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Just timely to share Halloween blog..
"Witch" once again reigns as the No. 1 costume for adults, according to the National Retail Federation's 2013 Halloween survey.
Many of the pointy-hatted sorcerers who roam the streets this Oct. 31 will be carrying broomsticks or besoms. But few likely know the murky tale of how witches came to be associated with those familiar household objects.
The story — full of sex, drugs and Christian inquisitors — starts with poisonous plants . Hebane is also called "Flying Ointment" having the scientific name HYOCYAMUS NIGER.
Ingesting henbane, which is rich in powerful alkaloids, can cause hallucinations (if it doesn't kill you first). According to legend, witches used herbs with psychoactive properties like henbane in their potions, or "flying ointments." Some historical accounts suggest witches applied these ointments to their nether regions.
And what better applicator than a wooden stuff?
One of its effects..
'The leaves, the seeds and the juice, when taken internally cause an unquiet sleep, like unto the sleep of drunkenness, which continueth long and is deadly to the patient. To wash the feet in a decoction of Henbane, as also the often smelling of the flowers causeth sleep..
Can witches really fly?
Though the image of the broomstick stuck, early depictions in 15th- and 16th-century Europe show witches flying on a wide range of items, including stools, cupboards, wardrobes and two-pronged cooking forks, Zika said. But rarely are witches shown getting aloft on their own.
see more: The Bewitching story