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Witches are common enemies found in several Castlevania games. They are female humans learned in the black arts and the casting of spells. They are the counterparts of wizards. However, not all witches in the series are evil, and even a few protagonists and supportive characters, such as Sypha Belnades, Maria Renard and Charlotte Aulin, to name a few, fall into this category.

Witches are frequently specialized in flight (either by riding a broom or by levitation) and the ability to cast magical attacks. Some witches are simple enemies roaming around the castle, while others may play a bigger role in the game's story, especially in those cases where they assist in Dracula's resurrection.

Of worth is the mention of Lisa, Dracula's second wife, a 15th Century healer who was arrested and executed during the witch trials going on in Europe at the time, and whose death served as Dracula's motivation to wage war on humanity, finalizing his transformation into the main antagonist of the games and setting off the events that would become the main foundation of the entire Castlevania mythos.

OriginsEdit

Witch - 01

Witches' Sabbath
(Francisco de Goya, 1798)

Witchcraft (or witchery) is the practice of magical skills and abilities. The term is commonly associated with those who use metaphysical means to cause harm to the innocent. In the modern era, primarily in western popular culture, the word may more commonly refer to benign, positive, or neutral practices of modern paganism, such as divination or spellcraft.

Historically, the predominant concept of witchcraft in the Western world derives from Old Testament laws against witchcraft, and entered the mainstream when belief in witchcraft gained Church approval in the Early Modern Period. It posits a theosophical conflict between good and evil, where witchcraft was generally evil and often associated with the Devil and Devil worship. This culminated in deaths, torture and scapegoating (casting blame for misfortune), and many years of large scale witch-trials and witch hunts, especially in Protestant Europe, before largely ceasing during the European Age of Enlightenment.

Witch - 03

The Spell
(Francisco de Goya, 1797-98)

Suspicion of modern medicine continues in many countries to this day because of beliefs about illnesses being the result of witchcraft, with tragic healthcare consequences. Medical care and containment of lethal infectious disease epidemics have often been severely hampered by regional beliefs in witchcraft.

Belief in witchcraft continues to be present today in some societies, and accusations of witchcraft are the trigger for serious forms of violence, including murder. Accusations of witchcraft are sometimes linked to personal disputes, jealousy, and conflicts between neighbors or family members over land or inheritance. Witchcraft-related violence is often discussed as a serious issue in the broader context of violence against women.

In 1645, Springfield, Massachusetts, experienced America's first accusations of witchcraft when husband and wife Hugh and Mary Parsons accused each other of witchcraft. At America's first witch trial, Hugh was found innocent, while Mary was acquitted of witchcraft but sentenced to be hanged for the death of her child (although she died in prison). From 1645-1663, about eighty people throughout England's Massachusetts Bay Colony were accused of practicing witchcraft. Thirteen women and two men were executed in a witch-hunt that lasted throughout New England from 1645-1663. The Salem witch trials followed in 1692-93. These witch trials were the most famous in British North America and took place in the coastal settlements near Salem, Massachusetts. Prior to the witch trials, nearly 300 men and women had been suspected of partaking in witchcraft, and 19 of these people were hanged, and one was "pressed to death".

Witch - 02

Witches' Sabbath (The Great He-Goat)
(Francisco de Goya, 1819-23)

Witchcraft in Europe between 500-1750 was believed to be a combination of sorcery and heresy. While sorcery attempts to produce negative supernatural effects through formulas and rituals, heresy is the Christian contribution to witchcraft in which an individual makes a pact with the Devil. In addition, heresy denies witches the recognition of important Christian values such as baptism, salvation, Christ and sacraments. The beginning of the witch accusations in Europe took place in the 14th and 15th centuries; however, as the social disruptions of the 16th century took place, witchcraft trials intensified. Current scholarly estimates of the number of people executed for witchcraft vary between about 40,000 and 100,000. The total number of witch trials in Europe known for certain to have ended in executions is around 12,000.

In Early Modern European tradition, witches were stereotypically, though not exclusively, women. European pagan belief in witchcraft was associated with the goddess Diana and dismissed as "diabolical fantasies" by medieval Christian authors. Witch-hunts first appeared in large numbers in southern France and Switzerland during the 14th and 15th centuries. The peak years of witch-hunts in southwest Germany were from 1561 to 1670.

The Protestant Christian explanation for witchcraft commonly involves a diabolical pact or at least an appeal to the intervention of the spirits of evil. The witches or wizards engaged in such practices were alleged to reject Jesus and the sacraments, pay Divine honor to the Prince of Darkness; and, in return, receive from him preternatural powers. It was a folkloric belief that a Devil's Mark was placed upon a witch's skin by the Devil to signify that this pact had been made.

OverviewEdit

There are two general types of witches in the Castlevania series. The first kind tends to be clothed in robes with or without hoods, and armed with a magic staff of some kind. Some of these witches may be related to the gypsies or the Belnades Clan. Their power comes from the forces of nature and their most common attack are electrical orbs, although they may also master other elements such as fire and ice. They can often hover through the air or teleport. Some of these witches are also spirits, zombies, vampires, or doppelgangers of playable witches. Regular enemies of this type include the Salem Witch (a ghost witch, also referred to as Aliorumnas or Siren) and a witch that appears in Akumajō Dracula: The Arcade. Boss versions of these witches include Drolta Tzuentes, the Belnades cousin turned vampire Camilla Fernandez, Actrise, the zombie impostor Fake Sypha, and Sypha's and Charlotte's Doppelganger. Playable versions include Sypha Belnades and her relatives, Carrie Fernandez, Yoko Belnades, and Charlotte Aulin. The non-playable character Julia Laforeze is also a witch who escaped the witch hunts.

The second kind of witches are of the stereotypical "Halloween" variety. They tend to dress in black, wear the "traditional" wide-brimmed pointy witches' hats, ride broomsticks (usually with lanterns in front), and turn into black cats when they are defeated. Unlike the stereotype, they are not green, hook-nosed old hags, but rather cute young ladies. They usually wear dresses which show off their legs rather than the robes of their counterparts. The first witch of this type appeared in the Famicom game Boku Dracula-kun, and given the nickname of "Marchan". She was a cheerful witch riding along on her broomstick, giving an occasional wink, but would still harm Kid Dracula if she rammed into him. After joining Kid Dracula's side, she later helped him in the Game Boy version, Kid Dracula, with her crystal ball. This witch reappeared in a slightly more serious form in Symphony of the Night, where she was called Salome in North America and Sausine in Japan, although her descriptions indicate her nickname is still "Marchan". Witches of this variety were later usually just referred to as "Witch". A sub-type of this witch are Student Witches, which were a younger variety just learning to fly. These usually crash on the ground after failed attempts to start flight and may then resort to attack with their broomsticks instead.

Galamoth's reaper is called Witchi Wench in the Game Boy version European Kid Dracula instruction booklet, due to his wide-brimmed hat and long eyelashes.

The Lords of Shadow series features specific witches such as Baba Yaga and the Crow Witch Malphas.

AppearancesEdit

Castlevania: Symphony of the NightEdit

Salome is encountered in the Floating Catacombs. She appears as a young woman bearing the archetypal look of telltale witches, such as wearing a pointy black hat and flying on a broom. As expected, her main means of attack is by employing magical arts, such as releasing white orbs that deal damage on contact, and also by creating a temporary shield that makes her completely impervious to attack. She can also summon cats, which will run across the ground, or skulls, which will bounce around until destroyed. When defeated, she will transform into a cat and attempt to scurry away; being hit by the cat deals small damage. It can be killed, although no further items will drop nor will it yield any experience points. Being touched by the cat while wearing the Cat-Eye Circlet will heal Alucard significantly. One of the easiest ways to defeat her is with the Gas Cloud relic equipped and flying into her to cause damage.

Castlevania: Circle of the MoonEdit

Witches in Circle of the Moon, unlike those found in most Castlevania games, appear as traditional green-skinned old hags riding broomsticks. They fly back and forth and stop in midair to release energy balls below them; these spread out in a spiraling manner, making them somewhat difficult to evade if there are other enemies around.

Castlevania: Aria of SorrowEdit

The Witch can cast a barrier which neutralizes all frontal attacks; attacking her from behind is the only way to damage her. She has two kinds of attack: summoning a fireball, and charging forward. The fireball uses 125% of her strength.

When killed, she transforms into a cat with a hat, which damages the player on contact. It is half as strong as her.

A related enemy, the Student Witch, was also introduced in this game, which as her name implies, is an apprentice witch that still hasn't mastered the arts of casting spells and flying on her broom, often using the latter to whack at enemies instead.

Akumajō Dracula: The ArcadeEdit

The Witch follows the player around teasingly, disappearing and reappearing and sending blasts of magic with her staff while they are attempting to make it through the Rampart section of Stage 4.

Known witchesEdit

Enemy DataEdit

See: Witch/Enemy Data

Item DataEdit

Item Data: Witch
Image Name - Game
Description
Type / Users Attributes / Consume Statistics / Sell Found Notes
Wizard Hat Icon Wizard Hat (Wide-Brimmed Traveler's Hat) - Symphony of the Night [edit]
Wide-brimmed for protection Head (Hat)
Alucard 
DEF +5, INT +7, STR +1, CON +1
Drop: Salome
Manna Prism Icon Manna Prism (jpn) - Symphony of the Night [edit]
Restores all MP [use] Medicine (Mind Potion)
Alucard 
MP + 100%
Buy: $4,000 (later) Find: Throughout castle (all)
Drop: Ectoplasm, Salome, Specter (Saturn-only), Will O' Wisp (Saturn-only)
Mind Restore Icon Mind Restore (Mind Up) - Circle of the Moon [edit]
Recover 30% MP. Recovery Item (Mind Potion)
Nathan 
MP +30%
Drop: Witch, Will O' Wisp, Ectoplasm, Gremlin, Spirit, Specter, Nightmare, Brain Float, Mudman
Magic Robe Icon Magic Robe (jpn) - Circle of the Moon [edit]
A robe that has magic within Body (Robe, Magician Equipment)
Nathan 
DEF +200, INT +300
Drop: Alraune, Witch
Anti-Venom Icon Anti-Venom - Harmony of Dissonance [edit]
Counteracts the effects of poison. Medicine
Juste Belmont 
Buy: $20
 Find: Marble Corridor, Sky Walkway, Chapel of Dissonance (Castle A)
Common Drop: Slime, Bone Thrower, Bone Liquid, Witch
Loose Clothing Icon Loose Clothing (Clothes of Mikawashi) - Harmony of Dissonance [edit]
Designed to allow for the easy dodging of attacks. Body
Juste Belmont 
DEF +20, INT +7
Rare Drop: Witch
Big Mana Prism Icon Big Mana Prism - Harmony of Dissonance [edit]
Restores a large amount of MP. Medicine
Juste Belmont 
MP +100
Buy: $1,000
 Find: Throughout castle (all)
Common Drop: Pixie, Sylph
Diamond HoD Icon Diamond - Harmony of Dissonance [edit]
An extremely valuable jewel. Jewel
Juste Belmont 
Sell: $1,000  Rare Drop: Pixie
Melon AoS Icon Melon (jpn) - Aria of Sorrow [edit]
A melon of the finest quality. Food
Soma 
HP +600
Sell: $750 
Find: Study (hidden)
Rare Drop: Alura Une
Common Drop: Witch
Gabolg AoS Icon Gabolg (Gae Bulg) - Aria of Sorrow [edit]
Spear forged by witches. Weapon
Soma 
Attrib: Sword
ATK +58
Sell: $3,400 
Rare Drop: Witch
Blue Soul Witch - Magic Shield - Aria of Sorrow [edit]
Repels bullets with shield. Guardian Soul
Soma 
Attrib: Holy
Consume: 3 MP/sec 
30 AP
Drop: Witch
Mage Robe DoS Icon Mage Robe - Dawn of Sorrow [edit]
A robe worn by mages. Armor
Soma 
DEF +10, INT +5
Sell: $1,150 
Common Drop: Witch
Cream Soda DoS Icon Cream Soda (jpn) - Dawn of Sorrow [edit]
Topped with a cherry. Food
Soma 
HP +100
Sell: $200 
Rare Drop: Witch
Bullet Soul DoS Icon Witch - Homing Shots - Dawn of Sorrow [edit]
Launch magic shots that track targets. Bullet Soul
Soma 
Consume: 20 MP  Rarity: **
Drop: Witch
Traveler's Hat PoR Icon Traveler's Hat - Portrait of Ruin [edit]
A wide-brimmed hat perfect for the well-traveled man. Head Gear (Hat)
Jonathan 
DEF +6, INT +3, MND +3
Sell: $1,875 
Buy: $7,500 Find: Entrance (Vincent's shop)
Drop: Witch
Astral Brooch PoR Icon Astral Brooch (Magical Brooch) - Portrait of Ruin [edit]
Taking damage will restore MP. Accessory (Brooch)
Charlotte 
Sell: $7,500  Drop: Witch
Effect: Damage restores MP.
Cream Puff PoR Icon Cream Puff - Harmony of Despair [edit]
Soft, fluffy, and sweet. Item (Food - Sweet)
any 
HP +15, MP +15, LCK +1
Sell: $45 
Rarity: *
Find: Chapter 2, 4, 6
Drop: Witch (5.30%)
Witch's Hat Icon Witch's Hat - Harmony of Despair [edit]
Traditional pointed hat of the dark sisterhood. Head (Hat)
Shanoa, Charlotte, Yoko, Maria 
MP +5, DEF +3, CON +2, INT +2
Sell: $1,050 
Rarity: ***
Spell HD Icon Heal - Harmony of Despair [edit]
Recovery magic that restores HP Bound Spell
Charlotte 
Consume: 50 MP  ATK +30
Rarity: *
Bind: Witch
First Obtained: Chapter 4
Effect: Capable of healing allies
Spell HD Icon Energy Flow - Harmony of Despair [edit]
Manipulate magical energy and launch it at enemies. Bound Spell
Charlotte 
Consume: 12 MP  ATK +12
Rarity: ***
Bind: Witch
First Obtained: Chapter 4
Bullet Soul HD Icon Witch - Harmony of Despair [edit]
Manipulate magical energy and launch it at enemies. Bullet Soul
Soma 
Consume: 12 MP  ATK +12
Rarity: ***
Steal: Witch (2.8%)

GalleryEdit

ArtworksEdit

ScreenshotsEdit

TriviaEdit

  • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the standard Witch was localized as "Salome" (originally named "Sausine" in the Japanese version).
    • According to the New Testament, Salome was the daughter of Herod II and Herodias. She is known for having danced for Herod Antipas and, in return, demanding the execution of John the Baptist, getting his head presented on a plate. All this under orders of her mother, Herodias, who had a feud with the Baptist.
    • The name "Salome" could also be a bastardization of the word "Salem", in reference to the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts during the late 1600s. However, it must be noted that Aliorumnas –another witch variant– instead/also got that title and in a more proper way, having her name localized as "Salem Witch".
    • Another source, although rather obscure, could be Salome Leser, a Swiss woman who was executed in 1588 under accusations of witchcraft.[1]
  • Lisa, Dracula's second wife and mother of Alucard, created medicine for those who suffered from the epidemic. Due to the witch trials going during that time, she was apprehended and executed. Upon learning about his wife's death, Dracula vowed revenge and in 1476 he began his war upon humanity.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Hexen am Zürichsee und anderswo ("Witches on Lake Zurich and elsewhere"), pages 94 and 95. (German)
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