As Igor Janota mentions in one legend, such a burned woman should once again appear to an unnamed student. She told her story and how she was accused of witchcraft. She even talked about an investigation that was "just a little, painless, first. But how could I admit to such deeds that I did not even think? (...) They started to torture me (...) in that scary pain I'd rather admit everything. I could no longer suffer. I did not care. Just to stop the torture."
Janota also stated, that the young man later married a woman, who looked exactly like a burned unknown and she died when her clothes were caught by the fire, that burned her. Whether this story really happen, or if it was just a tale or a legend, it all seemed to have gone through all the processes.
Although all these practices were shattering and inhumane, it was possible that among so many innocent victims were real witches as well? As Mareš said of the witch hunters from Africa, they "know well, that most of them are innocent people who have nothing in common with spells but are convinced, that there are real witches, some of them very powerful, perhaps stronger than they alone. And those are from who are afraid." So innocent people are, respectively, were persecuted to find real witches. Can they exist? We can now listen to white, assisting, and black, malicious magic from different sources. We hear from old mothers how to help against mistreatment and so on. Could women, therefore, know of different spheres and lines, fly in the sky and harm people?
Could they really fly?
From different parts of the world, stories or other evidence of individuals who have had this ability are preserved. Arnošt Vašíček, for instance stated that, "near Rio Magdalena in Colombia has preserved the story of the magicians, moving just above the surface of the earth. Archaeologists have dug the sculptures of beings whose feet divide from the ground a dozen centimeters. In Peru there are ancient fabrics depicting the human figures floating in the atmosphere (...) The sculptures with the motives of overcoming the earth's gravity are exhibited in the National Museum in Delhi. In Marvel's book of the 14th century there is a testimony of flying magicians." Flying or levitation is not, for many, as impossible as it appears at first glance. Even documented cases of people who were able to fly. As an example, in 1655, Jones Frank mentions the case of a man named "Jerzy Gasztow (...), he did not read or write, literally grown in a pig's shed. He did not excel in anything, nobody knew (...) one day, that he had a clairvoyance at night, in which Lord God had asked him to prepare for the last trip to take him around for lunch. (...) Jerzy stood with his arms outstretched, looking up to the sky (...) nothing was there (...) suddenly his body was taken away from the ground and climbed upward as some would unfathom with an invisible rope (. ..) Jerzy climbed up to about fifty feet high. Here he stopped, fastened, bent his head, and looked down. He shouted (...) and fell down. He fell on a stone curb and killed himself." The more famous personality is the spiritualist Daniel Dunglas Home, who managed to float at various altitudes and even before a few witnesses.
One of the most recent cases of witchcraft comes from 2004 in Monterrey, Mexico, where cop Leonardo Samaniego met something he described as a witch. Samaniego made regular checks in his area when he saw like a black object fell from the tree and a moment before impact on the ground remained in the air. It seemed like it was sitting on something like a whisk. Samaniego described the creature as a woman with black eyes without eye lids and a dark brown skin, to be dressed in black dress looking like a feathers, and look like a witch. A strange woman, who was protecting her eyes from the lights of a car's reflection, jumped on the car. Samaniego started to swing and tried to shake the woman, but he did not do anything and called for reinforcements. Samaniego has lost consciousness and does not know exactly, what happened then. Though this story may look incredible, after hearing this story, several people began to say, that they also saw the witch.
Other witnesses include, for example, the case of Guliana S., who told paranormal.about.com that as a child heard from several classmates stories about how a "witch lives in the mountains (near Monterey) and steals and kills children to prolong life." In these mountains her parents had an orange farm. As was Guliana stating, during few night which she remember, her father with her uncle were with guns protecting home, while her mother and grandmother were protecting her, like before something evil. Next, Guliana S. says that once she was too far on her, some woman started shouting "Niňa ... Niňa .... (meaning" little girl "in Spanish) from a distance. I thought I only seemed, so I looked around and then I saw her ... Woman. It was on a slope, about 30 meters high. She stood on the rock and waved at me. She had very strange clothes-all black looking almost like a feather, and her "smile" (rather smirk) was very stretched and looked black as did all her teeth were black. But most of all, her eyes were as black as she was." Old woman first wanted help from Guliana, then cried out for her that she had something for her and she approached slowly. Finally, her voice was very harsh. Next, according to Guliana, "her face changed and became almost distorted as she ran out to come to her." Guliane eventually managed to escape and run to the house where she told her family everything. Her family moved away from the farm immediately.
Is it possible that the various witches, that kidnap children, do harm to people and invite disasters are at least in part true, or is it all logical to explain? Women could have been persecuted in the past for various reasons, as well as Guliane could be afraid in certain situation, but what that flying creature that attacked Leonardo Samaniega?
Arnošt Vašíček. Planeta záhad II. díl Zkázy a zázraky. (Praha: Baronet, 1999)
Frank P. Jones. NEJvětší záhady světa. Superzáhady a zázraky. 33 události, ktoré vzrušili svět. (Liberec: Dialog, 1993)
Guliana S. The Witch of the Mexican Hills. PARANORMAL.ABOUT: n.d. (online). Dostupné na: http://paranormal.about.com/od/humanmysteries/fl/The-Witch-of-the-Mexican-Hills.htm
Igor Janota. Prešporské rozprávky. (Bratislava: Albert Marenčin – Vydavateľstvo PT, 2015)
Michal Kohn. Holíčsky čert. Povesti zo Záhoria. (Bratislava: Albert Marenčin – Vydavateľstvo PT, 2014)
Jaroslav Mareš. Jezero krokodílích čarodějů. (Pardubice: Filip Trend Publishing, 2002)
Stejskal Martin. Labyrintem tajemna aneb Průvodce po magických místech Československa. (Praha: Pasek, 1991)