The Witches' Magic

The Witches' Magic

Witches are working only with magic!
~ The Grand High Witch

Magic is utilized by the Witches and their horrible leader, the Grand High Witch, in the book and film The Witches. It is used for a foul purpose; to rid the world of children, often in darkly creative ways such as turning children into hot dogs to have their unknowing parents eat them.


The Witches use a brand of dark magic powers in their mission to kill off children by turning them into something weaker than humans, such as mice. This brand of magic can be seen as demonic, because the Witches are, in fact, demons and seek to kill children, and the brand of magic they use could come from Satan himself.

The magic shown in the books seems to be a fusion of science and paganism, the Witches use ingredients like bird eggs and animal horns in their potions.

The various potions shown in the book come from the Witches' magic and they are used to have such devastating effect: A magical apple imprisons a girl in her painting; a spell turns a young boy into a stone statue; and a peculiar spell turns a young boy into a porpoise. Mostly the outcome is the death of the children; the girl imprisoned in her painting lived on until she was 80 years old; then she mysteriously vanished from the painting, indicating her death.

The Grand High Witch herself likes abusing children by kidnapping them with food or drinks tainted with her magic potions, then turning them into weak animals like frogs. When Luke, the protagonist, goes into her room in his mouse form. Later, he meets three frogs (presumably the enchanted forms of the children cursed by the Witches) and then the Grand High Witch comes in and says she will throw the frogs out for the gulls' dinner.

The Formula 86

Formula 86

The most famous magic in the book is Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse-maker; this is a complicated potion involving these ingredients:
  • A roasted alarm clock
  • Forty-five (45) brown mice
    • Their tails
  • Frog juice
  • The wrong end of a telescope
  • A bird egg (called a "gruntle's" egg in the book)
  • The snout of a "grobblesquirt" (obviously an elephant's snout)
  • The claw of a "crabcruncher" (obviously a seagull)
  • The beak of a "blabbersnitch" (obviously a parrot)
  • The tongue of a catspringer (possibly a rabbit or hare, they have burrows)

The Grand High Witch invents the Formula to turn all children into mice, but thankfully it is reversed and the Witches themselves ends up being turned to mice then chopped up by the cooks. The Grand High Witch hoped the teachers would do the same to the children and chop them up, explained more in her villain song "Down With Children".

It seems that all Witches have basic powers such as eradication and shape-shifting. But the Witches seem to have a hierarchy, the candidates for Grand High Witches have higher powers of eye-lasers. This is their most famous and feared power; they can shoot out lasers at anyone they hate and vaporize them; the Grand High Witch shown in the book likes using this magic at each Annual Meeting on Witches she thinks of as failures. She kills a Witch in the book in this way because the Witch pointed out that children were so numerous it was impossible to kill every child.

The main magic of the Witches is formulae; Luke's grandmother Helga says "They ring each other up. They discuss deadly formulas.".

Also shown is that one single Witch can make flame go across water and stones jump about.

The magic is crucial to the Witches' success because it is apparently untraceable by human police; the Witches always get away with their evil crimes and magic leaves no marks.

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