It must be said that witches have had a bad press. “Witches have had a bad press!” There, I have said it. Furthermore, I believe it. In the olden days all that was necessary for someone to be branded as a witch was for someone to say that she was was a witch. But saying someone is something is not the same as that person being whatever it is they are described as.
I could describe myself as six feet tall, but those who know me know that I am nothing but a shorty of five feet six inches in height and that the most I ever measured from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head was five feet seven and a half inches. So if someone says I am six feet tall, although I might thank him or her for their flattery, it does not make me six feet tall. And it is just the same with witches.
Sometimes an enemy with whom an old lady had had a disagreement would tell everyone that she was a witch, and people were often ignorant and scared enough to believe that she was, even when there was no evidence to support the allegation. That might not sound so bad except you remember that being convicted as a witch could result in being killed for witchcraft, and then it becomes far more serious.
Most witches were harmless old women. Some were probably a little eccentric, and some might have been suffering from dementia, but once they were accused, then the whole machinery of witch finders swung into operation, often resulting in their torture and horrible deaths.
Thus it is that the vast majority of so-called witches, were not witches at all. If only people were careful about what they say about others, especially when there are such terrible consequences. Our minds and intelligence should lead us to always carefully examine the truth of any claim made against one person by another, so that we never falsely accuse anyone of doing something they did not do or of being something that they are not.
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