Witch’s House


“There’s this little girl, she’s in the woods. And then she’s like exploring the woods and she finds this house and she wants to go into the house, but it’s not her house. And she smells something really nice coming from it. She goes in and she finds a wū pó (巫婆), like a witch,  and the witch is like, ‘Do you want some of these candies and cookies and deserts?’ And the little girl is like, ‘Of course I do.’ And she eats all of the food but while she’s munching on it the witch starts to eat her because she really likes to eat childrens bones.”


The informant first heard this from her mom in Chinese when she was around seven years old. She describes it as “a mix of Snow White and Hansel and Gretel in the most messed up way.” She doesn’t remember the context of why she was told the story.


The above tale greatly resembles the tale of Hansel and Gretel, two siblings getting lost in the woods and meeting a witch who likes to eat children. Though this tale doesn’t have a happy ending compared to Hansel and Gretel. While the story may be a little different, it still carries the same message. Don’t trust strangers. A message that has been important in many cultures and likely has multiple tales to express its importance. The ending is used to press the idea that interacting with people you don’t know can have extreme consequences and won’t always end happily.