As you may have heard recently the village of Wookey Hole in Somerset, England has had a problem as of late. They had no Witch haunting the grounds of the Wookey Hole Caves, a tourist attraction which draws tourists from around the world and has been the site for movie and television filming over the years including scenes for “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and the television programs “Doctor Who” and “Robin of Sherwood”. One part of the caves, known as Witch’s Cavern (chamber 2 in the 25 chamber cavern), has been tied to myths and legends and is thought to also be haunted by the spirit of a monk who was cursed by a Witch living in the caves. This legend and the supposed paranormal activity, drew attention of the UK paranormal show “Most Haunted” where they did an investigation which aired in March of this year. But the problem as of late has been that the cave has been with a Witch to cast spells and, no doubt, freak out a tourist or two, after the current resident Witch, a woman named Jane Brenner, decided to move to another part of the UK and retire from her post.
So what does one do when they need to fill a spot of a full time Witch to live in a tourist attraction (a somewhat dank on at that) and share their space with (naturally) a cat or two? You hold a huge audition and offer $80,000 (USD) in yearly salary and hope you get a bite or two. Well that was no problem. Over 3,000 people requested applications for the audition which was eventually narrowed down to about 300 people to attend a live audition before a panel of judges. Out of those it was down to 15 finalists covering quite a spectrum of professional careers from journalist to aromatherapist. But it would be a real estate agent named Carole Bohanan that would beat out thousands to become the new Carla Calamity, Witch of Wookey Hollow.
Bohanan was quoted after her win saying:
“I am going to be a great witch. All it takes is a little bit of magic and a little pizzazz. It’s a natural progression from my old job as an estate agent. I have been using my witching skills to sell houses for a long time.”
Does this mean that Bohanan is one of the many actual practicing Witches that auditioned for the job? The jury is still out on that one, but Bohanan will be expected to cast spells in her cave for tourists to see as well as teach those that come through her part of the cave about Witchcraft. How much of that “teaching” has to do with real Craft as opposed to legend and myth is anyone’s guess, but she’ll be making a pretty penny by cackling and skulking around the caves each day.
At least one positive is that, while it’s expected that she’d be wearing the typical Witch costume to her audition, as least she didn’t come with the large wart covered hooked nose and green face that many did arrive with.
It’ll be interesting to see some photos of her in her official Wookey Hole costume in the future. Either way, it’s a job meant to entertain ultimately and I hope she has a good time at the end of the day.