Macabre 18th Century mummified cat ward against witchcraft


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The practice of putting sealing up dead animals into the walls of houses has been going since the middle ages in Europe. The belief seemed to be that a dried cat or dog would protect against witchcraft and scare a witch's familiar away from the house. It might have also been believed that the presence of these mummified animals also scared away rats and mice.

This cat was discovered behind the plaster when the owner was renovating a house that dated back to the 18th Century. As you can see, the cat has been partially eaten by flies, beetles etc. over the centuries and on the reverse the skeleton is showing through the desiccated skin.

This is a great example of a folklore and belief that stretched for many centuries.

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