Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A walk on Witches' Hill

Witches are pretty thin on the ground in Australia.

I don't know if the climate puts them off (it must be hot in all that black) or whether the Federal Government has extended its "Stop the Boats" policy to also include "Stop the Brooms", but even at Halloween the most magical thing you're likely to experience is your bus or train arriving on time.

He's waiting for you at Witches' Hill
Not so in Lithuania, tucked up by the Baltic Sea.

On the Curonian Spit, near the small seaside resort town of Juodkrante, is Witches' Hill, a home for witches, goblins, dragons, the devil and host of other characters.

And their numbers are growing.

Someone or something is always watching you on Witches' Hill
The hill (really a forested sand dune as the whole spit itself is one big sandpit) has always been known as a site for unusual goings-on.

This reputation was cemented during the nineteenth century when it became a favourite spot for Lithuanians to celebrate the summer solstice; a time when it was thought witches were on their way to meet with other supernatural beings.

The Sorceress
But now witches and other creatures inhabit the hill every day and night of the year.  

For the past three decades, sculptors have congregated here and assembled more than 80 oak sculptures bringing to life old legends and stories.

And so the number of mythical creatures continue to grow.
The Dragon

The hill naturally has a light and dark side, and this has created obvious homes for those sculptures representing the good and those representing the bad.

The Card Players: beware the tricks as the devil and a witch play cards
So while there are creatures of the underworld here, there are also everyday folk from traditional stories and legends remembered for their good deeds and admirable attributes.

One of the "good" characters living on the hill 
The Forester
Atop the dark side of the hill is Lucifer and the Gates of Hell.   Here the gates are laced with the heads of grimacing witches, while Lucifer advances to take possession of your soul.

Lucifer isn't the only one tempting you through the Gates of Hell

Lucifer and the Gates of Hell

Happy Halloween!

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