“The most important thing you should know about witches is that they dress in ordinary clothes. They look like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ordinary jobs….Witches spend their time plotting to kill children, stalking the wretched child like a hunter stalks a bird in the forest…. Real witches are quite bald, although of course they wear wigs. You can distinguish a witch from an ordinary woman by the purple tint to her eyes. Real witches have no toes. Their feet have square ends, revolting stumps where their toes should be, so they never wear pointed or pretty shoes—just plain, sensible shoes.”
Thus begins the spectacularly scary children’s movie The Witches, based on the book by Roald Dahl, and starring Anjelica Huston. Since witches feature so prominently in fairy tales, and since we are in the darkest, grimmest time of the year, today seems like a good day to learn everything there is to know about witches. Just in case.