September 20, 2022 9:55 am
Britain could very soon reclaim a world record lost to Spain in 2012.
The ‘Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Witches’ attempt will see thousands don black hats and arm themselves with brooms as they march on Pendle Hill, Lancashire.
Britain proudly held the world record of 482 until 2012, when it was magicked away as 1,607 witches descended on the town of Sort in Spain.
But organisers of the Pendleside Witch Festival are looking to bring the success back to ‘where it belongs’.
There are strict rules in place to satisfy world record requirements however.
To qualify, all witches need to be wearing a black pointed hat, black cloak and have a broom. Organisers plan to hand out items to ensure every entry counts.
The group will gather on Pendle Hill; the scene of one of the UK’s most notorious witch trials.
Europe’s witch-hunting frenzy had reached Lancashire by 1612, when 10 people were sentenced to death after being accused of witchcraft.
Pendle Hill was the site of the most infamous witch trials in Britain.
Two of the accused: Mother Chattox and her daughter Anne Redferne
The individuals were hunted down after were accused of causing strokes, having their blood ‘sucked by the Devil and even of murder.
Many of the ‘witches’ came from two rival factions: the Demdike family and the Chattox family.
Both were headed by two elderly widows who had fallen into severe poverty and lived in the Pendle Forest.
Elizabeth Southerns was known as ‘Old Demdike’ while Anne Whittle was referred to as ‘Mother Chattox’.
Ten people convicted of witchcraft at the Summer Assize in Lancaster Castle.
Old Demdike was ‘a very old woman, about the age of four-score years, and had been a witch for fifty years’, wrote Thomas Potts in The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster in 1613.
He added: ‘She dwelt in the Forest of Pendle, a vast place, fit for her profession: What she committed in her time, no man knows.’
Of Mother Chattox, he added that the ‘dangerous’ witch was a ‘decrepit creature’ who kept ‘wicked company’.
Historians believe the two matriarchs were in constant feuds, which led to accusations of witchcraft flying between both families.
The wider region is adorned with nods to its spooky witch-related history.
The tale of the Pendle Witches is well known in Lancashire, but organisers of this weekend’s world record attempt hope it can soon reach even more people.
Saturday’s event also aims to raise £100,000 towards hospice care in the region.
Emmerdale-star Samantha Giles is among those hoping to create her own magic to help break the world record.
The actor, who plays Bernice Blackstock in the ITV soap, is also a follower of Wica and said: ‘It would be wonderful for the world record to return to its rightful home in Pendle which is famous for its witches.’
Organiers hope at least 2022 people – to coincide with the year – will gather in witchy attire.
To find out more,
Categorised in: witchcraft
This post was written by Nadia Vella