Thursday, October 31, 2013

Which Halloween Witch?

A favorite character each Halloween is the witch. She has changed through the years of trick or treat.

Victorian era Halloween witches were depicted with whimsy. They displayed the traditional black cat and hat but were usually kind faced and sometimes lovely young women.

After the Wizard of Oz books came out, the Halloween witch became ugly like the Wicked Witch of the West. Halloween also changed from a fun harvest festival to a scary night.

Even though the Baum books had many more good witches and magical people, the wicked witches of the East and West made such an impression that the image endured.

When MGM made the film Wizard of Oz, the technicolor green faced witch took center stage. The Halloween witch became even more ominous.

By the 1960s most witches were ugly old scary hags with green faces. They were to be feared. Parents used the Halloween hag to scary their children through October until the threat of Santa withholding gifts became the seasonal option.

Thank goodness for the Harry Potter series that brought the fun back to magical people and creatures. The witches came in every shape and size. Students and professors alike practiced magic and in the end evil was defeated and the magical people lived happily ever after... or at least were able to trick or treat without a green face.


Tony Laplume said...

There's also Wicked, which made it okay to be green again!

Joanne said...

Yep - Defy Gravity.
Personally I was so scared of the original Oz witch as a kid- her and the flying monkees - yikes.
fun post