Morales Witches


Morales Witches (19th century) Three Pueblo women of San Rafael, New Mexico, famous as witches.

The women—two sisters, Antonia and PlacidaMorales, and Placida’s 17-year-old daughter, Villa—were so feared that they were never punished for any of their alleged witchcraft deeds. Placida was said to have transformed a young man Francisco Ansures of Cerros Cuates into a woman by giving him a cup of bewitched coffee in retaliation for some offense. After drinking it, Ansures said his hair immediately grew two feet and his trousers turned into petticoats. His voice changed in pitch. Ansures remained a woman for several months before he and his wife could afford to pay another witch to lift the Curse and return him to normal. He said he never did know how he offended Placida.

In 1885, historian and photographer Charles Lummis had the rare opportunity to photograph the three witches standing on the threshold of their adobe hut. People who knew the witches believed that even looking at the photograph would bring bad luck.

The Morales women fared better than another New Mexico witch Marcelina, an old woman who lived in San mateo. In 1887, Marcelina was stoned to death for turning a man into a woman and making another man lame.

Further Reading:

  • Lummis, Charles. A New Mexico David. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1891.
  • Simmons, marc. Witchcraft in the Southwest: Spanish and Indian Supernaturalism on the Rio Grande. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1974.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.

You may be also interested in :

Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want - Deborah Castellano
The Modern Guide to Witchcraft: Your Complete Guide to Witches, Covens, and Spells - Skye Alexander
Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment – Laurie Cabot, Tom Cowan
Out of the Broom Closet: 50 True Stories of Witches Who Found and Embraced the Craft  - Arin Murphy-Hiscock
The Witchcraft Sourcebook - Brian P. Levack
Familiar Spirits: A Practical Guide for Witches & Magicians – Donald Tyson
Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England: A Regional and Comparative Study, Second Edition -  Alan MacFarlane
Witch Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic. - Lisa Lister
Traditional Witchcraft : A Cornish Book of Ways - Gemma Gary
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America - Margot Adler
A Witch's World of Magick: Expanding Your Practice with Techniques & Traditions from Diverse Cultures - Melanie Marquis
HausMagick: Transform Your Home with Witchcraft - Erica Feldmann
Wiccapedia: A Modern-Day White Witch’s Guide  - Shawn Robbins, Leanna Greenaway
Witchery: Embrace the Witch Within -  Juliet Diaz
Witchcraft Continued: Popular Magic in Modern Europe - Willem De Blécourt & Owen Davies
Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch: An Essential Guide to Witchcraft – Rachel Patterson
Veneficium Magic, Witchcraft and the Poison Path - Daniel A. Schulke
Satanism and Witchcraft -  Jules Michelet
Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks, and Covens –  Paul Huson
A Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magick Spells - Cassandra Eason
The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development - Christopher Penczak
Witchcraft in the Middle Ages – Jeffrey Burton Russell
Helping Yourself with White Witchcraft - Al G. Manning
Witchcraft: The Old Religion - Leo Louis Martello
Witchcraft: A Concise Guide or Which Witch Is Which? - Isaac Bonewits
Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in Greek and Roman Worlds - Daniel Ogden
Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore from the Celtic Tradition - Annwyn Avalon
The Witch’s Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit – Arin Murphy-Hiscock
The Visions of Isobel Gowdie: Magic, Witchcraft and Dark Shamanism in Seventeenth-Century Scotland - Emma Wilby
Irish Witchcraft and Demonology - St. John D. Seymour