Have you ever suspected that someone you know might be a witch? Perhaps old Ms. Higgins in Accounting with all the warts and tufts of facial hair smells faintly of sulfur and has an odd collection of dolls arranged on her desk that look just like people you know? Or maybe the mysterious lady who lives down the street with all the cats has bizarre, other-worldly noises coming from her house and chimney smoke that looks sort of like blood crawling up the sky whenever there's a full moon? Or maybe you've seen that dirty bag lady downtown eating human babies and shooting lightning from her fingertips while chanting backwards Ozzy lyrics?
The point is, any one of them could be a witch. But how do you know for sure? Well, back in the days of the Salem Witch Trials, those brave Christian soldiers came up with a series of tests so that they could be certain before they meted out punishment. Over time, these tests faded into obscurity and were mostly forgotten. But the truth is, they're still being practiced by scholarly people in the know, and in fact, the number of tests has only increased over time, as life has evolved into the modern era.
After countless hours of terrible research, I have compiled together some of the more practical tests for you. No longer do you need to live in fear this Halloween season.*
If someone you know gets made fun of a lot and is ostracized by their peers, there's probably a good reason for it.
Oh, and these tests are only for female witches. For male witches, or "warlocks" as they prefer to be called, every test is identical: a brass-knuckled punch in the balls. If the subject is impervious to the pain this would cause, you are dealing with a truly dangerous servant of the Dark One. If not, I suggest you offer up this carefully worded apology:
"Dear sir or madam, though my words are likely to be unheard over the pounding hammers of crushing ball pain, I am truly sorry for socking you in the berries. But rejoice in the fact that you are not the warlock I suspected you were, and though you may suffer the cleansing fires of Hell for any number of other reasons, it will not be for being the Devil's magic man-whore. If you are fully cognizant of what I am saying and still angry after I have fled, you should know that it was Steve who told me to do this."
(Chances are they know a Steve, and if they don't, it will only add to their confusion).
*NOTE: These tests will only identify a witch, not help you do anything about them after the discovery is made. If any of your suspected witches test positive, be aware that you are probably screwed.
• Of course, one of the most classic tests to see if someone is a witch or not is to set them on fire. If they immediately light up in flames as kindling would, they have the wood of the Devil in them (wink wink), and they are a witch. Either that or they might be wearing rayon. But lots of witches like to wear rayon (the Devil's fiber!), I hear, so still, probably a witch.
• Another "oldie but goodie" test is the old float test. If you throw somebody into a large body of water and they float (make sure to bind their arms and legs first so they don't cheat and swim), they are definitely a witch, and at that point you may as well just let them drown, because believe me you are going to be on their "evil to-do list" after this.
An overly placid, peaceful expression in times of stress is often indicative of witchcraft.
Either that, or she knows where to get the good stuff.
• In the olden days, village officials would simply bring suspected witches back to their sex dungeons to conduct this test, but sex dungeons are no longer an American mainstay outside of the BDSM community, so that sort of thing tends to be frowned on these days. So in this modern era, it is best to simply trick the suspected witch by pretending you are interested in "romancing" her. Take her on a date, or several if required, but you need to get to the point where she performs "the fellatio" on you. If she is skilled at this, she is quite probably a witch, because being the Devil's consort, you tend to pick up a skill or two. I hear that in the olden days extensive testing of this was required. They didn't want to punish someone who was innocent, after all, so if you want to perform a good many tests just to be sure, it is perfectly understandable.
• One of the easiest classic tests to determine if someone is in congress with the Devil is to make a witch cake. Collect the tears of a male virgin in his twenties, the urine from thirteen young girls you believe the witch has targeted with her bad influence and corruptive spells, and at least two generous fistfuls of bat guano, and bake it all into a cake. The flavor doesn't matter, but I prefer chocolate raspberry myself. It's probably a good idea to have some lysol to spray over the cake to mask any unsavory odors emanating from it. In the old days, this was a lot harder. Then offer a slice to the suspected witch. The ingredients in the cake act like a beacon that lights up for all animals in the nearby area. Dogs will bark, cats will hiss and claw at her - she cannot possibly go unnoticed. If she refuses to eat it, she is undoubtedly a witch.
• Another classic was the "touch test", where the accusers would gather up the barely functional village loon and have the suspected witch touch them. This touch was usually forcefully directed to the "bathing suit area", or what were known back then as "bad parts". The theory was that the loon was "afflicted" by the witch, and if she hadn't cast her wicked spell upon him, he would be the type of well adjusted, normal person that would be likely to have a fine and neatly groomed mustache. If the loon did not completely flip out upon being touched by this conduit of the Devil's darkness, then the likelihood that this is a witch is very low.
Scarlet, or Adulterous Witches, are one of the most hated and feared kind.
• If you fill a bathtub with water and submerge a witch in it for five minutes, she will dissolve like an alka seltzer tablet. Be prepared for the fact that if the subject is a witch, she is certain to struggle most vigorously for about the first thirty to forty seconds. This is because they know their secret is about to be given away. Maintain your resolve, for the truth must be revealed!
• If you break into the suspected witch's home and find her to be in possession of lots of little poppets, you are definitely dealing with a witch. She uses these to affect people with her evil spells, in much the same way as a voodoo doll is used to bring harm to the target. These poppets may take the form of little bundles of sticks tied together into the shape of people, small dolls crudely constructed of pipe cleaner and candle wax, or any complete series of movie tie-in Happy Meal toys.
If you know a woman who hangs out with Jack Nicholson, she is probably a witch.
• Witches are often said to be served by a homunculus - a small, demonic looking creature that may act as familiars and perform various tasks for her, including spying on her enemies and targets, picking the raisins out of Raisin Bran, and cunnilingus. If you happen to witness a freakish, tiny creature in the vicinity of the witch on more than one occasion, this is probably a dark servant conjured up from the abyss of Hell. You should note however that ugly cats, monkeys and parrots have all been mistaken for homunculi, so you take care not to make such a mistake, or you could be up for some embarrassment.
• Another common but easy way to test for a witch is to lure her to someplace high up in the air - your rooftop, balcony, or edge of a steep cliff should do the trick. This is easiest if she trusts you, because you want to get her as close to the edge as possible. When she is close enough, give her a good hard push. If she is a witch, she will use her magical powers of flight to save herself, and if she's not, well... just don't use this test on someone you kind of like.
• It's common knowledge that many witches possess green or other unnatural skin tones, due to the corruption of their soul taking its toll on the physical body. Most witches get around this obvious giveaway by applying liberal amount of theatrical makeup on all exposed skin. Everyone who has done any stage acting knows that the quickest way to remove theatrical makeup is with sandpaper, so merely take a scrap of sandpaper and rub it across the flesh of the suspected witch. If her skin turns green, the result is obvious. Likewise, if she tries to stop you from uncovering her secret, she undoubtedly has something sinister to hide.
Someone with this skin tone can only be a witch or a Star Trek alien.
• Witches are capable of using their spellcraft to travel over vast distances and escape confinement, so one common test in the olden days was to take a suspected witch and bury her alive in a small box for a week. A normal person would be helplessly trapped underground, but a witch would simply spirit herself away to safety. It was important to keep her buried for long enough to outlast the potential witch's resolve - she may after all be feigning normalcy in an effort to trick her accusers. In some cases food and water were sent down into the box via tube, but in many cases this was denied, as it was thought to only strengthen the witch's resolve to remain below in an effort to appear innocent.
• And finally, though I do not recommend this test in this day and age, in 1691 mayor Michael Shippeson of Brisbane, MA devised a test in which all of the town's suspected witches, numbering almost a dozen, were lined up in a row in the town square. He had determined through careful guesswork and arbitrary decision making that witches' protective spells are powerful enough to save them from numerous sources of bodily harm, so he fired a bullet into the end of the row, aiming at their heads. Naturally whichever woman the bullet stopped just before was the witch, and she was summarily burned at the stake in the name of justice. Again, I would not advise this test today, for it seems a tad more brutish than practical.
If in doubt, don't hesitate to call together your fellow villagers to weigh in on the verdict.
Remember that large, superstitious, unruly mobs rarely make mistakes.
So now you are at least equipped with certain knowledge that can help you detect a witch, and this will help you stay safe this Halloween season, which is their most active period. Remember to stay vigilant, and that sometimes great harm must be inflicted on others to ensure the safety of the community. Also, please don't try any of these tests at home. They can be dangerous, and could get you in deep trouble with the law if you're wrong about your suspicions. Best to perform them in someone else's home instead.
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