If you like to let your imagination run wild and are entertained by the macabre then you must visit the witchcraft exhibit inside the British History Museum; it’s called Witches and Wicked Bodies and will thoroughly scare you into nightmares and malevolent dreams. With my interest in horrifying hags, calculating cannibals, and seductive sorceresses, this exhibition was well worth the day that I spent studying the influence of witches in the annals of history.
The Universal Terror of Witches
Strolling through the history of witches in this exhibit, I was treated to works by Rossetti, Delacroix, and Durer which depicted the witches’ journey from medieval times to the 20th century. The history of witchcraft is charted in this intriguing display over time and also shows the persecution of British witches throughout the time period. Did you know that over 200,000 women were hanged for alleged witchcraft activities from 1484 to 1750? That was an interesting factoid that amazed me at the very beginning of the exhibit. This universal terror and the usual dreadful ending to their lives was a constant theme with some of the most well-known English writers of the time. Just think about the first time you read, “double double toil and trouble.” Didn’t that send a shiver up your spine? This exhibit will renew those feelings that Shakespeare was a master at creating.
Details to Capture on Your Visit
I like to think of myself as an independent and somewhat powerful woman and seeing the theme of power occurring throughout history as it related to witches made me think twice about my own capabilities. During the Middle Ages for example, the exhibit shows that witches could effectively control weather conditions as well as grown men and the infants for whom they cared. Another interesting fact that caught my attention was that sometimes men and children were also thought to be and accused of being witches during this time.
The Influence of Print on Witchcraft
In this Witches and Wicked Bodies exhibit, you’ll see how early print media from about 1500 forward influenced both thinking about and punishment of witches. As you’ll see in this display, printers depicted witches as ugly and evil characters to be feared and eradicated as quickly as possible. They produced cheap pamphlets and books with terrifying images that spread throughout all segments of the UK population. With the distribution of this material came an increase in witch trials and civil unrest.
What the Exhibition Includes
If you enjoy prints and drawings along with vessels and other decorative arts all emphasizing the history of witchcraft, this is the exhibit for you to see. I enjoyed the manner in which the subject of witches was turned into an art form by the curators of the museum. Their selections of pieces included in the exhibit give an accurate account of this historical timeline for our country.
It’s a great way to enjoy the museum in a most interesting and unique presentation that you won’t soon forget.