From 1300s Europe to contemporary America, these sinister women have been haunting our souls.
1300s Europe was a dark time. A time of fear. People needed to find a scapegoat; someone to place the blame for all of the troubles people were having. The Black Plauge? Blame a woman. Your crops aren’t growing? Blame an old beggar. Throughout the decades, the blame would continue and cross over from Europe to America, traveling down the eastern sea board from Massachusetts to the Carolinas. But why stop there? How does one cure such a cursed life? Two ways: throw the problem into the water and pray that it floats–or sinks. Either way, you’ll take care of your problem.
Represented by the cait sith in Celtic folklore, and the goddess Bastet in Ancient Egypt, this superstition is a common one in which so many of us recognize. In this episode of “Superstitious”, we explore the fears regarding the black cat.
In the 1560s a man and his son were walking through the streets of the village when they spotted a dark animal crossing their path. Their response to this entity? Why, pick up rocks, and throw them at it. The mysterious object was hit, but managed to scurry behind the house of an old maid who had been considered by the townspeople as a witch. The father and son pair waited outside the woman’s home until day break — only to discover she was bruised and limping. It was now clear to the men: this woman is a witch, and the night before, she was the black cat that crossed their path.