The Witching Post

Witches stir up fear and interest because of their mysterious powers and rituals. As a result, places and things associated with witches often possess a dark mystique too. In this week’s post, I will present some examples of what is bewitched in our universe.

Tuhala Witch’s Well
By Ivar Leidus (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-ee], via Wikimedia Commons


Photo Description:

Witch’s Well (karst spring) in Tuhala (Estonia) is “boiling over”. Water erupts for only a short period of time and not every year. It starts to come out from the well when excess water from the Mahtra swamp fills up the underground river and the overflowing river water seeks an escape through the well. According to local legend, the well boils over when the witches of Tuhala make a sauna below the ground and beat each other with birch branches, causing a commotion on the surface.

Pebble Beach Witch Tree
By EditorASC at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons


This creepy looking tree was a famous landmark at Pescadero Point in Pebble Beach, California. The reason I refer to it in the past tense is that a storm destroyed it on January 14, 1964. Although the Witch Tree was not a site of witchcraft rituals, it appeared in a dark scene in a movie. According to Wikipedia, it was “part of the background in an early scene from the 1956 movie Julie, featuring Doris Day, while she was fleeing from her psychopathic husband, played by Louis Jourdan.”


Witch’s circle, Corfu, 1990
By Barry Lewis (The Witch’s Craic) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


This place looks scary enough to be a meeting place for witches. I keep thinking some dark stories lurk behind those black tree stumps in the middle of the photo.

Photo Description:

A sacred circle where feral witches meet to ceilidh or make mischief. This one spotted on the Greek island of Corfu in 1990.

Witch head nebula
By NASA/STScI Digitized Sky Survey/Noel Carboni [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Apparently even outer space is haunted by a witch.

Photo description:

 As the name implies, this reflection nebula associated with the star Rigel looks suspiciously like a fairytale crone. Formally known as IC 2118 in the constellation Orion, the Witch Head Nebula glows primarily by light reflected from the star. The color of this very blue nebula is caused not only by blue color of its star, but also because the dust grains reflect blue light more efficiently than red. A similar physical process causes Earth’s daytime sky to appear blue.

As I finish writing this post, the witching hour of midnight approaches here in California, so I will say farewell to you for now.


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