I’m not sure when I started collecting witches. I remember going to a public ritual in 1988 or ’89 and seeing someone with a beautiful witch. “Where’d you buy her?” I asked. I went to the same store the very next day. Now I have (I think) 350 witches (not including me and not including the witch doll who rides in the back seat of my car with her own seatbelt). For a long time I thought I had about 200, but when I was interviewed a few years ago, I did a witch census.

They’re in every room—including the rubber duckies in the bathroom—and on nearly every horizontal surface in my home. They’re also on the walls, like, a photo of Margaret Hamilton in full regalia and witches riding their brooms. There are also shelves of witch dolls above my bed. That’s in case the Big One hits: I’ll be pelted with cloth dolls. It’s hard to count my witches. I’m convinced that when I try to count them, they move. So I took a pen and paper and kept a running list, and I did it three times and got three different numbers. That’s why 350 is only my best current guess.

I used to take some of “the girls” to the Samhain rituals held in the early 1990s by the Circle of Aradia. I set them along the mantelpieces and on other flat surfaces in the ritual room. To this day, women remember seeing my witches.