Witch Balls

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Witch Balls

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Witch Balls are glass balls, usually colored, manufactured in England since the early eighteenth century. By the mid-nineteenth century these balls were also being produced in the United States. Popular colors are silver, blue, green, and red, and the surface is highly reflective. They vary in size, from three inches in diameter to as much as twelve inches. The ball would be hung in windows, in the corners of rooms, or in gardens, it is said it would ward off evil by reflecting away any negativity. Today they are very popular as a purely decorative feature in gardens.

Vance Randolph describes a "witch ball" about the size of a marble, composed of black horsehair mixed with beeswax and rolled into a hard pellet. A "witch" will toss such a ball at the person she wishes to bewitch or even kill. Randolph says, "It is said that the fatal hair ball is always found somewhere in the body of a person killed in this manner." A large puffball fungus is known both as the Devil's snuffbox and as a witch ball.