Cauldron Sisters brewing up bewitching Halloween fun in Napanee

Tracy Toth (witch name: Alectoria), Justine Feeney (Belladonna), Lorraine Elder Ross (Geillis) Tammy Benn (Hannelore) and Kim Broadworth (Nelvana) are members of the Napanee based witch dance group known as the Cauldron Sisters. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Adam Prudhomme

Deep within a forest in Greater Napanee, a coven of witches known as the Cauldron Sisters gather to perform their ritual.
Rather than cast wicked spells, these witches strive only to have fun, dance and raise money for charity.

Founded by Lorraine Elder Ross, the Napanee area group is modelled after the German coven known as the Wolfshäger Hexenbrut. Dressed in creative witch garb, the German-based troupe gets together to perform a dazzling dance routine at festivals and events.
“We started in August, we’ve been doing rehearsals (at her house), outside and practicing social distancing and all the fun stuff,” said Elder Ross.

When she first floated the idea of starting a witch themed group to social media there was plenty of interest. Currently there are 29 ladies in the Napanee coven.

“I didn’t know most of these ladies before it all happened,” said Elder Ross. “There was a lot of interest. It’s a really diverse group. We’ve got mothers and daughters and some people with some dance background, some with none. We accept everybody.”

Using the German group as inspiration, the local witches have been working on a dance routine.

“We were meeting once a week and then we practice the one dance,” said Elder Ross. “Eventually we would like to go to festivals and open it up so that we could go to an event (free of charge) and after we finished our routine we would pass around a cauldron and then that money would go to a charity.”

Though COVID-19 has meant there’s been no festivals to debut at this year (even witches aren’t immune to the virus), rumour has it witches will be appearing downtown Napanee between the hours of 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Halloween with broomsticks in hand. Mortals can snap photos of the witches and tag them on Facebook and Instagram @thecauldronsisterscoven. The mortal who tags the most witches on social media will become the Grand Witch Seeker.

Saturday will mark the end of the witches ‘season’ of sorts, though they plan to keep busy over the colder months.

“Over the winter we’ll meet via Zoom and I’m working on our choreography so we can add to our repertoire,” said Elder Ross. “Right now it’s a repertoire of one. We want to add to that so that when we go to events there’s more than one thing to do.”

A YouTube channel showcasing their dance routine will soon be launched and they already have an active Facebook group known as The Cauldron Sisters Coven.

Elder Ross says the new hobby has been a lifeline through the pandemic, helping to stay connected with peers and to make some new friends. Gathering for a few hours once a week to laugh has been therapeutic for the witches.

“I feel really fortunate that we were able to be this successful under these circumstances,” she added.

To celebrate their first year, the Cauldron Sisters held a year-end banquet of sorts, handing out awards to the members in various categories such as best costume or most creative broomstick. They also donated some money to L&A Interval House.

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