witch

Locustra testing Poison by Joseph-Noël Sylvestre

10 Ancient Serial Killers That Foreshadowed Jack The Ripper

What makes someone a serial killer? Even though psychologists and criminologists have been working for decades to accurately define and identify what makes a person commit such cold-blooded murders...
Left: Lilias reconstructed face as she may have looked when alive. (Dundee University) Right: 3D imagery created from the photo of Adie’s skull. (National Library of Scotland)

Face of Notorious “Witch” Digitally Reconstructed 300 Years after her Death

A group of elite forensic scientists from the University of Dundee, has reconstructed digitally the face of one of Scotland's most notorious “witches”, Lilias Adie. The only documents that helped...
Witches, Vampires and Werewolves

Witches, Vampires and Werewolves – 10 Ghoulish Archaeological Discoveries

Archaeologists are quite familiar with the unearthing of human remains. But occasionally they come across burials that are more bizarre and unsettling – from hybrid frankenstein-type skeletons, to ‘...
One of the pages from The Book of Magical Charms. Credit: The Newberry Library

Do You Have the Magic Touch? Chicago Library Appeals to Public for Help Transcribing Magical Manuscripts

Do you have a talent in solving magical puzzles and manuscripts? Do you have a penchant for casting spells? Well, if that’s the case, Chicago's Newberry Library is offering the right job for you as...
‘A maid bringing medicine and soup to her master who has a cold.’ (1857)

Medicine Maidens: Why Did Women Become the Primary Medical Providers in Early Modern Households?

A primary female occupation in the early modern period (AD 1500-1800) was that of medicine. Though there were formal doctors—known by various titles and with various tasks detailed by their...
Rhineland Master. Love Magic, 1470s. Museum für bildende Künste, Leipzig.

A Patriarchal Portrait of a Witch: Warning of Witchcraft in the Female Wiles

Early modern Europe was a period of patriarchy, in which men were in control and women only truly had a say in the household affairs. Power and regulation lay in the hands of men, while the care of...
A Visit to the Witch by Edward Frederick Brewtnall

Bubbling Brews and Broomsticks: How Alewives Became the Stereotypical Witch

"Brewing", "herbs," "broomsticks," "woman." When one hears these words together, most often the assumption is that the person in question is a witch. Yet brewing has a very human meaning as well, one...
Witch of Eye was burned at the stake. Fire and witch

Witch of Eye Burned Alive at the Stake: Did She Use Black Magic to Bewitch a King in a Game of Thrones-Style Plot?

For over 900 years, people have been telling stories of wicked witches who have used Black Magic to overthrow kings. Morgan Le Fay in Arthurian legends of the early 12th century is thought to have...
Prophetess by Alphonse Mucha

The 17th Century Seer, Janet Douglas: Being A Gifted Child Isn’t Always A Good Thing

Janet Douglas was a 17 th century Scottish teenager reputed to have a paranormal gift known as ‘Second Sight’. It may be pointed out that there was another well-known Janet Douglas, a Scottish...
Cairn T, at Loughcrew in Ireland, the site of the Prophet Jeremiah’s tomb. Source: © Laurence O’Bryan

Could Ireland’s Cairn T Really Be the Tomb of the Prophet Jeremiah?

Cairn T is at a junction of the Road of the Chariots in County Meath, in the Boyne Valley, Ireland. Unfortunately, it’s not on Google Maps yet, but nearby Loughcrew House is. Cairn T is nearer to the...
Antique portrait of a woman, Austria

Bodies Left Behind - A Cruel History of Persecution, Shamanic Ecstasies & the True Witches Sabbath

‘The witches are carried sometimes in their bodies and clothes, at other times without, and the examiner thinks their bodies are sometimes left behind. Even when their spirits only are present, yet...
Margaret Murray Unwrapping the Khnum-Nakht Mummy

Margaret Murray - Mother of Egyptology, Grandmother of Wicca, or Fairy Godmother?

Margaret Murray is one of the most mysterious Egyptologists. Although many researchers criticize her research, the story behind her writings scares anyone who is wary of the powers of witchcraft...
"Alchemist Sędziwój" by Jan Matejko: alchemist, and pioneer chemis.

Icelandic Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery and the Tragic Case of Jón Rögnvaldsson

Traditions relating to the dark and fascinating practices of witchcraft in Iceland are as old as the first human settlements on the island. Countless people paid for these practices with their lives...
Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Usually, the Empress of the Han Dynasty was invincible, untouchable, and protected by the law more than anyone else. However, in the case of Empress Chen of Wu, the accusation of practicing black...
Santa Compaña: A Procession of Souls That Spreads Fear Through the Villages of Iberia

Santa Compaña: A Procession of Souls That Spreads Fear Through the Villages of Iberia

Picture a group of the dead passing down the street next to your house. They sing out deathly stories and spread a creepy energy that makes you feel your skin crawl. You want to escape, but you can’t...
YouTube screenshot of what Maria Solina may have looked like

The Powerful Woman Known as Maria Solina - The Most Famous Witch of Galicia

Witchcraft has a very special place in the culture of Spanish Galicia. One of the most famous people related to the old magical traditions is Maria Soliña, a Galician witch who lived during the 17th...

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Top New Stories

The fall of Icarus, circa 1635.
Daedalus, the legendary inventor of ancient Greek myth, joined the court of Minos, the ruler of Crete, as the king's star engineer. Daedalus was credited with creating myriad marvels, from carpenter's tools to animated statues. It was Daedalus who designed and built the bewildering Cretan Labyrinth as a prison for Minos' monstrous son, the Minotaur. Every year, the Athenians were compelled to send fourteen young men and women to be sacrificed to the cannibal with the bull's head.

Myths & Legends

The Smelliest Women of Ancient Greece: Jason and the Argonauts Get Fragrant
We all know Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, made sure that she was worshipped by punishing those who ignored her altars. One brief appearance of this wrath in the tale of Jason and the Argonauts turned into a particularly fragrant episode.

Ancient Places

Inside one of the tunnels under Valetta, Malta.
Hordes of tourists visit the Mediterranean island of Malta each year to enjoy the above ground attractions the country has to offer such as breath-taking sandy beaches, historical buildings, and traditional cuisine. Yet, there is also a subterranean world hidden beneath the island’s surface. These are the rumored secret tunnels of Malta.

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At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

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View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)