What Is a Witch's Mark?

Updated on June 6, 2019
theraggededge profile image

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

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 spot, or other natural blemishes upon their skin, it would mean the whole global population are 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 mark 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 birthmark on the back of my left leg, a bunch of dark freckles further down towards the middle of that same leg, on my ankle I have a birthmark in the exact shape of a spade and a red mole behind my head. My first daughter has a skin tag on her ear, my last daughter has a large oval mole on shoulder and a birthmark on the side of her stomach. She was also born feet first, three minutes after her twin. Are we witches?

    No, birthmarks do not signify that you are witches. You can choose to be a witch and that requires study and the practice of witchcraft. Your birthmarks are simply birthmarks. As I point out in the article, there is barely a human alive who doesn't have some marks on their body.

  • Every female in my family is a witch and all have the same markings on their body, as do I. Could it be possible for me to be a witch myself?

    That depends if you want to be a witch. It's a life path, a choice you have to make.

  • I have a birthmark on my stomach that goes almost to the navel. It is a straight white line like a scar but without the appearance of one. My mom strongly believes in witches and Druid’s. She says she has Celtic blood. Is she a witch and am I one, too?

    It's not a birthmark, it's a common thing among the population. It's called Linea Alba. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linea_alba_(abdomen)... Witches and Druids are human beings and refer to practices that they do. So witches do witchcraft and Druids carry out their own rituals and procedures. In other words, you can't be a witch unless you practice witchcraft.

  • I have a raised bump on the front of my belly. It doesn't irritate me and it hasn't grown. My mum has always said it's a hernia. Could it be a witch's teat? Also, I have a raised mole on my left side. Could that be a witches mark? Again, it doesn't hurt or grow.

    No. If you read the article, you'll discover that there's no such thing as a witch mark. If it is a hernia, then you need to see a doctor because it means your intestine wall is weakened.

  • I have a natural mole on my back and also on my right forehand. What does this mean?

    It means you have a mole on your back and on your hand. It doesn't mean you are a witch.

© 2018 Bev G


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    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      13 days 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 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

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

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

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

    • profile image


      4 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 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

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

    • profile image


      4 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 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Ruby, it isn't :)

    • profile image


      4 months ago

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

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      6 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


      6 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 

      7 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


      7 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 

      8 months ago from Wales, UK

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

    • profile image


      8 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 

      17 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.




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