Scrying Into the Future

Scrying (also called crystal gazing, crystal seeing, seeing, or peeping) is the ancient act of divination for the purpose of clairvoyance. It is usually achieved by concentrating on or staring at an object having a shiny surface until a vision appears.

A formerly widespread tradition held that young women, gazing into a mirror in a darkened room (often on Halloween) could catch a glimpse of their future husband’s face in the mirror or a skull personifying Death, if their fate was to die before they married.

Visit Occult World: Scrying to learn more about this ancient art of divination, including how to do it yourself.

Famous Accused Witch: Petronella de Meath

Petronella de Meath was the first woman in Ireland to be burned for heresy in 1324.

She was the hand-maiden of Dame Alice Kyteler, the famous witch of Kilkenny. Dame Alice was married four times, and each husband died. On the death of her last husband, Sir John le Poer, Alice’s children accused her of using poison and sorcery to kill him. They brought their case before the Bishop of Ossory, Richard de Ledrede, in 1324 in the hope that their mother would be arrested and they would gain her fortune. It was ordered that Alice be burned at the stake.

Unfortunately for Petronella, Alice fled. This left a large, baying crowd standing outside Kilkenny City’s Tholsel. To satisfy the crowd, Petronella was made to take Alice’s place. She was burned alive and that would be the end of Petronella de Meath, the first woman in Ireland burned for heresy, a claim that should have fell to Dame Alice.

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Horror Junior Cinema Trivia: The Witches (1990)

After a test screening, The Witches author Roald Dahl angrily expressed to the producers how “appalled” he was at “the vulgarity, the bad taste” and “actual terror” in certain parts of the movie. He demanded that his name and his book’s title be removed from the film prior to release, but after receiving an apologetic, complimentary letter from Jim Henson, he grudgingly withdrew his threat.

Learn more behind-the-scenes trivia about this horror junior classic at IMDb: The Witches (1990) Trivia.