For our first image collection of this Halloween season, we’re going with a classic and iconic figure: the witch, appropriately accessorised with her (or in some cases, his!) broomstick.
Let’s see what’s happening in this scene!
“Shall we go to Malkin Tower?” asked Mistress Nutter, shuddering.
“No; to the summit of Pendle Hill,” rejoined Mother Chattox; “for there the girl will be taken, and there only can we secure her. But first we must proceed to my hut, and make some preparations. I have three scalps and eight teeth, taken from a grave in Goldshaw churchyard this very day. We can make a charm with them.”
“You must prepare it alone,” said Mistress Nutter; “I can have nought to do with it.”
“True — true — I had forgotten,” cried the hag, with a chuckling laugh— “you are no longer one of us. Well, then, I will do it alone. But come with me. You will not object to mount upon my broomstick. It is the only safe conveyance in this storm of the devil’s raising. Come — away!”
And she threw open the window and sprang forth, followed by Mistress Nutter.
Through the murky air, and borne as if on the wings of the wind, two dark forms are flying swiftly. Over the tops of the tempest-shaken trees they go, and as they gain the skirts of the thicket an oak beneath is shivered by a thunderbolt. They hear the fearful crash, and see the splinters fly far and wide; and the foremost of the two, who, with her skinny arm extended, seems to direct their course, utters a wild scream of laughter, while a raven, speeding on broad black wing before them, croaks hoarsely. Now the torrent rages below, and they see its white waters tumbling over a ledge of rock; now they pass over the brow of a hill; now skim over a dreary waste and dangerous morass. Fearful it is to behold those two flying figures, as the lightning shows them, bestriding their fantastical steed; the one an old hag with hideous lineaments and distorted person, and the other a proud dame, still beautiful, though no longer young, pale as death, and her loose jetty hair streaming like a meteor in the breeze.
– The Lancashire Witches, page 325