Witch Balls

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

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.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
At auction Witch Balls fetch approximately pounds 100 depending on age and condition.
Historically, with a Witch Ball. They are thought to have been around for more than 600 years.
One legend of the Witch Ball is that the beauty of the balls attracts negative spirits thought to be threatening a home's tranquility.
"Folk hung witch balls in the chimney for the same reason.
Dad explained that eighteenth-century Europeans displayed witch balls in windows so witches would see them and flee.