JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!

All smart people are wary of spells and curses come late October, but this Halloween the world will have an extra thing to keep an eye out for: witches who steal men's penises and keep them as pets.



twitter.com

The most detailed description of witches causing males' genitals to vanish and keep them as strange little pets (who, incidentally, eat grain) can be found in the Malleus Maleficarum, an incredibly sexist guide to witch hunting by Heinrich Kramer. The book is absolute nonsense from start to finish, but that didn't stop society for using it as a justification for killing countless women, each of them scapegoats for their community's deeper problems. It has been described as "one of the most terrifying and obnoxious books ever written."

twitter.com

Folklorist Moira Smith spoke about the connection between witchcraft and female sexuality in her paper, "Penis Theft in the Malleus Maleficarum":

Many of the crimes (maleficia) attributed to witches concerned sexuality: copulation with incubus devils, procuring abortions, causing sterility and stillbirth, and impeding sexual relations between husbands and wives.

I wonder if I should put this in my next book? twitter.com

It makes a sort of sense, knowing the extreme sexism of the middle ages, that one of the most terrifying things a witch could do was cause a man's penis to stop working or, worse, disappear entirely.

Here's how Kramer described what the witches did with the penises after the members were whisked away:

[W]hat shall we think about those witches who somehow take members in large numbers—twenty or thirty—and shut them up together in a birds' nest or some box, where they move about like living members, eating oats or other feed? This has been seen by many and is a matter of common talk. It is said that it is all done by devil's work and illusion, for the senses of those who see [the penises] are deluded in the way we have said.

I think I will stick with puppies and kittens... twitter.com

Kramer even recounted the story of a man who begged a witch for his member back. The witch relented and told him to climb a nearby tree, where he could have his pick of the penises living in a nest within the branches. In the book, which was taken as fact by people of the time and formed the basis of innumerable executions, the man tried to pick a particularly large penis, but was ultimately denied that choice because "it belonged to a parish priest."

Yaas. Werk, witch twitter.com


Scary Halloween stories. And I thought Halloween trees were a modern take off from Christmas Trees, but apparently, there were some wild Halloween tree decorating ideas way back in the middle ages. twitter.com

It turns out penis trees are a common motif in ancient witchcraft. In fact, some historians believe "the earliest depiction in art of women acting as witches" is a mural from the 13th century that depicts women gathered around a tree filled to the brim with erect penises.

Nowadays, this would be called a "kink," but back then, it was an evil work of magic to be feared.

I'd like a print of that 13th century Tuscan penis tree mural. twitter.com


That's fine I'll just send you a penis tree instead twitter.com

Kramer summed up his blindingly sexist attitude by explaining:

All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable.

In truth, women were blamed for many things for absolutely no reason (and still are, in many cases). If a man was having trouble becoming erect across town, he could claim a local "witch" (see: woman) cast a spell on him, and horrible consequences could befall her.

Oct. 12, 1692 The Salem Witch Trials were ended twitter.com


The Salem Witch Trials PT2 twitter.com

After hearing stories like that, it almost seems fair for witches to keep some penis pets for a while. But we want them back by November, alright sorceresses?

H/T - Broadly, Bust

Clint Patterson/Unsplash

Conspiracy theories are beliefs that there are covert powers that be changing the course of history for their own benefits. It's how we see the rise of QAnon conspiracies and people storming the capital.

Why do people fall for them? Well some research has looked into the reasons for that.

The Association for Psychological Science published a paper that reviewed some of the research:

"This research suggests that people may be drawn to conspiracy theories when—compared with nonconspiracy explanations—they promise to satisfy important social psychological motives that can be characterized as epistemic (e.g., the desire for understanding, accuracy, and subjective certainty), existential (e.g., the desire for control and security), and social (e.g., the desire to maintain a positive image of the self or group)."

Whatever the motivations may be, we wanted to know which convoluted stories became apart of peoples consciousness enough for them to believe it.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

I hate ghosts, even if it's Casper. My life is already stressful enough. I don't need to creeped out by spirits from the beyond. Shouldn't they be resting and basking in the glow of the great beyond instead of menacing the rest of us?

The paranormal seems to be consistently in unrest, which sounds like death isn't any more fun or tranquil than life. So much for something to look forward to.

Some ghosts just like to scare it up. It's not always like "Ghosthunters" the show.

Redditor u/Murky-Increase4705 wanted to hear about all the times we've faced some hauntings that left us shook, by asking:

Reddit, what are your creepy encounters with something that you are convinced was paranormal?
Keep reading... Show less
Image by Denise Husted from Pixabay

The past year brought about much anxiety and it's been a challenge to find the light in what has felt like perpetual darkness.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Gabriela Sanda from Pixabay

A lot of talk going on about women's bodies, isn't there?

Not necessarily with women front and center as part of the conversation, unfortunately.

Keep reading... Show less