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A witch was a practioner of magical arts. The term was often primarily applied to female magicians, though not all female magicians considered themselves witches. Some cultures used the term "wizard" to refer to a male witch (TV: The Dæmons) while others used witch to refer to practioners of both sexes. Less advanced cultures had a fear of witches and would sometimes mistake psychic powers or advanced technology as witchcraft.

History

Significance in human history

Alien entities, the Fendahl (TV: Image of the Fendahl) and the Dæmons (TV: The Dæmons) undoubtably affected humanity, specifically human notions of witchcraft.

During the 17th century in Europe and in Salem Village, fear of witchcraft was the pretext for the trial and state-approved murder of many innocents. (TV: Image of the Fendahl, PROSE: The Witch Hunters) Several Witchcraft Acts were passed by governments prohibiting its practice. Suspects of witchcraft were bound and thrown into a pond. If the suspect sunk and drowned, they were considered innocent. If he or she floated, however, they were found guilty and were executed. One way or another, the suspect would die. (AUDIO: Plague of the Daleks)

The last Witchcraft Act was not repealed until 1951. (TV: The Dæmons)

As late as the 20th century, in England, witches both "white" (benevolent) like Olive Hawthorne (TV: The Dæmons) and evil, like the members of the Hecate Cult, still formed covens. (TV: Image of the Fendahl, TV: A Girl's Best Friend)

In the early 21st century, neopaganism gained in popularity. Neopaganists ecompassed violent young gangs. One, the Witchkids, spread across the United States. They rejected technology and knowledge and gloried in violence and superstition. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Warhead) Another called themselves the Ravens. (COMIC: Ravens)

In Orkney, Scotland, witches were known as "spaywives." (AUDIO: The Revenants)

Across space, the Travellers of the 26th century, who had originated on Earth, honoured ancient gods and conducted rituals. The Travellers used puterspace as a way to experience mystic realities without drugs. (PROSE: Love and War)

Other references

Humans

Martha Tyler actually worked as an agent for Faction Paradox, sent to keep an eye on matters. (source?)

Other species

The Sycorax, not understanding their own stolen technology, such as blood control, might have regarded it as a form of witchcraft, though they used it themselves.
These witches might be related to the Carrionites.
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