The power of documentaries is their ability to dispel myths and present the facts. Linda Palmer’s documentary, Halloween Obsessed: The Misconception of Witches, tears down our preconceived notions of witches. Do they regularly perform black magic? Are they in league with the devil? Do they weigh the same as a duck? Palmer gives us an accurate glimpse into the community of witches and magic.
Halloween Obsessed is a series of documentary shorts delving into our obsession with Halloween’s spiritual and sometimes dark side. The Misconception of Witches is the first episode, and it shines a light on the Wiccan and Pagan communities. The filmmaker interviews several prominent witches, including solitary witch Rae Davis, cottage (or kitchen) witch Dalea Faulkner, shaman Roger Lockshier, and traditional witch Barbara Dolny-Bombar.
The series meticulously breaks down the community, answering burning questions like how one becomes a witch. It also looks at different spells, examines the differences between Wiccans and Pagans, and explains seasonal celebrations and festivals, specifically Halloween. Of course, Palmer starts with the definition of witchcraft. Like mainstream religion, definitions between sects vary but share a common root belief. Witches are in tune with the metaphysical world and transcending the physical. They make use of the elements of nature — spirit, water, earth, air, and fire (note the five points), and attempt to access their vibrational energy to cast spells.
“…tears down our preconceived notions of witches.”
Great lengths are taken to dispel the myth that witches are aligned with the devil. While black magic exists, the witches’ ways are always good and positive, and dark magic is nothing to be trifled with. When it comes to casting spells, “intention” is the keyword. By casting a spell, it should “intend” for something positive to happen. First, specific herbs and altars are employed to cast the spell to create a positive intention toward a particular outcome. Then the “Rule of Three” is enacted, where the energy sent out returns threefold.
Other myths debunked include the use of the “Satanic” pentagram, which the early Christian church first employed centuries ago. We also learn that Paganism predates Christianity and how superstition leads the church to paint them as witches riding brooms and participating in orgies. Most importantly, Halloween Obsessed explains the true origins of many Christian holidays, including, of course, Halloween.
Education is one of the key branches of documentary filmmaking. While I’m familiar with the evil legends and lore of witchery and witchcraft, director Linda Palmer effectively presents a much different picture of Wicca and the present community of witches. Running at just over forty minutes, Halloween Obsessed: The Misconception of Witches is the perfect length for anyone hungry for knowledge and, who knows, maybe recruit a few new members in the process.
For more information about Halloween Obsessed: The Misconception of Witches, visit the Runaway Productions’ official website.
"…effectively presents a much different picture of Wicca and the present community of witches."