|“||Leave me alone or I'll make you sorry! I'll make all of you sorry!||„|
|~ Aggie Prenderghast to her persecutors.|
|“||I don't want to go to sleep. And you can't make me.||„|
|~ Aggie to Norman when he tried to calm her.|
Agatha "Aggie" Prenderghast is the main (former) antagonist of Laika's 2nd full-length animated feature film ParaNorman.
She is not really evil or cruel, but she does seek revenge on the town of Blithe Hollow, and Judge Hopkins. She does not even know that she is doing the wrong thing, but she never wanted to hurt Norman Babcock so much, not even when she was in her witch form or an evil ghost.
As a Human
Aggie was an 11-year-old girl who lived with her mother in Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts. Similar to her distant relative Norman Babcock, Agatha had the ability to speak to the dead. Her abilities however caused fear among the superstitious townsfolk, who began to believe she was practicing witchcraft. It was reasonable that during the old times, Blithe Hollow fear the strange, non-understandable, and difference of other beings, including at this Pilgrim age, the supernatural: A fact which made the Blithe Hollow citizens, except Aggie's mother, believed that how she can speak to the dead was due to demonic forces inside her body. Eventually, Agatha was brought on trial and testified against by six witnesses. The town judge, Hopkins, found Agatha guilty and sentenced her to execution. During the trial as what Aggie herself shown to Norman as well as disturbing visions that Norman had in the middle of rehearsal of his school play, it was implied that Agatha is also usually said to be playing in the woods, alone physically. Before she was hanged, Agatha threatened vengeance upon her accusers. It is unknown if her mother knew of her daughter being held in court, and what more unknown if her mother knew of Agatha's death, since she is buried in an unmarked grave under an old tree, where Aggie states, during her resolution is the tree where her mother used to tell her happy stories when she was alive.
After her execution, Agatha's ghost cursed her accusers to rise from the grave as the living dead so as to experience the same prejudice they had put her through. After death, her accusers felt remorse over their actions. Aggie's story was told over the generations, except with Aggie represented as an evil witch rather than an innocent victim. Eventualy, the story became a tradition for the town.
As a Ghost
After her execution, a person bearing the same powers as hers, visits her grave before sunset and tells a storybook so that the curse will delay into another year. Mr. Prenderghast, Norman's uncle, before the events of the movie, met Aggie and is forced to continue putting her to sleep to prevent the curse, while others think that he is crazy.
Years pass by and on the 300th anniversary, Mr. Prenderghast confronts his nephew, only needed him to be his successor. After Norman fails to visit her grave before sunset, Aggie starts the curse and brought back from the dead the people who have offended her. Norman then tries to stop her by trying to tell the story atop the town hall but she just electrocutes him to see her backstory. After Norman told that the zombies are not evil people, Aggie went berserk and madly destroys Blithe Hollow, especially the statue about her as a witch. Norman then visits her grave and tries to talk her by telling the story of Sleeping Beauty.
She then grew tired of the story and says she wanted to destroy Blithe Hollow. Norman continues to confront her by telling a new story which is none other than her backstory that portrays her negatively (truth behind her myth), which drove her angrier and tries to get Norman away from her but then realizes that he is right. He told her that although they did something awful, it does not mean that she should, too. And she has to remember. Not just the bad people, but also the good ones that she'd forgotten.
Aggie reminiscence to Norman that, before she died, her mother took her to a tree, the same one that she was buried under. There, her mother told her stories that always had happy endings. Aggie was able to find peace that allowed her to finally lift the curse and move on to the afterlife, along with the seven who had wrongfully accused her of witchcraft.
At the start of the film, her personality depicted as a stereotypical witch's. However, those depictions are wrong, as in truth, she is timid, honest, cowardly, empathetic, and sweet, as well as sensitive due to her powers. After her death at hands of Judge Hopkins and other judges, she became a violent, impatient, obstreperous, uncontrollable, and hot-tempered girl whose powers became destructive due to her rage. However, she didn't lose her humanity yet, as when Norman calmed her down and she reveals her former nature, as she regain her composure.
While still human, Aggie is obviously a little girl no older than Norman, with long blackish brown hair, pale blue eyes, pale skin, quite thick eyebrows (traits which inherited by her descendant Norman), and wears a dark grey dress with a white collar and red shoes. Sadly, in her myth, she was depicted as stereotypical old witch with a pointy hat, a long nose (with a noticeable wart on it) and a long chin. Her so-called witch statue was depicted with that appearance, which she later destroyed due to being an insult for her tragic past.
Due to the years of hatred, loneliness, and hurt she felt after her death, Aggie's spirit manifests in form that more demonic compared with those whom Norman encountered. Her ghost forms are not due to tortured in hell nor result of pact with the devil like everyone believed, but rather due to being trapped in the mortal world for too long and none of her family did something better to ease her spirit (this is arguable, considering the Prenderghast family believed so by reading stories for Aggie at her grave would ease her spirit, but also made her remained trapped in and unable to cross over as Norman pointed out). Aggie has two forms as a ghost:
- Witch Form: This form depicted as a mass of dark cloud with green lightning that centered on a colossal tornado that stood on the remains of the tree where she was buried at. The mass of dark clouds repeatedly taking form of a giant witch face with jagged teeth and eyes and mouth that glows in green. In this form, she can projected arm tendrils out of fog.
- True Ghost Form: Aggie's actual ghost form is literally a floating, ethereal being that glows neon yellow and green with lightning/static for hair and tattered clothes.
Powers and Abilities
As seen in the film, Aggie possesses vast supernatural powers which whether she possessed them all when still alive and retained it or gained more as ghost (with exception of mediumship which confirmed to possessed when still alive) is unclear, albeit having them either empowered or gained after become a ghost is much more likely:
- Mediumship: Much like her descendant Norman, Aggie can speak to and see ghosts and spirits around her.
- Reality Warping: Aggie can bend and twist reality at will, ranging from causing roots sprout from the ground to the most extreme level, shift entire world into spirit dimension.
- Atmokinesis: Aggie can manipulate storm clouds and winds, where she used to create warped image of a stereotypical witch's face with glowing eyes and mouth.
- Electrokinesis: Aggie can manipulate electrical blasts at will.
- Replication: As a wraith, Aggie can split into multiple Aggies at once.
- Possession: Aggie can also possessed anyone or anything, though the only times she did so was when she possessed what was left of the tree where she spent her time with her mother to torture Norman
- Intangiability: Since she is a ghost, she can pass through solid object as she please.
- Pyrokinesis: Aggie can caused any object bursts into flames by thought. The extent of this ability is unknown, as she only displayed it once when expressed her anger about circumstances of her death to Norman where she unintentionally set a butterfly ablaze.
- Aggie was born in 1701, and died in 1712.
- Given to circumstances that surround the event where she was accused of witchcraft, it's obvious that Aggie and her mother were living in a Puritan village that would become Blithe Hollow at the time. Puritan villages were hot-spots for witch-hunts during the Witch trial frenzy.
- It's possible that aside unfortunate victims of witch trials (be either in Salem of other Puritan villages), Aggie was also inspired by the film incarnation of Alessa Gillespie, who also previously portrayed by Jodelle Ferland. As aside portrayed by same actress, the similarities between Alessa and Aggie extend to their ability to warp reality into a nightmarish state, wrongly accused as a witch, and even similar striking resemblance and similar clothing (though compared to Alessa's, Aggie's clothings were actually Puritan style instead of school uniform).
- It is possible that Carrie White was another inspiration for Aggie as much as Alessa Gillespie: both were mistreated, both being outcasts, both having parents that didn't appear in the story (Carrie had no father while Aggie had a mother who is mentioned but her father is not) and both using their powers to take their vengeance on those who have offended them (though in terms of the result of the damage that they caused, Aggie is inferior than Carrie's).
- During her rampage, Aggie destroyed her supposed witch statue and other witch-related props since all of them were insults for her tragic past. Ironically in her witch form, Aggie's face in the cloud were looked like the mock-up storybook witch's face and if one looked closely when she screamed in anger in her true ghost form, her distorting face would sometimes morphed into more witch-like. This was likely done to use Blithe Hollow inhabitants' delusion and fearing of her as a witch against them.