What Is a Witch's Mark?

Updated on July 3, 2020
theraggededge profile image

Born in deepest Cornwall, now living in wild Wales, Bev has been practising her personal brand of eclectic witchcraft for years and years.

What is a witch mark?
What is a witch mark? | Source

A witch mark appears in various forms associated with witches and the practice of witchcraft.

The different types of witch marks are:

  • A mark on the witch’s body
  • A raised lump or teat-like protuberance
  • The Devil’s mark
  • A sign or symbol to ward off witchcraft.

We’ll take a look at the various kinds of witch marks, what they signified, and why they existed.

Marks on a Witch’s Body

A witch’s mark can be an irregular mark on the body that indicates that a person could be a witch. However, as there are very few human beings who don’t have some type of birthmark, freckle, wart, mole, scar, age spots, or other natural blemishes upon their skin, it would mean the whole global population is witches.

During the witch trials of the Middle Ages, "prickers" were employed. A pricker was an "expert" with a sharp tool that was used to test for invisible marks. It was systematically jabbed all over the witch’s body. If she didn’t yelp or cry out, that was a sign that an invisible mark existed in that place.

Some favorite places to search on the body included the armpits and even under the eyelids.

Sometimes hereditary witches claim that a certain mark has been passed down the generations within a family. Sybil Leek (1917-1982), the infamous witch and astrologer of the New Forest, Hampshire, England, and later of Los Angeles, claimed to have a hereditary mark that appeared on various female members of her family.

Today, symbolic marks are often made during Wiccan initiation rites. They may take the form of a pentacle or other meaningful pattern. They are traced with a finger onto the initiate’s forehead and/or other points of the body by the High Priest or Priestess.

Witch mark; actually a benign mole (nevus).
Witch mark; actually a benign mole (nevus). | Source

What Is a Witch’s Teat?

The idea that people sought assistance from supernatural beings has been around forever. Witches had their "familiars". These entities had to be sustained, so it was said that witches had an extra, hidden nipple which fed blood to the familiar. According to the witchfinders, a teat could be any raised lump, bump, or skin tag.

What Is the Devil’s Mark?

Similar to the witch’s mark, the Devil’s version was placed upon the skin when the witch pledged allegiance to the Devil. The mark was made by the Devil raking his claws across the skin or by burning the witch with a branding iron.

Many people tried to disfigure themselves in order to remove a possible mark or teat, but the scars themselves were deemed evidence enough.

Harmless skin tags. Once they might have been designated as a witch's teats, where her familiars fed.
Harmless skin tags. Once they might have been designated as a witch's teats, where her familiars fed. | Source

How Did the Idea of Witch Marks on the Skin Begin?

No one is certain where the idea of witches bearing certain marks began. They are probably rooted in ancient superstition as a way to explain birthmarks and blemishes. However, the idea really took hold during the witch trials of the late Middle Ages. Witches were ritually searched, both externally and internally in a humiliating and tortuous manner.

What If I Have a Witch Mark on Me?

Don’t worry for one second. As mentioned previously, it would be a very unusual person who hasn’t got one or more naturally occurring marks on their skin. Of course, if you notice that you have one of an odd or changing appearance, you must consult a medical practitioner. Having any kind of mark or natural skin formation does not mean you are a witch.

Apotropaic marking on a farmhouse from Niemelä Tenant Farm
Apotropaic marking on a farmhouse from Niemelä Tenant Farm | Source

Signs and Symbols to Ward off Evil Witchcraft

Symbols and marks carved on buildings to ward off witch’s and curses were common in Europe throughout the centuries. Many superstitions were attached to them. Frequently the marks, also called "apotropaic marking" and "hexfoils" were a series of interlocking circles, daisy patterns contained within circles, pentagrams, or sometimes the intertwined letters V and M to solicit protection from the Virgin Mary.

These signs and symbols were placed on doors, window shutters and chimneys; anywhere that a witch could gain entrance to a home. They are still visible on historical buildings in Britain and across Europe today.

While such markings were often dismissed as ancient scribblings or attempts to add decoration, a recent book, Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England’s Churches by architect Matthew Champion reveals their true purpose:

"The world was full of dangers, both physical and spiritual," Champion says. "These markings were made simply as a way to make it a safer, less hostile place; the front line in the defence of the soul."

The fact that a great many of the markings were made on and in parish churches confirms that countryfolk superstition was due to the appropriation of pagan places of worship by Christianity. They were afraid of retribution by witches, even centuries later.

Historic England, an organization that preserves ancient and traditional sites, has called on the general public to search their homes and locality for evidence of apotropaic marks.

Do you have a witch mark?

See results

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • I have an oval-shaped birthmark on my left leg. My little cousin from my mom's side has the same birthmark in the same place. Is it a mark passed down in my family? Are we witches?

    It may well be a hereditary mark, but no it doesn't mean you are witches. To be a witch, you have to make the decision to practice witchcraft. Witches are not supernatural beings, they are humans with free choice.

  • I have an extra nipple under my right breast and a tiny blue tattoo-like dot on my left hand above my middle finger knuckle. Could these bewitch marks?

    No, they are not witch marks. If you read the article, you'll see that there are no such things. What you have is a 'supernumary nipple' (above normal number). It's very common. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernumerary_nipple

    The blue dot is probably where a blood vessel comes close to the surface of the skin. I have a couple of those.

  • I have my suspicions that my grandma practices witchcraft. She’s always drawing spades on pieces of paper. She told me to put an 8 in my pocket and I would receive financial favor. Which indeed I did the very next day. I can’t find any obvious signs she may be a witch besides a large mole she has on her collarbone near her breast. Could she be a witch?

    You will have to ask her. What you describe might mean she is psychic, though that isn't a great deal to go by. The mole is nothing to do with witchcraft, though she might say it is.

  • I have three in a triangle formation. Can you explain more about the devil's mark?

    The Devil's mark was a made-up method of identifying witches in the Middle Ages. It was thought then that witches were almost supernatural beings with connections to the Devil. In truth, most were people who lived on the edge of society - easy targets. The witch-finders needed proof of their evil doings and marks, blemishes, scars, and moles were a simple way to make their accusations stick.

    Your marks are nothing to do with witchcraft.

  • I have a raised mark on my arm and healing lines on my palm, are these signs?

    No. You are only a witch if you practice witchcraft. There are no such things as witches' marks. Most people have a skin blemish or mark of one kind or another.

© 2018 Bev G


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      i have been researching because i have since birth a perfect M marked between my back and ribs... i've never find anything about it, but i still have the doubt

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      2 months ago from Wales, UK

      To 'an actual witch', if you had read the article and maybe some of the questions, you'll realise that it's not about Christianity vs the (witches') Devil, it's about the mistaken middle-age belief that there were such things as witches' marks.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      6 months ago from Wales, UK

      It's very pretty, Warley, I can see why you love it.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      6 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Warley, it's a birthmark; its shape doesn't mean anything.

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      Hi there,

      I was born with a giant red-purple-maroon port-win stain. It's most apparent on my right face, including neck, scalp and ear. It's texture is thicker and more bumpy. Now comes the fun part-scary of the history: It is the shape of my birthmark. Actually I realize yesterday, nobody realise this, Oh, my god, looks like it is a "witch flying with wand". I'm very scaried now.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      6 months ago from Wales, UK

      I think it's a pretty birthmark. It's nothing to do with witchcraft :)

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      i have a thumb print dark freckled birthmark in the exact place above my heart, slightly tilted to the left i feel like its special and a sign of something. what do think?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      6 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Ruby, it isn't :)

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      I have a mark and I don’t know if that’s a witch mark or not

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      8 months ago from Wales, UK

      Ho Gp, If you've had it since birth, it's a birthmark. If it's recently appeared, have it checked out by a doctor. It doesn't mean you are a witch :)

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      I have a mark im not sure if it's a birthmark or something else. It's a weird shape of a cirlcle but its squiguly. The color is a brownish greenish kid of thing

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      9 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Ismemoga,

      I'm not sure what you mean by 'so many unwelcome visitors'. You didn't say how they manifest.

      You may have some kind of psychic ability.

      Your marks are birthmarks, nothing more. Keep an eye on the breast one.

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      My mother attended some Wiccan ceremonies before I was born. I have a brown spot on my back about an inch i do have a patch in my bigger breast like a extra nipple patch but no nipple . I do not follow any religious practice, but believe in spirits because of some weird happened. Even weirder was un my first born conception I felt as what I experienced, her spirit coming to me. On my second pregnancy as I was falling asleep I felt like I bumped it to a wall and when opening my eyes stuff fell at the distance. I just wonder if theres is a defect on my spirit, sometimes I think I am not well in line with my body and maybe that may be the reason I attract so many unwelcomed visitors, my mother told me some stories but the are not as intense as mines.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      10 months ago from Wales, UK

      I don't know. But it is only a cyst, Tina.

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      I have a raised mark on my head that's been there for years. It hurts once in a while. My doctor says it's only a cyst. Why did it show up only after i started reading up on wicca over 7 years ago

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      19 months ago from U.S.A.

      Excellent, Bev. G. This was very insightful. I've heard about "witch marks" on occasion throughout my life. This article is informative also about the hexfoils.

      Thanks a lot and happy New Year.




    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, exemplore.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)