Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Wytch Files Ep. 14: SALEM Season 1 & 2 (TV 2016)

Listen to "Ep.14: SALEM" on Spreaker.

3.5 / 7.0


All Hallow's Eve is upon us! The blood moon wanes and the dead rise! We call to the ancestors and to those that perished in Salem, Massachusetts some three hundred twenty four years ago. We stand by the victims that were condemned because of ignorance, fear, paranoia and bigotry. We call their names in honor and remembrance. Know that your courage, pain and suffering were not in vain! Hail Hecate!

ON this episode, we dig into history and the wicked world of WGN's horror series SALEM!

A little history of the Salem Trials of 1692 kicks thing off. We discuss the politics of the town, the Puritan obsession with stamping out fun, and the rise of the moral panic. Check out this timeline or read the trial transcripts and other surviving documents. Read the very books that shaped their witch-plagued Puritan world: Cotton Mather's "Wonders of the Invisible World" and "Daemonology" by King James I of England.

Then we devour Salem witch by witch, but you may need a string antacid! We savor the flavor of Mary Sibley and her home made witch cake. Here is her recipe, if you ever want to diagnose bewitchment through baking. We taste the bitter tale of Tituba on the series, made all the more tragic when served along side her true history. Then we choke down the questionable treatment of the unnamed  Native Shaman and his daughter Sooleawa.

For dessert, we saved the spells of Salem. This series is chock full of magic morsels: There are some sweet familiars, some gooey, rotten night hags, a pinch of necromancy, a dash of dream walking and splash of spirit intercourse. Yummy. Want a larger helping? Take a look at the books that inspired the writers of the series. Enjoy the legend that became the spell chanted in season two's 4th episode, "Book of Shadows." Also, Carlo Ginburg's The Night Battles is not to be missed. The creators also relied heavily on the book "Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt" by Bernard Rosenthal which represents the first comprehensive record of all legal documents pertaining to the Salem witch trials in chronological order. They were further inspired by Emma Wilby's book "Cunning-Folk and Familiar Spirits" which draws parallels between the experiential familiar lore of Early Modern Britain and visionary mysticism of tribal shamanism.

And if you can stomach it, get ready for SALEM season 3, premiering Wednesday, November 22!

The Wytch Files is produced by Mallon Khan.
Theme music X-Files Theme Parody by Mallon Khan
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