Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Witch-Proof Windows


I find all sorts of amazing things online. Some of them are amazing because I can't believe anyone would believe such a load of bovine excrement*, and others are amazing because ... well ... they just are.

In the second category comes this interesting article I found the other day - The Witch-Proof Windows of Vermont.

It seems that an architectural oddity of many old Vermont farmhouses is a crooked window tucked up under the eaves at a crazy angle, as in this example -


What on earth is the purpose of such a window, evidently known locally as a "witch window?" According to an architectural historian cited in the article, legend says that the angled window makes it difficult for witches to fly in on their broomsticks. Ooookaaaayyyy ...

Another rationale mentioned in the article is that the angled windows are "coffin windows," which supposedly make it easier to move a body in a coffin from the second floor without having to navigate a narrow or crooked staircase ... one just slides it out through the window and down the roof. Hmmm ... I would have thought it would be easier just to carry the body downstairs and put it in the coffin outside, but then, I have limited experience with moving bodies**.

Or if the purpose of the crooked window is to keep out unwanted evil spirits, why not install crooked doors to ward off door-to-door salesmen, religious flacks, and political pollsters?

I would have thought the most logical explanation was that the windows were installed by the lowest bidder.

So, Dear Readers, have you ever seen or heard of a Vermont "witch window," or have you lived in a house that had one? What do you think is the best explanation for having a window like that in your house? Leave a comment.

Have a good day. Use screens to keep flying things out of your windows, crooked or not. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

* Pretty much anything tweeted by Donald Trump or generated by the NRA, for example.

** Although the events of the last year or two have caused me to consider making a detailed study of the issue.

7 comments:

John Hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Hill said...

Hmmm...
I guess a witch wouldn't be smart enough to fly into one of the regular windows? Or maybe that's not a TV satellite dish and is an anti-flying witch dish?

eViL pOp TaRt said...

They might simply be a means of maximizing the amount of light entering into a small, angular space.

Is there evidence that homeowners or builders made those architectural features because of witches?

Or the paranoid can blame them on Bernie Sanders supporters!

Cloudia said...

Leave it to our Evil Poptart to explain!

Mike said...

Or it could have been the window salesman saying, "Hey, we can fit another window in right here!"

Bilbo said...

I think Mike's explanation is probably the best one, but Angel's idea isn't bad, either!

allenwoodhaven said...

I lived in western Massachusetts for 25 years and lived near the Vermont border for another 4. Never saw or heard the term. Great concept though!