A witch (wicca male, wicce female) is a person who allegedly uses supernatural or magical powers. Many years ago, mainly in the medieval times, it was widely thought that witches were working with the devil. Witches were said to have secret meetings and ate babies.
In about 1300, people started witch hunting, and the worry of witches had been spread all over Europe. The fear became a craze at the end of the middle ages (about 1450) that lasted for over 200 years.
In 1486, Heinrich Kramer published a book called Malleus Maleficarum (meaning ‘Hammer Against the Witches’). This book is made up of three sections,
The devil exists and has power to influence people in to becoming witches.
How witches influence others in to becoming witches.
How you would prosecute witches and how to tell if someone is a witch.
This book was banned by the Catholic Church in 1490, but in 1520 it was reprinted again in 14 editions and became one of the most used books by witch hunters.
A form torture to punish witches was the Word of God. The witch sat on a chair that was balanced against the weight of the Bible, if the witch was heavier than the Bible she was innocent.
To see if the witch was guilty, they would also prick them with a long needle like spike that would be poked in to the flesh of the witch and removed quickly, if the needle showed blood they were innocent, but if the needle was clean they were guilty.
The origin of whichcraft is that it never existed at all. It was made up by the Catholic Church just so they could gain control over people more easily.
In 1687 Louis XIV issued an order against witchcraft that says you should ignore black cats and other superstitions. After that the number of accused witches dropped very quickly.