Halloween 2018: Are vampires and witches REAL? Are there witch covens in the UK? | Weird | News

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The spirit of Halloween this year will have many people dishing out horror stories or tuning into their favourite horror flicks.

Among these could be the terrifying tale of Dracula, or the Halloween classic witch movie Hocus Pocus.

With witches and vampires on the mind, some may wonder whether the paranormal is real.

Express.co.uk is on hand with all the origins of the creatures.

Are vampires real?

Vampires originated in folklore dating from the 19th century, in books such as Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’.

They are a classic backbone to halloween, as their human-like forms make easy costumes with just a dash of blood and some plastic pointed teeth.

Even though they are ultimately Halloween indulgences, they have their real-world counterparts.

Their appearance and explanation is theorised to be from dated understandings of human bodily composition.

According to the book Vampires, Burial and Death by Paul Barber, societies once suspected vampirism in bodies which didn’t look quite right after being dug up.

People would have attributed the look to being ‘undead’ – still being alive despite the outward appearance of death.

In addition, the spread of diseases and death around smaller communities was attributed to blood-sucking monsters.

Viruses like tuberculosis or the bubonic plague gave victims a drawn appearance and blood on the lips from damaged lungs or throats, contributing to the traditional vampire appearance beliefs.

Are witches real?

Witches are portrayed often as women with a green pallor and sharp hooked noses.

These goblin-like appearances hide their true origin however – as women who were believed to practice magic.

The term witchery simply refers to possessing magical abilities and casting spells.

Accusations of witchcraft were put towards women who were likely involved in personal disputes or jealousy, and resulted in widespread ‘witch trials’ in many places, which sought to test and punish women accused of practicing witchcraft.

In reality, witchcraft or sorcery are non-existent, but there are still people alive today who practice the art.

The most famous modern witches are known as Wicca, and are groups of people who gather in ‘covens’ to ritually practice magic.

For the Wicca, there is “low magic” and “folk magic” which are used to worship deities named the Moon Goddess and Horned God.

In order to gather together for worship, witches form ‘covens’ which consist of initiated priests and priestesses, headed by a high priest or priestess.

The purpose of gathering in covens and performing rituals i according to High Priestess Margot Adler “one method of reintegrating individuals and groups into the cosmos, and to tie in the activities of daily life with their ever present, often forgotten, significance.”



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