Fortune telling based on marks or bumps on your skin can take many forms, from palmistry to phrenology, and had a long history of use across many cultures. One of the most chilling ways this method of divination took was the so called “witch’s mark” — which witch hunters have long claimed is the mark that all servants of the devil bear, and the proof they would use when accusing people of witchcraft. In this video, a TikTok witch attempts to reclaim this tragic heritage with a different legend surrounding the occasional arm freckle.
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“The number of freckles on your forearm shows you how many witches you are descended from,” she claims in the video. Why the right forearm? Why only freckles? Unclear. But given the number of women throughout history who have suffered and even died as accused witches due to not having perfectly spotless skin, the theory in this video may be fully supported.
During the infamous witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, accused witches were stripped and searched for any markings on their body. Moles, skin tags, rashes, or even flea bites could arouse suspicion. Some victims were stabbed with pins to see if the marks could sense pains and others, so afraid of of their birthmarks or freckles condemning them to death, actually cut their own flesh from their skin in order to avoid detection.
I myself have a couple of freckles or moles on my right forearm, but I prefer to think it less a sign of witchcraft and more that I need to be better about applying sunscreen.