For as long as humanity has existed, we have been fascinated with magic and its infinite applications. But perhaps more interesting than magic itself, are the ones who are able to harness it and use it for their own means.
These stories and legends of witches and sorcerers have been spread around the world and inspired us to create new stories and incarnations of our own. How else would we have the works of great authors like J.K. Rowling or Roald Dahl? So, here are five of the most famous magic users from around the world.
1. The Bell Witch
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In the early nineteenth-century, a terrible entity terrorized the Bell family at their home for years. Numerous accounts would testify that the Bell Witch was not like a ghost or phantom; no signs of actual possession occurred. Even more peculiar are the events and testimonies offered on the topic of this odd entity.
Supposedly, the Bell Witch was a shape-shifting, but otherwise invisible force that terrorized the family in Robertson County, Tennessee. The entity was capable of many supernatural feats and would often talk to those that would listen. It would call itself “Old Kate Batts” and would terrorize the family’s patriarch, John Bell Sr. The witch would inflict severe harm to the man as well as some of his children.
The witch succeeded in killing John Bell Sr. as he was found dead from poison. The haunting was said to be so real, that it even caught the attention of former president, Andrew Jackson.
2. Baba Yaga
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While many may initially view this witch of Eastern Slavic folklore as inherently evil due to her gaunt appearance, her motives are ambiguous in actuality. Baba Yaga is imagined as a malnourished and feeble looking old woman who rides on a a giant magical mortar and wields an enormous pestle.
Her home is the forest and wilderness, of which she seems to protect. In truth, there are many stories of Baba Yaga where she does play a villainous role. But there are many more where she as seen as a guardian of nature or even seen as a benevolent witch. Her powers vary, but she is said to be able to perform curses and spells as well as shape shift. She is also able to affect the elements and cause huge storms. Baba Yaga is one witch you don’t mess with.
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When it comes to magic in ancient Greece, Hecate is the pinnacle. Technically, she isn’t exactly a mortal witch/sorcerer. But without her, the Greek Pantheon would have imbalance.
Hecate is the goddess of magic among other things. In mythology, after the war between the Olympians and titans, it was Hecate who became the only titan Zeus would pardon to become apart of his new pantheon. This freedom separates her greatly from the rest; with this freedom, she could gift her teachings to mortals freely.
This is where the Greeks learned of witchcraft. Hecate’s influence didn’t stop with the mythological stories. Entire ancient cults were created and focused on her teachings. She had many temples and statues erected. Perhaps she influenced her cultists to create these spectacles. Perhaps she gave us magic itself!
4. The Maharal of Prague
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The study of Kabbalah is one notorious for being related to magic and even witchcraft. With it, people are supposedly able to use a variety of incantations and scriptures. While now it serves as a basis of ideals instead of the mysticism it once presented, it still intrigues many.
Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel was a scholar well versed in the teachings of Kabbalah. He was also said to be on good terms with the Holy Roman Emperor at the time, Emperor Rudolph II; so much so that the emperor had a bell dedicated to ring for the Rabbi. More impressive, however, are the accounts of the Maharal of Prague protecting its Jewish community during times of extreme prejudice.
In order to protect his people, Rabbi Benzalel used his mystic skills in creating a living golem. The golem was named Josef, and patrolled the streets as an invisible force that would protect the Jewish residents if they were under any form of assault. Eventually, Josef the golem even went on a killing spree after going mad. The good Rabbi ended the golem’s life and it is said to be at rest of the Old-New Synagogue in Prague.
5. The Black Constable
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John Domingo is highly known when it comes to Voodoo in the United States, especially near Charleston, South Carolina. The man would dress peculiarly in a Union army coat and had many odd possessions that he claimed had many different magical uses.
Domingo was highly respected in the city as a true user of witchcraft and other dark arts. It was said that the townspeople would come to him before they would go to the police. More often than not, Domingo would be able to solve many of the disputes that came his way. The man was said to be strong enough in the arts of magic to cause entire storms. Sailors would pay him to keep the waters cool.
Legend has it, the Black Constable met his end due to his pride. After dealing with two highwaymen and dragging their bodies through the forest, John started feeling bigger than he initially thought. In fact, it’s said he believed himself stronger and better than even Jesus himself. Supposedly, the warlock met his end after mocking the son of god. Should have stayed humble, Johnny.
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