Creating a magical connection with the victim designated by a witch to suffer supernatural effects.
|“||Do you remember when I gave you a little doll that very nearly squeezed the life out of you?||”|
— Mary Sibley to Anne Hale
A poppet is a small figure made to represent the distant recipient of magical working. Often these would incorporate such things as hair or nail clipping to strenghten the connection with the victim. Poppets may be made of different materials like wax, cloth, porcelain. To create a poppet a doll must first be crafted then baptized in the name of the target with specific rituals and they should be placed in the vicinity of the person who is the target of the spell; for example, it can be hidden in his or her bedroom. Mary Sibley sewed a doll filled with ingredients such as mouse blood, chopped cockroaches and poisonous weeds to cast an hex on Anne Hale. Noteworthy is John Hale's collection of small figurines similar to tribal fetishes, obtained during his travels, and placed on a shelf in the living room of his house.
The main purpose of dolls in Witchcraft is to represent a victim in a ritual aimed at harming the person in question. To do this, a witch must obtain the victim's intimate objects, whether they are a strand of hair, a jewel or a piece of clothing. The poppet is then filled with deadly objects such as poisonous herbs or cracked cockroaches, and bathed with the blood of an animal sacrifice. Once a bond between a doll and a victim has been created, the witch will be able to do any harm to the hated person by acting directly on the poppet.
- Main article: Dollhouse
The Dark Lord crafted an enhanced variation of these folk magic tricks, creating a whole dollhouse with fetishes representing his inner circle, formed by Mary Sibley, The Sentinel, Cotton Mather and Sebastian Von Marburg, thus constituting a magical protection from the serious damage caused by the Great Terror.
As an offering
Some fetishes made with parts of human bones, wood, clothes, and foliage are often offered to the Devil and hanged on tree branches in the woods. Some of them may be spells to the detriment of some adversary. Many of these poppets spotted by Isaac Walton and Captain John Alden were made of unborn children skeletons, although it is unclear whether they have been stolen from some graves, or borne by the witches themselves.
Throughout the Salem series
When Isaac Walton led Captain John Alden into the woods to witness a Sabbath, in order to convince him of the existence of witches, some skeletons of unborn child and anthropomorphic fetishes hung from tree branches. According to Isaac, they were gifts to the Devil himself by the witches. In the following afternoon, while they were conversing at the Salem Cemetery about love and death, Mary Sibley stole some hair strand from Anne Hale, pretending to caress her face. (The Vow)
Some urchins were playing with rusty poppets, made with some sticks and pieces of cloth. Drawing directly from the horrors caused by the witch-panic, the children hanged the poppets at an improvised gallows built with chopsticks. At nightfall, Isaac Walton led Reverend Cotton Mather into the heart of the woods, headed to the spot where Isaac and John Alden had witnessed a witches' Sabbath just a few nights before. As they examined a spooky Witch Tree, some anthropomorphic fetishes made of twigs were hanging from tree branches.
Later, Mary Sibley used the strand of hair she stole from Anne to craft a doll resembling Anne Hale, filling the body of the poppet with cotton, a handful of unnamed herbs, crushed cockroaches, and the blood of a mouse offered in sacrifice by squeezing it to death. Once she finished the poppet, sewing it and covering it with a dress, Mary made the poppet to appear on the games' shelf in Anne's bedroom, in the middle of other puppets and dolls. Since the bedroom's door opened shortly before the doll appeared on the shelf, it is possible that it had been transported via spectral form. (The Stone Child)
After a night spent in the grip of turbulent erotic dreams, Anne Hale began to feel the first discomfort when, brushing her face, for a moment she saw her face distorted and with completely black eyes. Subsequently, after Mary's authority was challenged by Magistrate John Hale, Mary intensified her curse to teach a lesson to her fellow witch. By sacrificing another mouse, Mary almost squeezed the life out of Anne Hale. As Anne's lungs were filled with blood and her respiratory tract obstructed, the hexed doll began to move by itself, turning its head towards Anne as if it was watching Anne as she went to the ground in agony for suffocation. Only the pleas of John Hale, and his total submission to Mary's will pushed the woman to lift the spell. (In Vain)
In an attempt to explain to Anne the fascination and the power of witchcraft, Mary Sibley confessed she was the craftswoman of the doll which almost took Anne's life a year ago. (Cry Havoc)
Countess Von Marburg noticed the collection of exotic anthropomorphic poppets when, appearing in the middle of the Hale's Cottage living room, she began to blackmail Anne Hale if she had not done her orders by taking the side with the Marburg witches in leading the last stages of the Grand Rite. (Midnight Never Come)
With the expiration of time and the upsurge of Great Terror on Salem, the Dark Lord gathered his inner circle into the library of The House of the Seven Gables, telling them of the existence of a dollhouse, complete with dolls resembling them. The dolls, if placed inside the dollhouse, would have protect their human counterparts from the indescribable terror caused by Hell on Earth. (Wednesday's Child)
- Mary Sibley: "Do you remember when I gave you a little doll that very nearly squeezed the life out of you?"
- Anne Hale: "That was you!?"
- Mary Sibley: "I can teach you to control that."
- -- in Cry Havoc
- Dolls and fetishes have always been associated with sorcery and black magic. The brutal witch-hunts in England saw among its accused a group of witches who were charged of having created a poppet to the detriment of King Charles I.
- In British folklore, origin of most of colonial superstition, a cursed doll was known as poppet (old version of the modern puppet), and also maumet (a demonization of Mohammed, considered a false idol) among the several dialect variants.
- In his travels to the Old Continent, John Hale collected a number of fetishes, dolls, statuettes and tribal masks. His exotic collection was kept in his house, arranged on shelves in the living room.