A witch is someone who practises witchcraft. In The Witches, these are foul, frightening female creatures. In folklore, witches may be good or evil. Good witches are often referred to as white witches.
In Scandinavian folktales, witches are generally female, have prominent noses and keep cats. They fall into three categories:
1. The troll wife or trollkonor: they resemble their husbands, i.e. large, hairy, ugly and stupid, and are said to possess magical powers.
2. The ‘classic’ wise woman of the woods: she lives alone in the forest, practises magic and will reciprocate if one favours her with gifts.
3. The dangerous and evil witch: they live the lives of ordinary women by day and bewitch at night. They also have the power to shape-shift.
Völvas of Norse mythology dabbled in sorcery, shamanism and prophecy. They were revered in myth and often wielded a magic wand or staff.
Witches have received more attention of late with stories like the Harry Potter series, where witches are the female counterparts of wizards. One of the most iconic representatives of evil witches has to be the evil-stepmother-turned-witch of Snow White fame. Television has also seen many witches recently, e.g. Eastwick and Bonnie in The Vampire Diaries.
Ghouls are undead, like vampires or zombies. They are commonly found in graveyards and consume human flesh.
The earliest known literary mention of the creatures comes in the popular Arabian tales, One Thousand and One Nights. The ghül of Arabian folklore is a ‘devilish type of jinn’.
Holmenkollen is a neighbourhood in the city of Oslo, Norway.
It is best known as a recreational skiing area, with a renowned ski jump arena.
A fjord is an inlet of the sea or a narrow bay that extends far inland between steep walls of rock. Fjords are generally believed to have been formed by glaciers carving their way through the coastline. As water levels rose, the grooves were filled.
Porpoises are cetaceans, closely related to whales. They are similar to dolphins but are smaller with less pronounced beaks. They are generally bluish-black with white undersides and may grow between 1.2 to 2m long.
Real witches disguise themselves extremely well. On the surface, they seem to be ordinary women… but if you know what signs to look for, you may be able to spot one.