A Witch was a (usually female) practioner of magical arts, though not all magicians would have consider themselves witches. Some cultures used the term "wizard" to refer to a male witch (DW: The Dæmons) others used witch to refer to practioners of both sexes. Less advanced cultures had a certain fear of paranoia and would sometimes mistake psychic powers or advanced technology as witchcraft.
Significance in Human history
During the 17th century in Europe and in Salem Village fear of witchcraft rationalized the trial and the state-approved murder of many innocents. (DW: Image of the Fendahl, PDA: The Witch Hunters) Several Witchcraft Acts were passed by the government prohibiting its practice. The last Witchcraft Act, which was enacted in 1736, was not repealed until 1951. (DW: The Dæmons)
As late as the 20th century, in England, witches both "white" (benevolent) like Olive Hawthorne (DW: The Dæmons) and evil, like the members of the Hecate Cult, still formed covens. (DW: Image of the Fendahl, KAC: A Girl's Best Friend)
In the early 21st century, neopaganism gained in popularity. These included violent young gangs. One, the Witch Kids, spread across the United States. They rejected technology and knowledge and gloried in violence and superstition spread across the United States. (NA: Cat's Cradle: Warhead) Another called themselves the Ravens. (DWM: Ravens)
Across space, the Travellers of the 26th century, who had originated on Earth, honoured ancient gods and conducted rituals. The Travelers used puterspace as a way to experience mystic realities without drugs. (NA: Love and War)
- Martha Tyler knew the ancient traditions and posessed second sight because of the Fetch Priory's time fissure, therefore local reputation painted her as a witch. Locals deferred to her and called Granma, as an symbolic sign of respect. A genuine coven of malign witches, led by occultist Maximillian Stael, also lived in the area and plotted to resurrect the Fendahl. (DW: Image of the Fendahl)
- Martha Tyler actually worked as an agent for Faction Paradox, sent to keep an eye on matters. (source?)
- Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 encountered witches, worshippers of Hecate in 1981. (KAC: A Girl's Best Friend)
- In 1215, Turlough found himself locked up as a witch for supposedly conjuring up demons in the court of King John of England. (DW: The King's Demons)
- When Mistress Ellen and Queen Jane Grey witnessed Rani Chandra return to her own time via a time window, Ellen believed it to be witchraft, but Jane believed Rani to have been an angel. (SJA: Lost in Time)
- Though not precisely a witch, the Seeker appeared to serve a similar cultural function. (DW: The Ribos Operation)
- The Seeker, too, worked as an agent for Faction Paradox.[source needed]
- The Sycorax leader regarded the Doctor as a practitioner of witchcraft. (DW: The Christmas Invasion)
- 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.
- The Carrionites were witch-like creatures, as they used voodoo and "spells" to kill their victims. They attempted to overthrow the Earth, but they were stopped by William Shakespeare. (DW: The Shakespeare Code)
- Evil witches from throughout the universe held a gathering on the planet Vargo that was led by the Grand Witch. The Doctor posed as a wizard to scare off most of the witches, then dealt with the remaining Grand Witch. (TVC: The Witches)
- These witches might be related to the Carrionites.