A witch possesses the power to effect change via magical means ("witchcraft"). The male counterpart of a witch is called a warlock, but other types of sorcerers and magic practitioners appear throughout the original series.
- 1 Characteristics of a witch
- 2 Powers
- 3 Becoming a witch
- 4 Types of Witches and Warlocks
- 5 Weaknesses
- 6 List of known witches:
Characteristics of a witch
Just as vampirism adversely alters one's personality, the use of witchcraft also seems to have negative effects on many witches and warlocks who resort to the black arts for evil purposes such as creating illness, cursing enemies, or manipulating and controlling the minds and bodies of other people. The affiliation with demonic, corrupting forces like Diabolos helps to harden and darken the heart of a witch. Granted the supernatural power to manipulate reality, witches will be more and more inclined to use magic as a diabolical solution to their problems, fueling more and more negative feelings of revenge, hatred, and jealousy. However, a witch is not necessarily always evil or greedy for power. The character of the individual informs how magic is practiced and even witches such as Angelique, who have done monstrous things, are able to feel love and compassion. Nevertheless, the forces of darkness appear to frown upon witches and warlocks who fall in love as humans do. In other instances, however, Diabolos himself seems to derive ironic amusement from the fact that this sometimes happens, even making bargains with Angelique to see if a mortal man can fall in love with her without the use of her spellcasting.
Witches and warlocks have an array of supernatural abilities. Many of these skills can be employed via the use of incantations, ritual hand gestures, occult objects, and a solid knowledge of magical and occult disciplines.
Spellcasting and conjuration
The act of spellcasting manifests in a variety of different ways ad affects reality in the desired manner through the use of incantations, enchantments, spells, herbs and potions, and rituals. Spellcasting is the most frequently used ability of witches. Examples include Angelique's spell to make Josette and Jeremiah fall in love, and her spell to make it appear as if Victoria Winters' bedroom was on fire.
Curses and Voodoo
Through the use of ordinary objects, a witch can inflict great harm and can even cause death. For instance, wax figures or dolls, when coupled with a personal item from the victim, can be pierced with pins or choked with a handkerchief to cause illness, suffering, and death to the witch's enemy. Angelique Bouchard Collins is a great expert and user of Voodoo dolls.
Witches can also inflict terrible curses upon their enemies. Notable curses include the one inflicted by Angelique on Barnabas Collins, turning him into a vampire (405,9), and the curse inflicted by Magda Rakosi on Quentin Collins, transforming him into a werewolf (749).
Necromancy and mediumship
Witches, especially those of the diabolic variety, often communicate with, and invoke, the spirits of the dead to do their bidding or provide information. They can also awaken, manipulate, and control dead bodies, raising them as revenants or as mindless zombies. Mediumship is an ability shared with psychics. Angelique has used necromancy to awaken zombies in both the original series and revival, and has summoned revenants and ghosts from their graves as well. (393,430,722, 939,1109,9).
Hypnosis and Mind Control
Powerful witches and warlocks such as Angelique and Nicholas possess the ability to hypnotize their victims, enabling them to exert great mental control. While under this power, the victim must do the bidding of the witch or warlock, who may then choose to wipe the hapless victim's memory of the events.
Telekinesis and elemental control
Power over the movements of objects and people has been displayed by witches. For instance, with a particular hand gesture, Angelique can cause a locked door to swing open. Witches have also been known to manipulate elements such as storms or fires is another ability held by witches. For instance, in the revival series, Angelique sparked a strong wind by invoking the Spirits of Air (8).
Anyone is able to spread the tarot cards and look at the pictures, but true interpretation requires knowledge of the cards and their meaning. However, as witches and psychics are in tune with psychic forces, they are the best candidates to foretell the future, understand the past, and discern the secrets of the present via the tarot cards or crystal ball.
Becoming a witch
Any person interested in the occult can undertake the study of the black arts, although some people are more adept than others because of their background, preparation, persistence, or simple dedication. Dark witches, particularly those in league with the devil, eventually seem to blur the lines between the mortal and supernatural worlds, attaining a state of being that makes them something which is no longer fully human.
Types of Witches and Warlocks
Although it can sometimes be difficult to discern, there do seem to be some distinctions in terms of how truly human, or supernatural, certain witches or warlocks may be. Witches who derive their powers from the devil, for instance, seem to become more supernatural in nature, often returning from death depending on the whims of their master. These types of witches and warlocks start out as normal humans who make a pact with a demonic entity such as Diabolos. Subsequently, as they gain in power over time, their humanity appears to lessen. Indeed, after death, they are said to reside in the underworld until they are allowed to return to the land of the living. According to Angelique in episode 882: "Before I came here this time, I was in the everlasting pits of Hell, where other creatures of my kind live. Only… my stay here on Earth made me dissatisfied with my life there. I longed to come back here — to Earth, to become a human being! I begged my Master for the chance!" In this way, the dark witch seems to become something not entirely human, afforded a sort of immortality by their master. Angelique Bouchard Collins, Nicholas Blair, and Judah Zachery fall into this category. There also seems to be some sort of hierarchy among these witches and warlocks, with some having authority over others.
In contrast, fully human magic users and dabblers in the occult such as Evan Hanley tend to be completely mortal. Depending on their level of skill and study, these spellcasters can become quite adept, however. Presumably, if these mortal spellcasters were to make a pact with some demonic being, they could, at their master's discretion, grow in dark power and in time become something not altogether human.
The nature and background of white witches such as Bathia Mapes is not as fully detailed in the series, particularly when compared to the bits of information provided about their more diabolical counterparts. However, like other witches, Bathia is vulnerable to fire, or at least the magical fire conjured by Angelique.
Furthermore, the mage Count Petofi seems quite distinct from the witches, warlocks, and other spell casters in the series, and would more accurately be described as a wizard or mage. Petofi doesn't request assistance from the devil or any dark deity. Much of his mysterious and considerable power is infused into his macabre right hand, although he wields some degree of magical power even without the hand.
Heritage or natural inclination
There are many circumstances under which a person may decide to devote himself or herself to witchcraft. Among them are heritage and personal interest. One may have been raised a person who practices witchcraft (or dark arts), or it may be learned through the diligent study of magical texts. It may be practiced as a hobby or it may be used in an attempt to control one's own destiny, and the destinies of others. Magic is unpredictable, however, and can lead to disastrous consequences, particularly when employed by a novice. For certain members of the Collins family, interest in and susceptibility to the study and practice of the magical arts appears to be a recurring trait.
Although the study and practice of magic can certainly achieve results, pacts with evil beings such as Diabolos appear to be the most prominent way of truly becoming a genuine witch or warlock, allowing either innate or learned abilities to be greatly supplemented and fueled by unholy boons and infernal powers.
Fire is the primary weapon employed against witches. Witches can be destroyed by fire and they greatly fear it.
Protective amulets can be worn or carried to protect one against the forces of witchcraft. Crosses can also be used to repel evil witches and warlocks.