Halloween Obsessed: The Misconception of Witches
6 Mar 2022
Barbara Dolny-Bombar, Rae Davis, Roger Lockshier
Something wholesome this way comes? Halloween Obsessed: The Misconception of Witches is a documentary that hopes to inform, educate and convince its audience of the truth around real-life people who consider themselves to be witches, and how their lives and experiences are as valid as any other religion.
The documentary is narrated by director Linda Palmer and features contributions from members of various communities within the witching world. Viewers are introduced to a history of witchcraft, from its beginnings in Wiccan and Pagan cultures, through to its current status as a spiritual and holistic lifestyle for those who practice. It also addresses misconceptions and popular interpretations of witchcraft and how these reverberate in the community.
This is a well-constructed and entertaining documentary that succeeds in detailing a little-known and misunderstood corner of society in a laidback manner. The film acknowledges that many viewers may be initially sceptical of the arguments and opinions it presents. But the authoritative and personal experiences offered by its contributors such as young mum Dalea Faulkner or experienced practitioner Barbara Dolny-Bombar offer valuable insight into how and why people consider themselves as witches and the role witchcraft plays in their lives. It’s unlikely to be enough to convince non-believers in the veracity of incantations, familiars, spirits or rituals – but it excellently makes the case that for those who do, it is a positive lifestyle that deserves more recognition and respect.
The talking-head interviews are interspersed with intriguing stock footage which present imagery of supernatural practices around the world. Director Linda Palmer’s editing style is dynamic, and perfectly compliments her interviewee’s words and never allows the documentary to become visually tedious. The choice of footage shows that witchcraft has a long and established history across the world, and its beginnings and origins emanate from similar roots as other, more accepted beliefs. The relatively short runtime of 40 minutes means that the film can rely on footage without over-extending itself or becoming repetitive.
The film isn’t particularly challenging of the beliefs it covers and does not take on an investigative role as to the truthfulness of the claims it features from its cast. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this, as educating on the beliefs themselves is the film’s ultimate purpose and a key takeaway from the film is that when it comes to personal beliefs and faith, it is best to live and let live. It is important however for audiences to be aware of this purpose and what the film’s aims are.
The Misconception of Witches conjures up plenty of entertainment, intrigue and discussion. It convincingly makes the case that some of the misconceptions around those who believe in the supernatural are unjust, and will find an eager audience in the open-minded.