|“||Women who identify as witches are born as such. And their abilities, which we call powers, are part of who they are. Part of their DNA, if you will.||”|
|— Cordelia Goode[src]|
Witches and Warlocks are humans gifted with the genetic heredity to affect change by supernatural or paranormal means, an innate connection to the elements and forces of nature that allows them to practice "witchcraft". Because of their unnatural abilities and supposed connections with dark forces, witches have historically been feared, persecuted, and hunted. Many escaped the Salem witch trials and sought refuge in New Orleans. As the witches settled in their new territory, a rivalry between them and the native Voodoo practitioners arose, and is still ongoing in present-day New Orleans. Among the population of witches, there is always one witch per generation who possesses a class of seven powers considered to be advanced acts of magic. This witch is known as the "Supreme".
Warlocks are considered to be inferior to witches, as the testosterone present within men is believed to be a known inhibitor of magical ability, impeding access to the ethereal realm. For this reason, no warlock has ever risen to the ranks of The Alpha (the male equivalent of the Supreme), but the warlocks believe that one among them would eventually usurp the Supremacy.
Sometime during the reign of the Roman Empire, a woman named Scáthach was born from a union between the Celtic Druids and their Roman conquerors.
As a young woman, Scáthach hid as a stowaway on a ship pioneered by British colonists on a voyage to the New World, bringing death and sickness to all in attendance. Upon arriving at shore, Scáthach was blamed by inland soldiers for enraging the Sea Gods and sentenced to be burned at the stake as a witch. Seeking to cheat death, Scáthach petitioned a pantheon of ancient bloodthirsty deities known as "The Old Gods" to bestow her dark magical powers, thereafter allowing her to massacre the soldiers and escape into the wild. She would become the first Supreme Witch of the Americas.
Scáthach came across the exiled former leader of the Roanoke Colony, Thomasin White, and saved her from being devoured by a wild boar in exchange for her soul. Under Scáthach's orders, Thomasin began to practice the witch's religion after returning to the colony with a vengeance, venerating The Old Gods by partaking in rituals involving the sacrifices of animals and humans, including children.
After Thomasin's son staged a rebellion against his mother, Scáthach convinced Thomasin to slaughter the entire colony in order to tether their spirits to the curse of the October Blood Moon, ensnaring them to the land long after their deaths. After Thomasin did as instructed, Scáthach killed her with her own blade, completing the sacrament. From this point forward, Scáthach would command the Roanoke Colony ghosts to sacrifice any human being who crossed their path every night of the October Blood Moon, forever honoring their traditions to The Old Gods and allowing Scáthach to remain immortal long into present times.
It has been attested that the witches of Salem received their power from the Voodoo slave girl Tituba, though evidently, their abilities stem from a genetic affliction that is passed down through bloodlines. During the Salem Witch Trials, witches in the northeastern United States faced persecution and decided to flee south in the midst of the hysteria. However, their ailing Supreme, Prudence Mather, was unable to make the journey due to tuberculosis, and decided to take her own life in a ritual known as the Sacred Taking. This selfless act allowed a new Supreme to rise and lead the Coven to safety, where they eventually settled in New Orleans. The generations of witches to follow would become known as the "Salem descendants".
Empress Joséphine Bonaparte, wife of Napoleon and a proud witch, cultivated one of the largest rose gardens in Europe. Joséphine enchanted her roses so that the colors she created remained fixed as she wanted them.
The reigning Supreme of the time, Marianne Wharton, purchased Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies as a safe haven where witches could gather to learn.
Anastasia Romanov attempted to use a protection spell to prevent herself and her family from being executed, but was not strong enough to maintain it and was murdered.
The witches of the Academy killed the serial killer known as the Axeman, putting an end to his murderous reign of terror in New Orleans. In 1926, a witch was tried and burned at the stake for inflicting grievous bodily harm against another witch.
The witches of the Salem Coven found a new enemy in the form of a Voodoo tribe led by Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen. This sparked an ongoing feud that lasted for about ten years, motivated in part by racial tension between the two groups. The bloody conflict finally came to an end when Marie Laveau and Supreme Anna Leigh Leighton signed a truce that entailed neither of their sides crossing into the other's territory.
Shortly after the truce was declared, Anna Leigh was brutally murdered by Fiona Goode in her endeavor to become the next Supreme. The only witness to this event was Spalding, a butler serving the witches of Miss Robichaux's Academy. Due to his infatuation with Fiona, Spalding cut out his own tongue when he learned that it had been enchanted to speak the truth by Fiona's rival, Myrtle Snow. The Council on Witchcraft presumed Anna Leigh to have been killed by the Voodoo tribe instead. They identified Fiona as Anna Leigh's successor to the Supremacy and had her perform the Seven Wonders. Fiona successfully did this and was declared the Supreme, though she ultimately used her power to satisfy her own selfish needs instead of the betterment of the Coven. In the 1970s, the witch Mary Oneida Toups led an alternative coven at Popps' Fountain in the French Quarter.
Witch hunter Henry Renard allied himself with Marie Laveau in a joint effort to eliminate all the Salem descendants. He married Fiona's daughter, Cordelia, under the alias of "Hank Foxx", and used her research to secretly hunt witches.
Due to many families willingly deciding not to reproduce, the Academy's population dwindled from as many as sixty young witches to a total of four: Nan, Queenie, Madison Montgomery, and Zoe Benson.
With her reign as Supreme coming to an end, Fiona returned to New Orleans upon learning that a witch by the name of Misty Day was burnt at the stake. Freeing the immortal Delphine LaLaurie from her grave, Fiona sought to gain immortality herself by bargaining with Marie Laveau, who had been alive for centuries. Unsuccessful, Fiona resorted to murdering her successor to the Supremacy, who she believed to be Madison after learning of the girl's magical talents. When the Council arrived to investigate Madison's disappearance, Fiona learned from Cordelia that Madison could not have been the next Supreme due to a heart condition. That Halloween night, Cordelia was blinded by an acid attack orchestrated by the witch hunter corporation, Delphi Trust.
In retaliation for the Minotaur's dismemberment at Fiona's hands, Marie Laveau declared war against the Coven and raised an army of the undead to siege Miss Robichaux's Academy. With Fiona tending to an injured Cordelia, the young witches were left to defend themselves from Marie Laveau's onslaught. Using a chainsaw and raw magical power, Zoe took out the zombie army by herself.
In light of recent attacks against the Coven, the Council demanded Fiona's immediate abdication as Supreme. However, with Queenie's Injury Transference ability, she was able to frame Council member Myrtle Snow for Cordelia's assault and had her burnt at the stake. Misty Day, having resurrected herself, stumbled upon Myrtle's charred corpse and used her power of resurgence to bring her back to life.
With Fiona having neglected her duty as Supreme to reveal her successor, Cordelia tasked Zoe, Madison, Misty, and Queenie with performing the Test of the Seven Wonders. Misty died during the Trial of Descensum, her soul able to travel to but not return from Hell, and Zoe died during the Trial of Transmutation after accidentally transmuting onto the Academy's metal picket fence. Myrtle, seeing the dire situation at hand, convinced Cordelia to perform the Test of the Seven Wonders as well. Cordelia excelled at six of the Seven Wonders, and after performing the seventh to resurrect Zoe, Vitalum Vitalis, she ascended to the Supremacy.
Cordelia exposed the existence of witches to the world on live television, hoping to start a new era where witches would no longer have to live in fear, and this encouraged many more witches to step out of the shadows to attend the Academy. In a conversation with Myrtle, Cordelia stated that they would need to find more buildings to house them all in.
Shortly after Cordelia revealed the existence of witches to the world, the Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men, an acedemy for warlocks, was destroyed by fearful locals using Molotov cocktails. All that remained of the original site was a sculpture left standing from an area which was once the school's gardens. It was converted into an entrance to a new secret underground school where the warlocks could practice their abilities in secret, unimpeded by the concerns of the outside world.
He showed his fellow colleagues video footage of Michael using his powers to kill a police officer, and convinced them to have Michael enrolled at the Hawthorne School to hone his power. Ariel believed that Michael could be the Alpha, a powerful warlock who could supplant the Supreme and pave the way for warlocks to be respected by their more powerful female counterparts.
Under normal circumstances, the Warlock Council at the Hawthorne School would test the proficiency of a student's power level after a year of study, but Michael's magical proficiency showed that he warranted this test after only one month. Michael's power and skill proved that he was the most powerful warlock the school had ever seen, and thus Ariel requested an immediate meeting with Cordelia Goode, Myrtle Snow, and Zoe Benson to request Michael be allowed to take the Test of the Seven Wonders. Much to Ariel's anger, Cordelia refused.
Ariel Augustus and Baldwin Pennypacker conspired to kill all of the witches of Miss Robichaux's Academy, but were thwarted by Cordelia. Ariel and Baldwin were sentenced to death by burning at the stake, along with Miriam Mead, Michael's adoptive mother and the individual responsible for the murder of warlock John Henry Moore, who opposed Michael. As witches have long stood by the agreement that no witch is allowed to kill a condemned warlock, John was allowed to light the flames in Cordelia's place.
Michael, devastated and enraged by the death of Miriam, orchestrated attacks on Miss Robichaux's Academy and the Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men with help from the new Voodoo Queen, Dinah Stevens, massacring nearly every witch and warlock within both premises. After Mallory used Tempus Infinituum to reverse the events of the Apocalypse, these attacks were undone.
The Supreme Witch
The Alpha is a male warlock with abilities that rival the female Supreme. Only the Alpha is considered a "Level 4" warlock, with even members of the Warlock Council being only Level 3. The Alpha is prophesied to come, and the Warlock Council believes he will usurp the Supreme, allowing the warlocks to reign above the witches for the first time in history. The witches believe that the concept of the Alpha is impossible, as the testosterone found in men's bodies prohibits their magical abilities and makes them inferior or less effective in practicing magic. After discovering Michael Langdon and taking him in, the Warlock Council believes that he is the Alpha.
The Witches' CouncilMiss Robichaux's Academy. The council only visits the coven on very important cases, such as the death of another witch.
The Warlock Council
The Warlock Council is the governing body of warlocks at Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men. They are depicted as middle-aged, "Level 3" warlocks, as displayed by the fact they still use typewriters in modern times. However, the Supreme holds the most authoritative power in the Council, as Cordelia was able to refuse the warlocks' request to conduct the test of the Seven Wonders on a candidate they thought to be the Alpha. In the original timeline, as of 2018, all of the members of the Warlock Council are deceased. After Mallory reversed the events of Apocalypse, their deaths were reversed.
Chancellors are high-ranking witches and warlocks of unspecified authority. According to Myrtle Snow, chancellors are appointed by the Supreme. Ariel Augustus has been the Grand Chancellor for an undisclosed period of time.
At the Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men, after a year of studying, all of the students are individually tested to know their current level to which they are assigned a level from one to four based on their magical capabilities. In the history of the coven, no warlock has ever exceeded level three, but it was prophesied that a level four warlock - known as the Alpha - would emerge and supplant the Supreme in power.
MagicCoven, Hotel, Roanoke and Apocalypse.
Some abilities are inherent or reflexive to certain witches, that is they do not need to focus or concentrate. It is not rare for a witch to manifest more than three powers, though a Supreme is required to have at least seven (the Seven Wonders), though not necessarily all possible powers. It is said that the reason that a Supreme is so powerful is that she is the physical embodiment of many and or all powers. According to Cordelia Goode, witches draw their power from light, though evidently, there are other witches lurking in the shadows of their benevolent counterparts who draw their power from dark forces, and look less human as a result.
- Witches are shown to be able to use their powers collectively.
- Certain abilities can also be triggered by certain events and substances.
- Voodoo and witchcraft practitioners share certain powers.
- Mortality - Despite having magical powers, witches and warlocks are still humans and share many of the same weaknesses as non-supernatural beings (e.g. age, decapitation, disease, heart-failure, suffocation, being drained of blood by a vampire, etc.). However, there are many means through which they are able return from death, either through their own power or through the powers of other witches and warlocks; Vitalum Vitalis and Resurgence are two examples of this. Additionally, some witches are able to resist mortality entirely via the annual sacrifices of animals and human beings to ancient deities, rendering them immortal.
- Emotions - A witch or warlock's magical powers are subject to the influence of their emotional state. Strong emotions such as happiness or anger can fuel a witch's power, while emotions such as fear and sadness may prevent a witch or warlock from properly accessing their powers. According to Myrtle Snow, witches' powers only develop as fast as their cerebellum allows.
- Distraction - Denying a witch or warlock from concentrating or giving full attention to their spells may render them ineffective. Since some spells are spoken verbally and take time to take effect, witches and warlocks are vulnerable to attack before a spell's completion . Additionally, certain spells require items, tools, and/or special events during casting, therefore they can't be invoked on mere whim.
- Witchcraft - Witches and warlocks are still susceptible to the powers of other witches and warlocks.
- Voodoo - According to Marie Laveau, the powers witches and warlocks possess originally came from Voodooists', and in some cases, Voodooists are in fact more powerful than witches and warlocks. Dinah Stevens was able to singlehandedly use a ritual to break a protection spell around Miss Robichaux's Academy, for example, despite the spell having been cast by the Supreme herself. Voodoo may not always be more powerful, however, as Zoe Benson was able to successfully cancel out a spell performed by Marie Laveau in an attempt to harm the Acedemy with an army of zombies, and the Identity Spell Cordelia Goode cast on Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt and Mallory to disguise that they were witches could not be perceived by Dinah.
- Spiritual Bodies - Deceased witches and warlocks seem to lose all of their prior powers if they become ghosts or pass into the afterlife. In Misty Day's case, the fact that she could still revive a dissected frog in Hell relied entirely on how that afterlife worked, as Hell's sole function is to cause the most extreme distress for the soul. As a result, the frog did not come back to life because of Misty's power, but rather because Hell wanted to torture her with the image of reviving a frog over and over again only for it to be sliced open in front of her while it was still alive, on a boundless loop.
- Higher Beings - Demons, Angels, The Anti-Christ and Deities are much more powerful than witches and warlocks. Magical powers possibly have no effect on them, although Mallory was able to blast the Anti-Christ with telekinesis when enraged.
- Ghosts - Some magical powers have no effect on them, as they are already deceased and immune to injury. Witches will also lose all of their magical powers if they themselves become ghosts.
- Hellmouth - According to Cordelia Goode, witches gain their powers from light, and thus the power of a hellmouth can negate their abilities. Despite this, passive powers such as divination remain unaffected. It is unknown if this also affects witches who gain their powers from darker sources.
Known Witches and Warlocks
- The way the Supreme is chosen is similar to how Slayers in the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be "activated", requiring a previous Slayer to die in order for a random person to potentially be the next generation's Slayers. Both Slayers and the Supreme are generally female and both shows have witches and supernatural creatures.
- The earliest known American coven (in the series) are descendants of Salem witches, but mythology relating to witches existed beforehand, indicating other types of witches may exist; Scáthach and Marie Laveau are two examples of this. Also, the Delphi Trust has been hunting witches since before the Salem Witch Trials.
- The Witches' Council seemed to employ Albino Guards as security escorts for protection.
- The former Supreme Mimi DeLongpre shares the same surname as supposed distant cousins of Constance Langdon and parents of Michael Langdon in her cover story in the final episode of Murder House. "He was the child of distant cousins on my mother's side. The DeLongpres of Virginia, Eveline and Steve."
- Leonardo da Vinci was thought be a warlock by Myrtle Snow.
- Scáthach is the first known human to become a witch in the AHS universe, opposed to being genetically born one. This may imply that normal humans can become witches through the sacrificial worship of the Old Gods.
- Most witches share some disdain outlook on warlocks, which the warlocks share in return.
- In Return to Murder House, it is confirmed that Michael Langdon is not a warlock, but the Anti-Christ, sustaining John Henry Moore's description about Michael's powers being dark and malevolent. Unlike other beings, Michael is also born from the union between a ghost and a human, and can call on the power of Satan due to his status as the Anti-Christ.
- A few notable female figures in history are portrayed to be witches, such as Joséphine Bonaparte and Anastasia Romanov.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Episode: Traitor
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Episode: Boy Parts
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Episode: Bitchcraft
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Episode: The Sacred Taking
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Episode: Could It Be... Satan?
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Episode: Fire and Reign
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Episode: Fearful Pranks Ensue
- ↑ Episode: The Dead
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Episode: The Replacements
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Episode: Head
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Episode: Burn, Witch. Burn!
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Episode: Apocalypse Then
- ↑ Episode: The Axeman Cometh
- ↑ Episode: The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Episode: The Seven Wonders
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Episode: Battle Royale
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 Episode: Forbidden Fruit
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 Episode: Boy Wonder
- ↑ Episode: Chapter 1
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Episode: Chapter 7
- ↑ Episode: Protect the Coven
- ↑ Episode: Could It Be...Satan?
- ↑ Episode: Return to Murder House
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