Halloween II

(Collector's Edition) (1981) Jamie Lee Curtis

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History of Halloween

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Return to Halloweentown

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The Day After Halloween

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SpongeBob SquarePants

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Halloween III

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Playhouse Disney Halloween

(Just Say Boo/A Spookie Ookie Halloween) (1998) Cole Caplan

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Halloween

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Where did the belief that witches keep cats as pets come from?

Every Halloween there’s always pictures of a witch holding a kitty. They don’t look scary at all to me, I think their cute though. Where did this ideal come from that witches keep cats as pets?

7 Responses to Where did the belief that witches keep cats as pets come from?

  • ? Catahoula Queen ? says:

    In Western history, black cats have often been looked upon as a symbol of evil omens. Witches were seen as evil as well…black cats were seen as messengers of witches.

    some ppl took this superstition so seriously that they would catch all the pure black cats they could find and burn them alive in baskets. the mid-evil period was very brutal.
    the effect this had on black cats can be seen today…you’d be hard pressed to find a PURE black cat, as most black cats have SOME sort of white spot on them.
    this is because ppl spared the lives of those black cats that had a spot of white on them, if they had even one speck of white they could not be evil, therefore today most black cats will have some sort of white speck or patch.

    in modern times ppl have seen this as silliness and have tried to breed as best they can a pure black cat to bring back the dying line.

  • Chuck P says:

    They didn’t keep them as pets, they turned their enemies into them and other animals, don’t you watch the Disney channel?

  • PyroTech says:

    Aye, me waif

    Cats are the familiars of the witches craft. In irish folklore, the pagan type religions were such that each tree, animal or human had a soul. When a witch was practicing her craft, her familiar spirit was always there to back her up.

  • Josie826 says:

    They were thought of as ‘familiars’ of witches, that is, close companions who looked out and guarded a witch.

  • raindreamer says:

    There have been superstitions and mythologies about cats throughout many cultures and periods of history. I don’t know when the first tales began, but here are some interesting ones:

    – Cats were -and still are- regarded as magickal creatures throughout the ages. The Egyptians revered the cat as an aspect of the goddess, Bast, and they mummified cats with all the ritual, pomp and circumstance that befitted such regal animals.

    – Norse legend tells of Freya, goddess of love and fertility, whose chariot was pulled by two black cats. Some versions of the tale claim they became swift black horses, possessed by the Devil. After serving Freya for 7 years, the cats were rewarded by being turned into witches, disguised as black cats.

    – Traits associated with cats include cleverness, unpredictability, healing and witchcraft, since in ancient times it was believed that witches took the form of their cats at night.

    – Folklore has it that if a witch becomes human, her black cat will no longer reside in her house.

    – It was largely in the Middle Ages that the black cat became affiliated with evil. Because cats are nocturnal and roam at night, they were believed to be supernatural servants of witches, or even witches themselves. Partly because of the cat’s sleek movements and eyes that ‘glow’ at night, they became the embodiment of darkness, mystery, and evil, possessing frightening powers. If a black cat walked into the room of an ill person, and the person later died, it was blamed on the cat’s supernatural powers. If a black cat crossed a person’s path without harming them, this indicated that the person was then protected by the devil. Often times, a cat would find shelter with older women who were living in solitude. The cat became a source of comfort and companionship, and the old woman would curse anyone who mistreated it. If one of these tormentors became ill, the witch and her familiar were blamed.

    – A kitten born in May will be a witches cat.

    – Some believe black cats are witches in disguise.

    – Others believe black cats are witches familiars (beings that aid witches in performing their craft).

    – Black cats have taken a bad rap throughout history. Greek mythology taught that a woman named Galenthias was turned into a cat and became a priestess at the temple of Hecate, the "Dark Mother," and sometimes known as the Mother of Witchcraft.

    – During the 12th and 13th century, witches in Europe were often found with their "familiars," usually black cats, and were said to turn themselves into cats at times. During the witch-burning era of the 17th century, witches’ cats were put into baskets and burned alongside the witches.

  • B. Wild says:

    The term "Witches" was conceived by early Christians. In fact, they were people who used herbs and natural plants etc to create medicine. The early Christians called them witches and said that the medicines were potions.

    Obviously being nature loving people they loved animals, one of those being cats. Cats have always been thought of as mysterious. Some cultures worship them, others respect them, and some fear them.

    A cat is a curious thing. Unlike a dog who craves to be part of a pack, cats are loners. When a cat chooses to be your friend and stay with you that is a very powerful thing in deed.

    Unfortunately, the Christians were very superstitious. Not a lot has changed

  • SMARNY says:

    In Egypcian mummies there are symbols cat god beside Paraoh.The Cats ‘been friends the witches craft. In irish folklore, the pagan type religions were such that each tree, animal or human had a soul. When a witch was practicing her craft, her familiar spirit was always there to back her up.
    Traits associated with cats include cleverness, unpredictability, healing and witchcraft, since in ancient times it was believed that witches took the form of their cats at night.in Asian myths,and arabian nights,- It was largely that the black cat became familiar with Evil.

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