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Legend of the Witches1969

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  • 3.3
The historical origins of witchcraft in moon-worship and the witches’ legend of creation; initiation rites undergone by the modern witches' divination by birds and animals; Christianity’s absorption of pagan rites; revenge killing; the Black Mass; Cecil Williamson's Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall; investigations into the efficacy of witchcraft; extra-sensory perception; foretelling the future. Featuring the only footage in existence of the infamous "King of Wicca," Alex Sanders, who uses this documentary to guide us through his coven. By then, Sanders had been endorsed by a group of 1,623 practicing Wiccans as "King of the Witches" (with his wife Maxine as "Witch Queen") and turned into a media celebrity. There were television appearances, late-night talks on radio, a sympathetic biography, record albums of his rituals and this film, LEGEND OF THE WITCHES, based on his exploits. These were said to include healing people of warts by "wishing them on someone else, who's already ugly." Another woman was supposedly cured of cancer by Sanders sitting with her in the hospital for three days and nights, holding her feet and pouring "healing energy" into her. Sanders and Maxine parted in 1973 and he drifted into semi-retirement before moving to Bexhill in East Sussex (where he died in 1988). Like Gardner, his legacy was his own tradition of ritual and belief within the Wicca movement, dubbed "Alexandrian" in a play on his first name.

Member Reviews (9)

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top reviewer

This is a dated, but apparently very real documentary on the intimate practices of both old and new rituals of witchcraft. That was impressive, given the secret nature of that sub-culture. The film ignored the existence of "white witchcraft". However, the inferences drawn to, through and around Christianity are quite inaccurate & deceptive. While it is true that the Catholic Church -along with many other religions- adopt many pagan rituals to this day, the difference between religion and spiritual worship of Jesus Christ is not honestly differentiated. Therefore, I couldn't tell if this was a genuine documentary, an anti-witch propaganda piece or a recruiting film for witchcraft & satan worship.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

Bored. Unimpressed. Nothing new or shocking. Not even very good history. And could they find a more monotonous speaker? I am sure someone can get something from this, not me.

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top reviewer

One has to wonder how difficult it must have been to have sex and socialize as this religion was formed. I actually can't find an actual reference to Wiccan as a specific, preceding Madam Blavatsky. I would appreciate links that are historical in reference. The stroboscope? Must have been extremely difficult to produce one for ritual pre-1900s. Anyway, interesting.

top reviewer


top reviewer

As a (non-Wiccan) witch myself, I enjoyed this rare bit of cultural history.

I was so cool !


Scarey. Frightening. Well filmed. But who can swallow this bologna sandwitch?

This is only one viewpoint of Witchcraft. There are many others. Surprizing to see that Alex Saunders finally got naked as all the others did.