In Romania, the homeland of Dracula and superstition, witches were pretty much spared from the medieval witch-hunts that plagued most of Europe and killed 100,000 women. In fact, witchcraft here is not only alive; it’s thriving, and it’s even feared by politicians. There are hundreds of witches in the country, and they make and break marriages, cure diseases, cast or release people from good and evil spells, and predict the future. Supposedly, one in ten Romanians visits a witch.
To find out how this influences modern Romanian society, Broadly correspondent Milène Larsson spends a week with Mihaela Minca’s witch clan and learns how to brew a love potion, cook up a curse, and even witnesses the exorcism of a woman supposedly possessed by the devil. We also meet Minca’s mother-in-law, Bratara Buzea, reputedly one of the world’s most powerful witches, who was jailed under communism when dictator Ceausescu banned witchcraft. Finally, we celebrate Summer Solstice, the year’s most important celebration, when the witches use their magical power to predict the future of mankind in the stars.