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The Witches are a secret society of witches with evil magic and the titular villains of both the Roald Dahl book and film adaption of the same name. They are actually demons who have come to Earth and for thousands of years they have made it their duty to rid the world of children, which they loath due to children smelling bad to them.
Portrayal of witches were considerably dark for a children's book, as they were all guilty of casting harmful spells of children, which included trapping them inside a painting or polymorphing them into animals. They would usually go after a child once per week.
They are led by the evil and deceptive Grand High Witch, who the rest of the witches are terrified of. Unlike the other witches, she did not limit herself to more than one child per week. In fact, she came up with a plan that would ultimately murder all the children in England.
All of the witches on England were killed off after Lucas used their own formula against them.
|“||One child a week is 52 a year. Squish them and squiggle them and make them disappear.||„|
|~ The secret motto of all witches|
While posing as humans perfectly well, the witches retain some predatory, animalistic features, which comes from their nature as demons. Very much like Professor Ratigan, they pretend to be highly civilized and good natured when in fact they are, bluntly put, raging psychopaths. The Witches love killing, torturing and chaos, and yet they pretend to do this in as sophisticated a manner as possible. All Witches cannot stand the smell of a child, especially a clean child, as dirty children have no smell for a witch. On a pitch black night a Witch could smell a clean child (smelling to her of dogs droppings) from the other side of the street.
Witches are demons, and thus they have a demonic set of powers and a demonic hatred of humanity. Thus their magic may come from Satan himself. Helga suggests this at one point by saying "Nobody has seen the Devil, but we all know he exists, don't we?" All Witches originally come from Norway, and thus spread all over the world. There is a secret society of witches in every country, and they do not know each other. For instance, an English witch will know all other English witches, and so on. It is illegal for witches to communicate with foreign witches.
Despite their chaotic nature, witches do have a hierarchy, with the Grand High Witches being at the peak. They run from subordinates such as Louisetta Lefour, and so on down the chain. All other witches are terrified of the superiors, and it seems that the higher a witch is, the more advanced powers she has, as seen when the Grand High Witch burns a mutinous witch alive with eye lasers.
The Witches are very conniving, fooling human authorities to believing they are respectable women. Also, all Witches are female. Dahl says he is not being sexist here, but it is just a fact of life, that all witches are women, and there is no such thing as a male witch, and to explain this, he says that barghests, another demonic species, are always male, just as witches are always female. However, neither are really human any way.