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Picturing a World

Hallowe’en witches

The questions of when did witches become identified with any old crone and when did people start believing they rode brooms are not answered by this one image, but mid 15th C is about right. For more on the picture, click here.

It is worth noting, incidentally, that although belief in witchcraft is ubiquitous in time and across cultures, during the late middle ages and early modern period the anxieties that led to witch-hunting were specially strong in Europe and colonial America. For an interesting interview with historian John Demos on this topic, click here.

Happy Hallowe’en!
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