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.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A "witch ball" can be created in different ways and for many purposes!
Crafters are welcome to bring anything they'd like to use to build their own witch ball, and any materials to share with others, along with any treats to share with their fellow crafters.
One legend of the Witch Ball is that the beauty of the balls attracts negative spirits thought to be threatening a home's tranquility.
Yet another legend suggests the Witch Ball acts like a magnet.
Another legend states that witches are curious creatures and are allured to the Witch Balls by the colours.
The final chapter sets up the sequel, Witch Ball. Readers will be able to pick up the story here, but will probably then go back to read the first volume.
"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.
"As time passed, people forgot the original purpose of witch balls."