7 Real Life Witches and Warlocks down the Ages ...


7 Real Life Witches and Warlocks down the Ages ...
7 Real Life Witches and Warlocks down the Ages ...

With Halloween here, our thoughts naturally turn to all things spooky and I thought it might be interesting to find out more about some real life witches and warlocks. There have been some pretty notorious people branded as witches and wizards throughout the ages and trust me, they didn’t get their education at Hogwarts! Let’s venture together into the strange and weird world of real life witches and warlocks.

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Agnes Waterhouse

To start off this list of real life witches is Mother Waterhouse, perhaps the most famous witch to have ever lived. She, along with two companions, was accused of partnering with the Devil himself, cursing people with black magic and even murdering with magic. However what made the case so intriguing is that for once it wasn’t the Church accusing Agnes of her crimes – she was sentenced to death by hanging by a secular court. Agnes herself never denied what she was accused of, even going as far as to claim that she had spoken to the Devil and he had told her there was no point in arguing against the verdict, for she was condemned to die.


Agnes Waterhouse, commonly known as Mother Waterhouse, became an infamous figure in the annals of witchcraft history. Her trial in 1566 was part of the larger witch hunts that swept across Europe, marked by the presence of her daughter, Joan, and another woman, Elizabeth Francis, as part of the infamous proceedings. Interestingly, her own familiar, a cat named Satan, was said to have been her conduit to the dark arts. Her execution on July 29, 1566, sparked a grim precedent in England, opening the floodgates for subsequent witch trials and hangings. It's said her legend lingers, a cautionary tale intertwining fear and superstition.


Tamsin Blight

Witches were often also healers throughout the ages, and in 19th-century England, Tamsin Blight was no exception. She was a hedge witch, and was married to a wizard by the name of James Thomas. One story tells us that Tamsin once cursed a cobbler who refused to mend her shoes because she had fallen behind on her payments – the whole community believed strongly in Tamsin’s powers and decided to avoid him until he left the Cornish village.


Abramelin the Mage

Although we don’t know many details of Abramelin The Mage, we know he was one of the real life warlocks who had many thousands of followers. He wrote a book in the 15th century about how best to command evil spirits linked to the Devil, to carry out his bidding.


Abramelin the Mage was a 15th century warlock who wrote a book detailing how to command evil spirits. He was said to have had thousands of followers, and his book detailed how to use the power of the Devil to carry out one's bidding. He is believed to have been a practitioner of Kabbalah, a Jewish mystical tradition, and to have been heavily influenced by the works of other magicians such as the Ars Goetia. He is also said to have had a great deal of influence on other occultists, such as Aleister Crowley. It is believed that many of the magical practices of today have their roots in Abramelin's teachings.


Angela De La Barthe

Some of the many things Angela was accused of were sleeping with an incubus (a male demon), giving birth to a creature which was half snake and half wolf, and causing local children to mysteriously disappear. While it’s doubtful that Angela committed any of these acts, the local Catholic Church believed her to be guilty and like many other spinster women was condemned to death. The reality is that she was probably just a strange lady who some believe suffered from mental health problems and thus was marginalized by the community; in the 13th century, when Angela lived, however, such behavior was attributed to witchcraft.


Angela De La Barthe lived in the 13th century and was accused of witchcraft and several other heinous acts. She was believed to have slept with an incubus, given birth to a half-snake, half-wolf creature, and caused children to disappear. Although these accusations were never proven, the Catholic Church sentenced her to death. It is likely that she was a strange woman who suffered from mental health issues and was thus ostracized from the community. Witchcraft was used to explain any behavior that was out of the ordinary in the Middle Ages, and unfortunately, Angela was a victim of this.


Laurie Cabot

While many real life witches and warlocks on this list may be obscure to many people, Laurie Cabot is much more widely-known nowadays. She was born in California but moved to New England to pursue her magical fascination. She studied for over a year and moved to Salem. Laurie’s cat was stuck up a tree, and it was only after she told the local fire fighters that she was a witch – bearing in mind in 1970s Salem the word witch was still very powerful – that the cat was rescued. Her cover was then blown, and she was propelled into the national spotlight. Her shop became instantly popular with people from across the country coming to visit this modern-day witch. She is known today as the official witch of Salem, a name conferred on her by the Governor due to her work for the local community. Unlike many of those who preceded her, Laurie has started that she will never perform dark magic such as curses. She sees herself as combining astrology with magic and has since had a profound impact on the Wicca religion.


Laurie Cabot has significantly shaped the public's perception of modern witchcraft. As a prolific author, her books on Wicca and magical practice have educated and inspired countless individuals. Her iconic black robe and public rituals have made her a recognizable figure, even among those who don't follow the Craft. Yet, it's her commitment to community service and her progressive approach to witchcraft that truly sets her apart. Laurie Cabot continues to teach and advocate for Wiccan rights, ensuring that the path of the wise is both respected and understood in contemporary society.


Raymond Buckland

Sometimes known as the “Father of American Wicca”, Raymond has been practicing witchcraft since the 1960s. While he once took a more active role in the progression of the religion, he now lives in rural Ohio taking a backseat by writing magic-related books.


Dame Alice Kyteler

Ireland was a country which rejected witch hunts for many years – unlike its close neighbors, Ireland was a safe haven for those practicing the art. Eventually however, people like Dame Alice started to be persecuted in Ireland. When Alice’s fourth husband unexpectedly died, the man’s children had her accused of witchcraft. Alice was a powerful woman and was able to escape the authorities – many believe she fled to England using her power and money, but one thing is for sure: she was never captured and remains a famous Irish witch to this day.

To be honest, I thought the stories of real life witches and warlocks would be far more interesting. Maybe it’s because all the “interesting” stories are simply that – deemed to be fictitious and therefore the protagonists never get labeled as real life witches. So, what do you think? Are there real life witches and warlocks?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Very interesting article! Really enjoyed reading it :)

Whatever happened to Vanga?!?! She was a legend!

How could you leave out Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau of New Orleans?

Solitary witches also exist

Mother Shipton was also a real life witch: she lived in a cave in North Yorkshire and predicted the great fire of London

Im Wicca, and yes we exsist, is is an incredible religion, and we will never curse we only cast for good

I'm a pagan witch, you could be living next door to a witch, contrary to popular belief, we don't ride brooms, eat children or have sex with the devil haha x

Omg they do exist

Witches do very much exist(*; My all time favorite is the Bell Witch!!!

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