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|“||Have I not already done what none before me could accomplish? Including those decrepit, old shits in the woods?||”|
— Mary Sibley about the Hags.
A group consisting of two to four female witches depending on the circumstances, acting as advisers on behalf of the Old Ones. The Hags, also referred to as Elders, were a group of decrepit old women, deformed by plague, age, and possibly by their own malice. Some of them were severely disfigured in the face and body; Lack of eye sockets, pustules, deep scars and completely rotten teeth were just a few of the most visible.
Unlike the Widdershins, the Hags that served as Elders often left the Essex Stronghold to meet in the woods with those witches living hid in Salem, Massachusetts. They spoke backward, like other members of the Essex Hive, though they have shown that were able to speak the current language in few occasions.
Throughout The Salem Series
The Elders were responsible for choosing Mary Sibley to complete the Grand Rite. At the end of the season, it was revealed that the Elders raised the child that Mary Sibley offered to the Devil in order to become a witch and used the child as a threat to convince Mary to continue the Grand Rite in order to have him back.
In Cry Havoc, the Elders continue to blackmail Mary Sibley into doing their bidding by threatening her son. Later that night, a reckless Mercy Lewis threatens the Elders to make her the new queen of Salem, but after they refuse, Mercy Lewis and her followers kill two of the Elders hanging them by their bowels in the public square, surrounded fire.
Powers and Abilities
The Hags are considered keepers of the Old Ways as they among the few survivors of the barbaric Witch Hunt in the Old World. Despite their role as Elders in the hierarchy of the Essex Hive, they were not as powerful as the new generations of witches they bred. Weakened by fear and atrocities suffered in the Old Continent, they were mainly the foundation upon which arose the wickedness in the New World, as the seeds of a poisonous plant. On several occasions, they showed a preference for divinatory arts, conjuring visions inside a large steaming cauldron. Seldom, they wept blood and secreted black-ish saliva similar to Hell-blood. A spell worth mentioning is that on John Sibley, used to manipulate the child and prevent Mary Sibley from challenging their precarious authority.
- Elder with pustules: (to Mary Sibley): "You succeed where generations have failed. The Grand Rite is nearly complete."
- -- Ashes, Ashes
- Elder without eyes: "The Malum will open, many innocents will die, what matters one more?"
- Mary Sibley: "It matters to me."
- Elder with pustules: "We have known you since a girl."
- Elder without eyes: "We raised you."
- Elder with pustules: "You are like our own daughter. When you weep."
- Elder without eyes: "We weep."
- Elder with pustules: "When you bleed."
- Elder without eyes: "We bleed. Now tears of blood. But that blood and these tears are our weapons."
- -- Ashes, Ashes
- Elder with pustules (to Mary Sibley): "Mary, listen to me. To free him would reveal what you are to him. Do not lose his love. Use it for all of us. That is the sacrifice."
- -- Ashes, Ashes
|The Stone Child||Absent|
|The Red Rose and the Briar||Absent|
|Our Own Private America||Absent|
|Children Be Afraid||Appears|
|The House of Pain||Absent|
|Cat And Mouse||Absent|
|All Fall Down||Absent|
|Book of Shadows||Absent|
|The Wine Dark Sea||Absent|
|Ill Met by Moonlight||Absent|
|The Beckoning Fair One||Absent|
|Wages of Sin||Absent|
|Til Death Do Us Part||Absent|
|On Earth as in Hell||Absent|
|Midnight Never Come||Absent|
|The Witching Hour||Absent|
- In the first season, the term "Hag" was used to accredit Dana Reed and Dana Lewis, the actresses portraying Mary Sibley's Specter. The Essex Elders' actresses were credited as "Ancient Witch."
- Tituba says that the Elders were the last true witches of their hive.
- The Elders spoke a strange language. Most of the time, they seem to speak backward.
- They share this characteristic with the Widdershins, the latest of Essex witches hidden in the Stronghold under the woods of Salem.
- The reason for their sores and pustules has not yet been revealed.
- Adam Simon, co-creator of the show, explain why and how the Elders were killed off so easily: "As for the Elders — first, Mercy is always underestimated by everyone — that's part of it. But more deeply, the elders are just that — very old, decrepit, survivors from the Old World burning days who now live in hiding in the woods, and have in effect raised a hive of younger New World witches (like Mary and Tituba etc) to actually achieve their goals for them — that's why they've had to manipulate Mary all these years to perform the Grand Rite, and to spread the pox and to build the world they themselves aren't capable of building. And like many of those at the very highest reaches of power, they are actually rather physically powerless themselves, largely protected by their status and knowledge and the fear that surrounds them etc — who would dare to challenge them? Mercy would. Mary actually threatened them many times — and though it isn't entirely clear in the final cut of 201 — that's part of why there's a spell on Mary's boy — precisely to prevent Mary from challenging the Elders or threatening them — Which is why the boy feels it when Mercy is killing them."