Friday, June 17, 2011


   If you are looking for a frightening tale of witches these choices beat Blair Witch Project any day! These top 10 best witch horror movies will have you clutching your seat especially if watched in the dark.

#1 Crowhaven Farm (1970)
   This made for television movie is simple yet terrifying. A woman moves into a farmhouse she inherited with her husband only to find it all so familiar. She has dreams of another life in which she betrayed her witch friends to save her own skin. The question is will she do it again?

#2: Warlock (1989)
   Julian Sands is fantastic as the meanest witch of all trying to undo creation. He manages to escape his execution in the seventeen century by fleeing to the twentieth with Satan's help. Hot on his heels in a witch hunter seeking to destroy the witch before hell comes to earth.

#3: The Gift (2000)
   Cate Blanchett plays a good witch who reads Tarot cards to help raise her two young children. When a young woman disappears she is enlisted to help find her dead or alive. This movie has a down home country feel that makes it even more scary when supernatural things begin to happen.

#4: Salem Witch Trials (2002)
   The scariest thing about this made for television movie is how closely it sticks to true events. It addresses the hysteria and fear that enveloped the town of Salem. One child's imagination carried away the common sense of every adult in that township. The fear lies in how quickly that can happen in the worst circumstances.

#5: Eyes of Fire (1983)
   A group of travelers begin having members disappear and realize that an ancient spirit is to blame. The only salvation is a half-insane witch child Leah who has the gifts to save them all. Some truly frightening images that will shock you and I am not talking about Leah eating dirt for power.

#6: House of the Devil (2009)
   A college girl finds a babysitting job that isn't quite what it seems. The dialog between the babysitter and her employers is eerie and leads in well to future events. This movie is frightening at times because it doesn't hold back and punches you right between the eyes.

#7: Darkness Falls (2003)
   The townsfolk of Darkness Falls created their own witch over a simple mistake. The curse she lays on the town will forever have them seeking the light. She visits their children on the night they lose their last baby tooth and wise children don't look upon her face.

#8: Warlock:The Armageddon (1993)
   The evil warlock is back from hell searching for sacred stones that will destroy mankind. The only thing between him and victory are two teenage druids, the last warriors of their kind.

#9: An American Haunting (2005)
   The Bell Witch terrorizes John Bell and his lovely daughter Betsy. The entire family is powerless to protect them both. Betsy has a secret that can end all the torment if only her mother would get a clue.

#10: Elvira: Mistress of The Dark (1988)
   This one falls under the horror comedy area but is well worth a watch. The Mistress of the Dark inherits her witchy aunts home and all the power that comes with the family title. Elvira is a true mistress of horror making this a hoot to watch.


   The Patum of Berga is the famous firecracker party celebrated at Berga. It is a traditional celebration performed during the Corpus Christi and it has been declared by Catalonia government as traditional party of national interest in 1983 and after by UNESCO as oral and immaterial patrimony of the humanity in 2005.
   This celebration consists of diverse representations of mystical and symbolic figures which dance according to the rhythm of the music and drums and it is mainly characterized by the utilization of fire and pyrotechnics.
   The Wednesday before the Thursday of Corpus, the tabal and the giants cross the city announcing the beginning of the parties. Later, the mimic drama begins which is divided in several acts and it represents:  the intense fights of the Christians against the Moors archangel San Miguel, with the help of angels, fights against Lucifer and his devils the jeers against the Arabic commander Abul-Afer (known also as Bullafer), conqueror of the area.

   The act of the aliga expresses the satisfaction of Berga for having finished with the feudal domain and to depend directly and exclusively of the King.
   The parties take place from the Thursday of Corpus until the following Sunday. The following day of the proper Corpus, an infantile Patum is celebrated – it is a version adapted for children.
Following the different groups/persons who compose this celebration.
   The tabal (spokesman) is the one who announces the next parties. He does it, for the first time, on Sunday of the Ascension and  for the second time, on Sunday of the Trinidad. The vigil of the Corpus peals again at midday but this time with the giants. It is said that his sound gives the name to the Patum. According to the tradition, the tabal has the power to clear the sky and that his sound can reach any Berga citizen who is outside of the town, no matter the distance, to announce the day of the Ascension.

   The turks and cvallets (knights) are represented by 4 people dressed in turks with turbans and shining scimitars and other 4 dressed in christian with some little wood horses around their waist. They go in the middle of the place where they form 2 concentric circles to start the battle following the sound of the music expressly composed for this act. The moors chase constantly the knights who flee and always escape from their persecutors. The act reaches its climax when Christians stab the moors.
   The maces are the devils that carry a mace finished off with a whip (a kind of long firecracker) who dance in groups of two with San Miguel and the Angel. When the firecracker explodes, the demon falls dead on the soil. The dance finishes when all the devils are defeated and laid down on the soil.

   The guites are represented by a monstrous dragon with a long neck. The goal of the guites is to persecute the people meanwhile from his mouth goes out non-stop the fire of the firecrackers. In the past, there was only one but at the end of the 19th century, another one was added named Pequeña (smaller). The aliga (eagle) is considered as the most important of the Patum.
   The aliga is undoubtedly the lordliest figure, a symbol of the power which is represented by the ducal wreath and the shield of Berga that he carries. His dance is the most delicate one, with a rapid game of feet, pause and solemnity increasing with the rhythm of the music, to end up by turning on him with great speed.

   The nans vells (old dwarfs). The nans vells dance and, in the same time, play castanets following the sound of waltz music. This part was incorporated into the Patum in 1855.
   The Gegants (giant) There are two couples of giants, the old and the new one (this one has been added in 1891). They delight the public, especially to the infantile one, with his majestic dance.
   The nans nous (new dwarfs). Dated from 1888, they are represented by two couples, the major and the young one. His music is cheerful and with a playful air.

   The plens (plenary). The fire is the most representative element in the celebration of the Patum and the plens represent the infernal orgy. They are represented by 100 devils with a mask of green color and dressed with fresh grass to protect them from the fire. This party only acts during the representation of the night.
   The tirabol is not a group/person but a dance in which all the groups/persons (tabal, guites and giants) have to participate. This dance is the final act of the Patum in which citizens with the giants and guites, connected by the arm, jump and dance non stop in the opposite sense of the clock during the final apotheosis of the party. When the musicians stop to play, people scream them to keep going on so that they can keep dancing, this part can be repeated in occasions up to 20 times. Since some years, at the end of the tirabol, guites return to dance in order to finish off ultimately the Guita Grossa.

   So if you are in Catalonia during the month of June, don’t miss this firecracker and firework tradition celebrated at the Berga town. It is something you have to live before to leave Spain and if you want to know the exact date, check out the calendar of the official website of Berga.