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Day 21 - Red James

Seamus Rua (Red James) woke up one night from a very deep sleep, as voices wafted up from the floor below. He crept down the stairs and saw half a dozen old women sitting around the fire in his kitchen, joking and laughing, one of whom was his housekeeper. He thought briefly back of the bedtime drink she had brought to him, which he had left untouched on his bed stand, for which he was happy to have skipped for the first ever time. They were passing around a jug of his whis

Day 15 - Maggie's Wall

Inspiration can come from anywhere. During my research of witches from around the world, I discovered Maggie's Wall. This is why I developed the character of Maggie Balfour in my novel, Magick. Balfour was a popular name among those hunted for witchcraft in Scotland, and no one knows who the "Maggie" of this dedication truly is. Thus, I gave dear Maggie a story - for no one's tale should end as an unknown finish. Outside of a small village of Dunning, nestled in the former pa

Day 14 - Malin Matsdotter

What goes around comes around. Malin Matsdotter was a Swedish widow of Finnish descent who was accused by her own daughters of being a witch. But in this case, there was no sorcery involved; instead, the daughters' charge was that she abducted their children and took them to a satanic sabbath. Malin, along with Anna Simonsdotter Hack, were the last victims executed for being witches during the great Swedish witch hunt of 1668-76, often referred to as "The Great Noise." What m

Day 13 - The German Witch

Balthasar von Dernbach, the prince and abbot of the mystical town of Fulda in Germany, was a notorious witch hunter who embarked on a series of trials known as the Fulda Witch Trials, which lasted between 1603 and 1606. Marga Bien was a wealthy German heiress. She murdered her second husband and her children with him, and attended Sabbaths held by Satan. Or at least that's what she was forced to confess while being tortured in prison. She was pregnant, but that didn't save he

Day 12 - Marie Catherine Laveau

Where would we be in our stories of witches from around the world without a tale from New Orleans? Marie Catherine Laveau was born a free woman of color and a Creole in Louisiana in 1801, the state where the Voodoo dolls were made famous. Laveau was a Voodoo practitioner, and became the very icon of the practice, known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. According to folklore, she was a beautiful and wise woman who could easily intimidate anyone, even the police. She practice

Day 11 - MARET JONSDOTTER

Sweden has their fair share of witch history as well... In 17th century Sweden, Maret Jonsdotter once rode a man as a horse to the legendary meadow of Blockula, where she frequently attended witches' Sabbaths. On other occasions, she and her sister rode cows to Blockula, slaughtered them, and then had sexual intercourse with the Devil. Or at least that's what Maret's little sister claims. She was the first person to be tried during The Great Noise, a witch hunt that swept Swe

Day 10 - MOTHER SHIPTON

There's perhaps one story that's famous more than any other. That's the story of Ursula Shipton. When there are so many myths built around a person, what does it say about that person? For Ursula Southeil, better known as Mother Shipton, perhaps the added mystery — however fictitious — is a testament to her enduring reputation. Mother Shipton was a feared and highly regarded English prophetess of the 16th century. Born to a mother, who was also suspected to be a witch, Mother

Day 9 - ANGELE DE LA BARTHE

Angele de la Barthe supposedly had sexual intercourse with the Devil, (as the story goes), an affair which produced a son, a sort of half-man, wolf-snake beast who fed on babies. Angele de la Barthe was a wealthy noble woman who lived between 1230 and 1275 in Toulouse, France. She was also an adept of Catharism, a Christian dualist movement deemed heretical by the Church. She was accused of witchcraft after a series of babies mysteriously disappeared in the area. She confesse

Day 7 - Catherine Monovoisin

Also known as La Voisin (the neighbor), Catherine Monvoisin was the wife of a French jeweler, and became famous thanks to the premonitions she's had ever since she was little. After her husband's business went bankrupt, she extended her field of expertise from palm reading to selling love potions, poisons, and even abortion drugs. Among her clients were many noblemen, countesses, and princesses. She was arrested, together with her daughter, under the accusation of witchcraft,

Day 6 - Medea

As we see in the story of Odysseus and Circe, Greek mythology is filled with witches. When Jason and his Argonauts went on a quest for the Golden Fleece, they decided to steal it from King Aeëtes of Colchis. What Aeëtes didn’t know was that his daughter Medea had developed an attraction to Jason, and after seducing and eventually marrying him, this enchantress helped her husband steal the Golden Fleece from her father. Medea was said to be of divine descent, and was the niece

Day 5 - Agnes Sampson

Although her fictional descendant is featured in my latest novel, Magick: Secrets, Spells and Tales, Agnes was in fact, a very real figure in Scottish history. Agnes Sampson was a midwife and healer in a village in Scotland at the end of the 16th century. On Halloween night 1590, she attended a witches' Sabbath hosted by Satan, and summoned a great storm over the North Sea, meant to sink the ship of Queen Anne, wife of King James VI of England, who was sailing in toward Scotl

Day 4 - King Arthur's Witch

If you’ve ever read any of the Arthurian legends, the name Morgan le Fay should ring a bell. Her first appearance in literature is in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s "The Life of Merlin," written in the first half of the twelfth century. Morgan has become known as a classic seductress, who lures men in with her witchy wiles, and then causes all kinds of supernatural shenanigans. Chrétien de Troyes’ "The Vulgate Cycle" describes her role as one of Queen Guinevere’s ladies in waiting. A

Day 1 - Let the 31 Days of October Begin!

Let the witching hour begin! Because I write a story that associates with the Salem Witch Trials, people assume I'm somehow a practicing witch. And while the exact point of my books point out that judgment such as that is incredibly ignorant, I'm going to embrace the title this October season and bring you various legends of Witches. You're welcome. First up on Day 1, we have The Witch of Endor. Sounds spooky already, right? But who was this witch? The Christian Bible has an

All Hallows Eve - Day 31!

Introduction All Hallows' Eve is the evening before the Christian festival of All Saints Day, otherwise known as All Hallows. The word hallows is from Old English halig, a holy man. It was originally held on the 1st of May, but in 834 the Christian church moved it to the 1st of November. It is held to celebrate Pope Boniface IV's desecration of the Pantheon at Rome in 610. The Pantheon was originally a Pagan temple dedicated to all the gods of the Romans. The Celtic New Year

will-o'-the-wisp - Day 30

A jack-o'-lantern (or jack o'lantern) is a carved pumpkin, turnip, or other root vegetable lantern, associated with the holiday of Halloween and named after the phenomenon of a strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o'-the-wisp or jack-o'-lantern. Its name is also tied to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a drunkard who bargains with Satan and is doomed to roam the Earth with only a hollowed turnip to light his way. Jack-o'-lantern's are a yearly Halloween tradit

Gypsy Folklore - Day 29

In many cultures, magic is an integral part of everyday life. The group known as the Rom is no exception, and they have a strong and rich magical heritage. The word gypsy is sometimes used, but it's considered a pejorative. It is important to note that the term gypsy was originally used derogatorily to refer to the ethnic group known as the Romani. The Romani were -- and continue to be -- a group from Eastern Europe and possibly northern India. The word "gypsy" came from the

Game Day Grub - Day 28!

Nothing say Sunday's in October like Football. At least, that is how it is in this house! Kick off your game day party the right way and have your whole crowd cheering for more with these pretzel bites! Ingredients 10 cups water 1/4 cup baking soda 1 egg 1 tablespoon water 1 can Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent rolls 4 teaspoons sesame seed 1/2 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt 1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. 2. In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat 10 cups wa

The Old Hanging Jail - Haunted?

At the Old Cooper County Jail and Hanging Barn, built in 1848, folks say the ghost of a young prisoner materializes and pounds on the old cell doors. Dark shadow figures have been seen here as well. The most famous of the many prisoners associated with the Jail was Frank James, brother of Jesse. On April 24th, 1884, James was brought to the Cooper County Jail by Sheriff John Rogers to answer a warrant for his arrest for a train robbery that took place in 1876. For more inform

Child's Play

Boonville, Missouri has had it's fair share of films created in and around the town over the years. But do you remember when Chuckie visited Kemper Military School? Child's Play, aka Chuckie 3, was considered super scary for the time. Chucky returns for revenge against Andy, the young boy who defeated him, and now a teenager living in a military academy. Quite frankly, the idea of doll's coming to life and committing murder is still terrifying. Want a less scary, but more mag

The Harvest Moon

The meaning of tradition holds true - but different - for all of us. I have never been a fan of this time of the year, honestly. The days get cold, night comes sooner, and the sun doesn't feel as warm anymore. Being raised Baptist in the Bible belt meant we very rarely got to partake in any events that promoted Halloween. However, the older I get, the more my respect for this time of the year and my understanding of why it's necessary grows. This year I took the time to reall

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