10 Spooky Facts About Witches Brooms

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Witches broomsticks are a well-known form of spooky travel. These iconic flying brooms have been a part of mythology and folklore for centuries, but there is much more to them than meets the eye. Here are 10 fantastic facts about witches’ brooms.

Witches brooms
A Halloween postcard, from about 1908, showing a witch flying on a broomstick with her black cat familiar.
  1. Witches brooms are also known as besoms, which is derived from the Old English word “besma” meaning “bundle of twigs.”
  2. Traditionally, witches brooms were made from birch twigs, but other woods such as willow, hazel and ash have also been used.
  3. Contrary to popular belief, witches did not use brooms to fly. The idea that witches flew on brooms was a myth perpetuated during the witch hunts of the Middle Ages.
  4. Witches brooms were used for sweeping and were often used to sweep the floors of sacred spaces such as temples, shrines and altars.
  5. In some cultures, brooms were considered symbols of marriage and it was traditional for the groom to give the bride a new broom as a symbol of their new home together.
  6. In some traditions, witches brooms were used to create protective barriers around the home. The broom would be laid across the threshold of the front door to prevent negative energy from entering the home.
  7. The association between witches and brooms may have originated from pagan rituals where a besom was used to sweep the area clean before a ceremony.
  8. In some traditions, it is considered bad luck to sweep the floor after sunset or to sweep dust out of the house, as it is believed to sweep away good luck.
  9. The shape of the modern broom has evolved over time and the flat shape with bristles was only developed in the 19th century.
  10. Today, witches brooms are often used as a decorative element in modern witchcraft and pagan practices. They are often decorated with symbols and other adornments to personalise them and make them unique to the practitioner.

Learn more about The Besom or Witches Broomstick


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