Written by Jonathan Wojcik
FIVE WEIRDO WITCHES...FROM GOODWILLAnd here it is a whole week into September, and I'm only just hitting how many articles? This season is off to a start as dry as our first full summer here in Oregon. So dry that as I write this, a 30,000 acre forest fire is winding down a mere twenty minute drive from our home and our car is still covered in a fine layer of grayish ash, but I suppose a rain of ash under a blood-red sun is better ambience than the end of summer was going to offer, and we're only weeks from the season of near-continuous rain we really moved here for, which happens to coincide with PEAK Halloweenery.
We really know this peak is gearing up when the local Goodwill stores unleash their giant spiders, a practice I never encountered in Iowa, Florida, or Maryland Goodwills. Iowa, Florida, and Maryland Goodwills were also incredibly hit or miss when it came to Halloween throughout my life, but here in Portland, they continue to be non-stop hit. We have no less than three of them within a couple miles of home, and every single one was alread PACKED with seasonal stuff by the end of August.
I might even squeeze a whole second article out of Goodwill's spookery this year, but my first run yielded an unexpected theme: at all three, I found at least one exceptionally freaky, wonderful witch.
GOODWILL WITCH #1: Hanging WitchAt $1.99, this was our cheapest witch, whose haggard hair and worn-out hat only accentuate the witchy charm of her bulging eyes, giant underbite and overall almost toad-like appearance. I think I may have even encountered this witch once before, possibly even at Goodwill, and I inexplicably passed her up. What was I even thinking?!
Let's make it up to her, and to all these witches forsaken by their original owners. Let's name this witch. Let's name them all! This witch's name can be, uhh... Gulthrous Toadlocks. I know we're supposed to imagine that these hanging decorations have a body under their cloak, but I think miss Toadlocks just doesn't have one. She's a bloated, severed head, possibly holding her breath so her own stinking magical gases can propel her through the air. That's her only power and she whizzes away like a busted balloon if she ever opens her mouth, but everybody present also chokes and dies so it's a pretty decent trick.
GOODWILL WITCH #2: Eyestalk WitchAt $15, this one was slightly more than I am willing to pay for a plush item, even if it does happen to be a witch that is 1) almost entirely head and 2) has her eyeballs jutting out of her head like a snail. She is the only witch of note that I left behind for somebody else to enjoy, but that's alright, because I'm sure somebody will. Every witch deserves a home, but it can't always be mine. Then almost nobody would have any witches.
Whoever adopts this witch will never know that her name is Slobblia Pestlefoop, and she has magical dominion over mucus. She can bring it to life, instantly travel through it, turn people into it...if it's something you hope she can't and won't do with your phlegm, she probably can and she totally will.
GOODWILL WITCH #3: Amphibian Witch$6.99 is a small price to pay for such a hefty ceramic piece, especially when this spellcaster features such a delightful visage.
Look at her. Her head is much too small for her body, her neck would have to be abnormally long and her facial features can only be compared to either some kind of amphibian or whatever nanalan is supposed to be. This is one of the most platonic reasons I have ever wanted to see somebody naked. There's no way this goofball has any kind of humanlike anatomy going on.
Let's call her Ploodra. I don't know, it just sounds like a word I'd associate with somebody who looks like this. Ploodra has no bones and she is UNBELIEVABLY slippery. She can stretch her appendages pretty much forever, and if she touches you, you break out in enough warts that there's basically nothing else left. This is what she eats. She doesn't have teeth but she can swallow a big giant pile of warts like a snake swallows an egg.
GOODWILL WITCH #4: Box WitchThis witch protrudes from a plastic cube, like a Jack-in-the-Box, but doesn't seem able to retract inside. Her arms, however, are bendable, so she can aim her prized human skull in whatever direction you see fit. She also has a compartment underneath for two "D" Batteries, but I don't have any "D" Batteries so I don't know what she does. I don't think I've ever even owned anything at all that used "D" Batteries.
Almost more amazing than the witch herself, by the way, is that box:
Each face of the box features some beautifully printed artwork of a graveyard piled high with poorly drawn skulls, and in this panel, an anime-eyed bat perching impossibly like a bird.
The panel to the left is the most mundane, but still features a tombstone that says "SPOOKY" on it.
To the right, we get this marvelous green ghoul with a goatee of slimy flesh and a look of utter befuddlement, possibly at the fact that he only gets to be a painting on the box and not the star attraction he was expecting. Better luck next time, buddy!
The final, back panel of the witch box is the best by far, since we're treated to an entire skeleton and a bbunch of enigmatic, thorny green tentacles!
This is our most human-looking witch, so I think I'd just call her something like Madame Grelda or some other really typical witchy name. She probably does all the regular witch stuff, because we still kinda need one of those, but it should be noted that she really does have a big black box instead of legs and a particular proclivity towards reanimating just skulls, possibly with the minds and personalities of cats. Look at her face again and tell me she doesn't live all alone in a shack with like forty or fifty cats that are just human skulls.
GOODWILL WITCH #5: PAPER MAGIC WITCH AT LASTOH MY GOD. REALLY!? AFTER ALL THESE YEARS?!
Produced by "Paper Magic" for a line known only as the "big heads," this gnarly-ass witch appeared alongside a skeleton, zombie and vampire back in, jeez, what must have been the tail end of the 1990's, and I kept telling myself I'd adopt her into my life year after year until the line abruptly vanished around 2002, maybe 2003. Last time I saw the little gal was in an ebay listing for almost eighty bucks, but there she was, here in 2017, sitting all alone in the very last Goodwill I visited for a cool $7.99.
As you can see, Paper Magic Witch has one of the best faces ever given to any witch ever, with outrageously huge eyeballs, an exceptionally crookedy snout and one of the nastiest smiles ever bared by her subspecies. She's almost got a Rat Fink vibe to her, and that's all just the appeal of her face alone. It would have been perfect enough on any body you could have imagined, but that hilariously stumpy little torso suits her just fine.
When I look at this witch's face, I hear names like Nanny Snaggleface or Morrigan Muckrot. Things people might have named an actual monstrous hag in an old fairy tale, or something. I can't really pick one. Maybe she has lots of names, because she's important. Maybe even the most important of every witch I've ever found, the big boss of them all.
I also choose to believe she is actually life-size. Just the right size to scurry through your house almost undetected and magically swap all of your teeth out for the earthworms she carries around under her hat. It's not even a witch thing, it's just a hobby.
Can YOU even believe that witches ranked among my less favorite monsters at one time?! That I actually found them almost "forgettable" for how human and how common they were?!
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