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Witchcraft and magic

(artykuł w języku angielskim).

Hello everyone! Today I would like to tell you something about magic. I'm quite sure that all of you once tried to make some spells or tricks. Nowadays this topic is really common in movies or soap operas but we have to remember that our interest in magic did not appear from nowhere.

At the beginning I would like to tell you a story about witches from Salem. Maybe some of you already know it but for more of you it will be something new.

In January 1692 two girls in a village called Salem became ill. One of them was a daughter of local pastor Betty Paris and the other was her cousin Abigaile Villiams. Doctor said that the girl had been bewitched. There were 3 suspected: old woman Sarah Osborne, beggar Sarah Goods and negro slave. Gradually symptoms of illness appeared on other local people. 3 suspected witches were taken to the court. Immediately after accusing of them 2 other girls went into convulsion. Younger of them shouted inhuman screams and through the Bible into the wall. The second one wriggled on the floor.

The court was surprised because the slave woman pleaded guilty and indicated other people connected with magic. Day after day the more people were suspected. One of them was previously pointed Sarah Good who claimed that it was ridiculed accusation and she had never had any contact with devil and had never done anything bad to anybody. She lost her self-confidence when the girls got convulsion on her view. Sarah Good pointed another unholy and bagged for mercy.

The list of accused people became longer and longer. The prisons were overflowing, even in surrounding cities. In May 1692 gubernator William Filis opened new court in Salem which was used only for witch cases. Between 10 July and 19 October in 1692, 19 people were hanged on gallows. In this group was even a pastor! The process finished in January 1693. It was the most tragic part of early history of USA especially because one day the girls told that their lies about spells and illness were very funny...


So as you all see, it started with a lie. Of course there still are people who are the believers. I was into this topic as a child so I digged a little bit and found out a historical explanations. Worth saying is also the way of punishments for witches. If a woman pleaded guilty, she was left free but she had to left a town. When accused woman did not admit her guilt she was being killed.

There were also water-tests. A woman was put into a bag and through into a river. If she drowns it meant that she was innocent and other was mistaken. If she managed to get out it meant that she was a witch and after that she was killed. People used to be cruel.

There are plenty of proberbs or legends about witches. There are said to meet at Sabbath's while their main way of transport is broom or like in Litwa- shovel. Some old books say that before the flight witches applied themselves with ointment made from children's fat. Another supplement was a bat bunched to witches leg. That was supposed to protect them from bad winds.

Connected with magic are also vampires and werewolves. This first are said to be people bitten by bat, the second- but wolf, the most famous vampire is Dracula. What's interesting the whole idea of count Dracula was based on real man. Anyway there were lot of movies made about Dracula; one of my favorite is "Dead and loving it". It is different from other movies because it is not a horror but comedy. Count Dracula is kind of floppy there and really funny.

Worth saying is also gossip that werewolf's and vampires hate each other. They are supposed to be in never-ending war, killing each other with passion.

There are also other magic creatures than vampires or werewolf's, for example zombie. In modern times, the term "zombie" has been applied to an undead being in horror fiction, largely drawn from George A. Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. They have appeared as plot devices in various books, films and in television shows. But zombie is also a cult in Haiti.

According to the tenets of Voodoo, a dead person can be revived by a bokor. There also exists within the West African Vodun tradition the zombie astral, which is a part of the human soul that is captured by a bokor and used to enhance the bokor's power. The zombie astral is typically kept inside a bottle which the bokor can sell to clients for luck, healing or business success. It is believed that after a time God will take the soul back and so the zombie is a temporary spiritual entity. It is also said in voodoo legend that feeding a zombie salt will make it return to the grave. It is also believed in some areas that witches can turn a person into a zombie by killing and possessing the victim's body in order to force it into slave labor.

What makes this topic so interesting and on top all the time? Do people wish to be a little bit magical and get free from everyday problems? Do we think our lives so boring that we want to run away from our nature and change every month into a mysterious beast?

I hope you enjoyed this small lesson of history connected with magic. If you have any question I can share my knowledge with you. Thank you for your attention.

Martyna Niedbała

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