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The student news site of Stockbridge High School


The student news site of Stockbridge High School


Every Witch Way

Stereotypes surrounding Witchcraft
Every Witch Way
Taiyler Stanfield

What’s the first thing you think about when the word “witch” comes to your mind? Do you think of a Halloween costume? A hat and broom? A devil worshipper? Or an actual human being? 

Despite the fact that the term “witch” has been around for thousands of years, we correlate it with something dark and demonic. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Like Christians, Witches are communities of individuals who believe in a god and worship them; however, they believe in more than one god depending on their specific pathway of belief, or even none if they’re purely spiritual.

As far back as 1692 when the first “witch” was burned at the stake, societies such as the Puritans founded the belief that if you appeared to be less religious or less important to them, you were outcast into a term that was used to create hysteria and harm to the people of your society.

In events throughout history, women in particular have been subject to severe mistreatment such as the infamous Salem witch trials, where ordinary women in the village of Salem were hung for accusations of witchcraft. Because women had little to no say in the governing of Salem as well as autonomy, women were easy targets to blame for any wrongdoing that occurred. However, these claims were prejudiced in addition to being unfair. A woman was assumed to be a satan-worshiping witch just because she chose to act contrary to the beliefs of Puritan culture at the time. Crazy, right? 

Events such as the Salem witch trials led future generations to take the term “witch” and manipulate it into this ideology that Witches were people who only do bad things and harm others. 

The media that we consume on a daily basis – which has a limited understanding of what a Witch is and their beliefs – is to blame for many of the preconceptions about Witches. For example, the Wicked Witch of the East is the most stereotypical witch you’ll ever see in present-time media. This particular witch in both the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” films and books has green skin, a wart on her pointy nose and a big black hat. Not only do movies like this provide the false impression of Witches, but they also contribute to a number of modern-day misconceptions, such as the 2015 triple homicide in Florida. The sheriff of the case claimed it was committed by Wiccans (a type of Witch). However, Wiccan faith has never included ritual killing because it violates all the fundamental principles of their belief.

Think of a Witch as more than just a Halloween outfit, a bad person, or someone who is bound to Satan from now on. Consider them to be fellow men and women who make their own choices in life, just like you and I do. If we don’t choose to reject the media’s false beliefs propagated to us by the media, history and generations of misinformed belief, we as a society will never progress.

Curious to know about religions within the Witch world?

Illustrations made with canva
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About the Contributor
Taiyler Stanfield
Taiyler Stanfield, Editor In Chief
Taiyler Stanfield joined Uncaged halfway through her junior year and is an Editor-in-Chief this year. When she’s not yelling at students to do their work or editing articles for hours at a time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family. After graduating, Taiyler plans to quit her full-time job Tokyo-drifting on the way to school to attend Eastern Michigan University, where she will pursue a degree in Young Adult Literature to become an editor for a publishing company. If all hope is lost, Taiyler will instead pursue screenwriting in hopes that one day she will make the big bucks and win an Oscar for the blood, sweat, and tears she shed. You will occasionally hear Taiyler desiring to have at least five cats, as she is dangerously obsessed with them. Because of this obsession, it is with 100% certainty that she will become the neighborhood's crazy cat lady.
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