Wishing for Witches

My friend, Gina, lives across the road from the Witch’s Hat houses. It is a grand and gothic strip, those magnificent old homes with their spires. Some of them even have gargoyles (check out the house on the right….)

Seems a bit of an urban myth has developed in Gina’s block. She and many of her neighbours are of the belief that the witches hats are actually used at night by real witches to frolic and dance and jump; clinging to the steep peaks of the spires like bats.

I can see what they mean. If I was a witch I would be tempted to fling myself from hat to hat. When the shadows were high and the moon was bright.

And if I managed to get right up to the top and secure myself it would be so hard not to shout out: ‘I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog too…’Β  I don’t actually think I could stop myself (think I’ve watched The Wizard of Oz too many times.)

Funny how urban myths develop. Tricks of the light, dark clouds, solar flares, traffic lights; all sorts of things could contribute to the leaping shadows the locals claim they see. They will harbour no argument. They want witches on those hats and witches they shall have.

Gina has taken her imaginings even further. She works at the university and looks out onto this window every day.

It is a window full of mystery. Intriguing, reminiscent of days gone by. At twilight every day a shadowy figure appears in the lower right hand corner of the window. It is a bulky formidable shape, it could be half man, half beast. Gina swears she sometimes hears the beast’s hooves on the sandstone path, is sometimes disturbed in the middle of working by the sweep of his cape.

I peered through the window one afternoon and saw a projector on a table covered with a huge vinyl sheet, which in the right light could have been a cape. The projector was bulbous at the top, protruding. It could have been the head of some supernatural creature, coming to life as the university was gripped by shadow.

I didn’t have the heart to tell Gina what I saw. She loves fairy tales and magical things even more than I do. As far as I can see there’s no harm at all in wishing for witches, or beasts, or anything else that captures your fancy. No harm at all. Even urban myths need a helping hand from time to time.


37 thoughts on “Wishing for Witches

  1. that window is INCREDIBLY cool!

    ‘As far as I can see there’s no harm at all in wishing for witches, or beasts, or anything else that captures your fancy. No harm at all. Even urban myths need a helping hand from time to time.”



  2. I was staying at a place in France once, and woke one morning to see frost patterns had formed on the window, and it looked just like someone was peering in. I took a photo, in which it was possible, with half-closed eyes and a lot of imagination, to discern a face.

    I showed it to the proprietor, who seemed interested … but the old lady who did the cleaning started crossing herself repeatedly, and ran from the room, screaming ‘Vous l’avez vu! Vous l’avez vu!’ (You’ve seen him)

    The proprietor said take no notice, she was a little …’ow you say in English? But still …..


    1. OH MY GOOD GRIEF!!!! What a fantastic story. The face on the window. That is awesome and a little bit creepy. It certainly scared the cleaning lady!


  3. Hi,
    These houses with the Witch’s Hats are really magnificent. I have never had the pleasure of being able to go through one, but I have always wanted to, they do get the imagination going. πŸ˜€

    I love the window, Wow, that is just unreal. πŸ™‚


    1. Sorry for the late reply, Gabe. I’ve been sick for the last 2 weeks. It was ‘orrible – headaches, stomachaches. It was all on. I love a good urban myth too. Much better than the real thing!


    1. So nice of you to stop by, Evelyn. Great to see you. And you’re right – it does look a bit like a fish tank. Can you imagine the big, gothic-style fish that would live inside? Very cool!


    1. *cue spooky organ music* No one can be sure if it’s a fantasy or if it’s actually real. There are many unexplained things in this strange world we live in, Patti. 😯


    1. I love the witch’s hats. They are so cool. I don’t know what led them to be built in that style (I really should research that) but I’m glad they’re there. They have formed many stories in my head as I’ve been out on my walks!


    1. Indeedly doodly, Bluebee. You get some beauties around Lewisham/Petersham too. And I saw one on the Stanmore/Enmore border the other day that was full on Gothic. Hunters Hill is also pretty good. I do love a bit of gothic-inspired architecture!


  4. Love the pics. It seems that houses, churches and the like that are around the century age have alot more interesting features that lend themselves to ones imagination. There is a home a short distance from me that always reminds me of a gingerbread house, it’s been beautifully restored. Alot of homes nowadays seem to be cookie cutter, no real character or personality ya know?

    Perhaps on the weekend when I have the car, I’ll drive over and get a pic or two to send to you. Hopefully noone sees me skulking around trying to take pics and think I’m some looney lol


    1. I know what you mean, Cathy. Many modern houses are set out really well and utilise light and space to the max and all that but often they seem a bit characterless. My dream is to totally restore one of the old Victorian mansions around here. I would go totally, full on, gaudy Victorian and have gargoyles and everything. That would be awesome!

      I skulk around a lot. You have to if you want to take photos. If anyone asks me what I’m doing I just say I’m a tourist and can’t speak English. Hahaha.


    1. Parts of Sydney have the most beautiful old houses, Aine. You would love them. And some of the buildings right in the city like the Queen Victoria Building are just gorgeous – big, carved sandstone pillars and lots of stained glass. There is almost a cathedral-like quality to some of them. And yes, I am a believer too…..


    1. In the US there are some stunners. I had no idea Pittsburgh was so gorgeous. My cousin went there recently on business and some of the houses there are to die for. I seriously thought about moving there for a moment when I saw those houses. Thanks for stopping by, Bobby!


  5. What an amazing lot of houses … just beautiful. I love how urban myths tickle the imagination … it’s always fun to wonder about the impossibilities of life. πŸ™‚


    1. You put that so well, Tracey. It is fun to wonder about the impossibilities of life. Or maybe they’re more possible than we think… πŸ˜‰


  6. I think Tam and I need to live in one of those houses. They look marvelous. As for shouting from the rooftops, yes… I think if I were to find myself at the top of one of those lovely roofs, there would be shouting. It would sound a lot like, “Get me the hell down from here!”

    I love the pictures and also… thank you for not tattling on the shadows and the projector. If Gina is ok with ghosts and strange visitors, then she should have them free and clear.


    1. You know me, Karen. I would never spoil someone’s chance to believe in anything like that. I love that Gina is so into it. I can see you and Tam living in one of those houses. They would suit you so well, maybe minus the roof-climbing. I would really have to pass on the roof-climbing/jumping too. My knees aren’t what they used to be….


    1. Don’t tell anyone what you wished for, From The Pews, or it won’t come true. So nice to have you visit. I do like seeing you here!


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