|“||We have served Him for a thousand years. And we are the ones who prepared the ground. Now, even if it is Von Marburg who raises our Dark Lord, we will claim our reward.||”|
— one of the hags claims their reward
Decrepit in the appearance, these witches are the last survivors of the Essex witches who moved from the Old World to America in search of a new home. Men and women alike are dressed in rags and covered with sores and blisters, they have filthy hair and empty eyes, like those of the corpses. They speak the words backwards (perhaps this is why they are called Widdershins).
Main Article: Essex Stronghold
The stronghold of the Essex hive is set in an underground cave, whose entrance is sealed by a magical shield that opens only in the presence to those who are worthy to worship at the foot of the Old Ones. The passage is concealed by two trees tied together by vines and twigs that move magically when the words of power are spoken by those who ask to appear before the Widdershins. From Mary Sibley's speech, it is clear that the stronghold is a sacred place and no one is allowed to go to that place, not even the Samhain. According to the Countess Von Marburg, the Essex witches are savage and twig-worshipping barbarians. As the Countess is extremely curious to know the secrets of this stronghold from Tituba, it is possible that this place hide some magical artifact or the Essex witches are aware of useful secrets to the old German witch.
Throughout the Salem series
|“||You would abandon me after all I've done, all I 've sacrificed while we are at war?||”|
In Cry Havoc, Little John has mentioned the Widdershins as those who have guarded him in the seven years of his life. According to the child, these terrible witches didn't allowed him to have toys and by the drawings made by the child in Wages of Sin, is perceivable that they have made him participate to Sabbaths and other murderous rituals.
In Midnight Never Come, Mary Sibley, violating her oath, goes in the Essex Hive's stronghold to seek advice on how to destroy the Von Marburg witches, but the Widdershins are reluctant to help her because of the boundless power possessed by the Countess and her progeny. They are also confident that the Countess will spare them if they put aside themselves during the rise of the Devil and the consummation of the Ritum Magni.
- Little John (to Anne Hale): Is this your room?
- Anne Hale: Once upon a time, it was, when I was very small. But I don't remember, really.
- Little John: So many toys. I wouldn't forget them if they were mine.
- Anne Hale: I'm sure you had as many when you were that small.
- Little John: They didn't let me have toys.
- Anne Hale: "They"?
- Little John: The Widdershins. The Old Ones in the tree where we hid.
- Anne Hale: But surely, your mother gave...
- Little John: My mother wasn't allowed there.
- -- in Midnight Never Come
- Countess Von Marburg (to Anne Hale): As my heir, you can remake the world in any image you choose, as long as you accept your role and your power.
- Anne Hale: Mary Sibley would say she attempted just that to wield her magic for justice...
- Countess Von Marburg: She is not one of us. She is a mere upstart pretender the front woman for a gaggle of twig-worshipping barbarians. You are descended from true kings and queens.
- Anne Hale: I've never longed for power, only love.
- -- in Midnight Never Come
- Mary Sibley: I will not stand by and let it all just happen. I will do anything to stop it, even violate my Essex oath. Hear me, Old Ones. I swear I will not let you ignore me. I will cross the Forbidden Threshold. I am coming to see you. Fail me and we are all doomed.
- -- in Midnight Never Come
- Mary Sibley: The Essex tree is deep and wide, but unseen as any breath. I'll pay the price to come inside, though it may mean my very death. Hear me. I am still the samhain of the Essex, and I've made my vow clear. Kill me if you can, but I will come inside.
- Spider Hag : Mary Sibley!? Go away!
- Hag: (speaking backwards) How dare you cross our threshold, Mary Sibley?
- Mary Sibley: I am no longer Mary Sibley. I'm just Mary. But I am still the Samhain of the Essex until one of you foul wretches takes my head.
- Hag : (speaking backwards) You will be the very ruins of us.
- Mary Sibley: Oh, go on, if any of you dare.
- Hag#2: (speaking backwards) You are spelled by the Von Marburgs. You cannot escape them.
- Mary Sibley: And yet, for a brief moment, I have.
- Hag: You will lead them here. It was too risky! You would destroy the very last of the Essex!
- Mary Sibley: Too risky?! This is our only hope.
- Hag#2: (speaking backwards) This stronghold is our only hope.
- Mary Sibley: No! No, if you would if you would only emerge and rally behind me, then we could defeat Marburg or or or die honorably trying.
- Hag: (speaking backwards) There is no honor in a fruitless death. The battle is already lost.
- Hag#2: (speaking backwards) Tituba speaks on our behalf to the Von Marburgs. She has promised us that if we remain hidden, we will be spared.
- Mary Sibley: Do not believe Tituba's promises. Whatever she says, the Countess will not spare you.
- Hag: (speaking backwards) Peraphs not. But we have served Him for a thousand years. And we are the ones who prepared the ground. Now, even if it is Marburg who raises our Dark Lord we will claim our reward.
- Mary Sibley: You would abandon me after all I have done, all I have sacrificed while we are at war?
- Hag#2: (speaking backwards) Some wars cannot be won. Only survived.
- --in Midnight Never Come
- Widdershins (sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) is a term meaning to go counter-clockwise or to walk around an object by always keeping it on the left. i.e. literally, it means to take a course opposite the apparent motion of the sun viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. The use of the word also means "in a direction opposite to the usual", and in a direction contrary to the apparent course of the sun. It is cognate with the German language widersinnig, i.e., "against" + "sense". The term "widdershins" was especially common in Lowland Scots.
- In the Western Magical Tradition, moving counter-clockwise it is used in black magic rituals as it is a movement opposed the sun and then natual order of things. It is also used in the practice of necromancy to descend into Hell, in more or less literal sense, as well as to create negative energy vortices. In mainstream modern witchcraft, clockwise symbolizes ward off negativity.
- To have access to the stronghold, the postulant (on the show, Mary Sibley) must complete a counterclockwise turn while reciting the spell.
- The Hags maybe were emissaries sent by the Widdershins to discuss what to do with the witches from Salem, since they look similar to each other in appearance and way of speaking and the stronghold is a forbidden place even to the Salem witches.
- Despite hiding in the stronghold as mice, the Widdershins have a high regard of themselves and claim the reward they deserve for having contributed to the Ritum Magni and worshipped the Devil for years.
- According to the words of one of the hags, they have served the Devil for thousand years.
- In 'Cry Havoc' Mary Sibley asked explanations to little John about the identity of Widdershins, as if she were unaware of them. Sequentially, in Midnight Never Come, Mary has walked to the Essex stronghold showing to be well aware of the customs and ceremonies of these ancient witches.