Origin of green ugly faces on witches?

do you know when/where the green, ugly face become associated with witches?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The stereotype of the green-faced witch with the crooked nose stems from the so-called "burning times" or the Inquisition.

    Women were persecuted and beaten severely and tortured to "confess" to witchcraft before being burned, hanged or beheaded. These women were paraded through the town before execution and looked frightful due to the beatings and torture. Their faces were horrible shades of green from the bruises, their noses and teeth were usually broken, among other things. This is the last sight people saw of the accused and "convicted" witch before her death.

    Pretty messed up, eh?

    • Beorh House
      Lv 6
      3 years agoReport

      Not true. Witches who fly into rages quickly--and most do--have their faces change to a greenish color mixed with a sort of reddish tone. Envy is usually involved, thus the old saying "green with envy," and the red tone is murderous violence.

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  • vora
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Witches Faces

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  • Erika
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Ugly Witches

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

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    RE:

    Origin of green ugly faces on witches?

    do you know when/where the green, ugly face become associated with witches?

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  • Eileen
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I don't think it has anything to do with Wicca, but I LOVE Halloween witches! As a Wiccan, I'm not insulted. The flying idea comes from when witches would annoint themselves with herbs to induce a feeling of flying that would help in astral projection. Basically...they were getting high. The broomstick is a symbolic tool of wicca used for cleansing rituals. I think the green is simply from Hollywood.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    That's just a stereotype. Witches and people who study witchcraft can look however they want. One part of the stereotype is from the movie the Wizard of Oz, back in 1939. And also the answer voicespirit wrote about them being beaten. But in real life, witches and wizards do NOT look green.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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    The early Christians had to make the old pagan ways as unattractive as they could. If their speeches, propaganda and evangelizing wasn't enough they had to paint the old ways as evil, twisted and ugly. Hence, the often scary images of the last centuries. Interestingly enough, they also had to combine events like the Harvest Fest, The Celtic New Year and Winter Solstice from the old culture into something palatable for the new Christianity... Not a slam against another belief system, only the truth.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The "green" witch has some roots in Celtic Mythology. Sometimes, witches were depicted with green skin or red hair. Both green and red are colors associated in Celtic tradition with fairies. There has always been a connection between fairies and witches, both being thought of as being not quite of this world. An old description in Britain for a fairy or a human being who was thought to have psychic abilities was "greensleeve" or "green jacket". The association of green with the otherworld was so strong that at one time it was considered unlucky to wear green because it might incur the wrath of the fairies who considered it their own color.

    The word witch was sometimes substituted for the word "hag", which met "Holy Woman." However, over time Christianity equated women's power with paganism and demonized anything unchristen, such as the celtic beliefs, hence the green skinned, wart nosed witch.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The green face comes from the Wizard of OZ. The ugly old crone is a 'traditional' image, though I suspect might be derived from descriptions of Mother Shipton

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  • Tissa
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    As some other people mentioned the right time frame, just thought I'd throw my two cents in. I believe that it is a reaction of the medieval/inquisition periods to the celtic "Green Man/Woman". It took their spirits of the forest for 'heathens' and demonized them, a favorite trick of the early church to make them in the right. It turned these good creatures into dark, twisted beings that all good believers should fear and ostracize.

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