I suppose that I have always felt like there was quite a bit of magic that really does exist in the world, and the idea of there being a lot more of it going on than the average muggle could ever see has always excited me even further. As an adult reading the Harry Potter series, I was overwhelmed with joy to be losing myself in a world steeped in magic and mystery every time a new book came out, and although I love to read books and watch movies of all kinds, magical ones will always have a special place in my heart.
My first encounter with any kind of magical being came in the form of a troll from the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. It was a tale that my father would read to me as a small child, and it terrified me completely. The very idea of some troll living under a bridge that could jump up and snatch anyone off the bridge as they passed by was really scary as a child, and in the book he was described as having huge hands, a long nose like a broomstick and eyes as big as saucers. The image that accompanied the story in the book that we had was truly horrid and I was shit scared of it. I had an unspoken fear of bridges for years because of that book. However, in spite of how horrid that troll was, he did ignite an interest in the unseen world for me and once ignited, that interest never went out.
And so I began my love affair with magical escapism, and escape I did. I escaped during my lunch breaks in primary school, I escaped in my bedroom as a child, I escaped in the garden as a pre-teen and I even escaped in my nana's chook shed as a preschooler. As a child I escaped as often as I could and whenever I could, and literature was my main source of escapism; but it certainly didn't end there.
As an adult I escaped to the much more potent world of real life escapism, and I found that in practises of the occult. Now before you get any ideas about chasing me down with pitchforks, you really need to calm down, it was a long while ago and I hung my broom and cloak up years ago, so there's no need to panic. At first I just started with dabbling in crystals, chakras and auras, which are pretty fluffy forms of occultism, and then eventually I moved on to using tarot cards and eventually graduated to spellcrafting. No, I wasn't beheading chickens or casting pentagrams of blood, it wasn't anything that extreme, it was purely experimental, mostly performed with curiosity and certainly non-violent in its makings.
However, let me assure you all, that what I did discovered through all of this 'escapism' is that there most certainly are unseen and hidden things in this world, and they are far happier being left the fuck alone! So don't even bother purchasing a ouija board or attempting to summon up spirits because you are most certainly not Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and crafting is most definitely not for meddlers. My advice is, stick to the movies, TV and literature, it is a far more fun, hassle-free and relaxing way to access magical escapism and there is no risk of biting off more than you can chew because you can just switch it off when you've had your fill!
Release Date: 1990
Running Time: 91 mins
I can recall the librarian reading this book to our class in primary school, and from that moment on, I was an avid and devoted Roald Dahl fan. Directed by Nicholas Roeg and produced by Jim Henson Productions, The Witches boasts some amazing special effects and use of puppetry to enhance it's wildly fun, fantasy story about real witches that live among us mere humans.
Luke and his grandmother are on a holidays by the seaside when they accidentally encounter a witches convention. Luke learns of their evil plan to turn all children into mice, and must devise his own plan to stop the terrible Grand High Witch from succeeding.
Anjelica Huston is exceptionally good as The Grand High Witch, a character that is evil and uncompromising in every way, and she is clearly the heart and soul of this film. Notable bit parts are filled by Rowan Atkinson, Jane Horrocks and Bill Paterson but no-one can compete with Huston's rein of terror here.
Some of the effects, although now fairly outdated, could still prove frightening to little children, so watch with caution; especially when the witches start to literally let their hair down!
FINAL SAY: Steer clear of Formula 86.
3 Chilli Peppers