Remember When Witches Were Bitches?

The witch represents many archetypes in our culture. But somehow, over time, she has become increasingly good. At least, The Wizard of Oz has both a bad witch (traditionally, ugly and green) along with a good witch (pretty and blond). But then came Samantha of Bewitched and Sabrina the Teenage Witch — both were from completely separate, nonhuman universes — but still inherently good. Charmed and Practical Magic tops all this: Now witches are not only good but modern, young, and hot. Sigh. Once upon a time, the witch was something truly to be feared. She wasn’t comically scary, with a pointy hat and a wart on her hooked nose. No, she was horrifyingly evil. Sure, Hansel and Gretel seems like a cute tale, until you remember that the witch was a cannibal. Well, in Florida we have our very own legend of femme fatale horror, the Swamp Witch, an inhuman creature of terror who feeds on men’s bodies and souls! And where is her lair, you ask? Conveniently, it is located in the West Arboretum in Flamingo Gardens at 3750 S. Flamingo Road in Davie. Due to mystical forces, the Lair of the Swamp Witch is visible only from 7 to 9 p.m. this Friday and Saturday and again October 29 and 30. Those who wish to risk the swampy dangers can do so for $5 admission. Children under 12 (and their little dogs too) are especially likely to be eaten and should be left at home. For more information, dig out your old Ouija board, call 954-473-2955, or visit flamingogardens.org.
Fri., Oct. 22, 7 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 23, 7 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 29, 7 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 30, 7 p.m., 2010
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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane