Invisible Brocken Witches, ca. 1899

Here is another German postcard celebrating the witches of Brocken Mountain, specifically the plateau known as the Hexentanzplatz [the witches’ dancing place]. Can you see the witches? If you are not a witch, then “Bitte gegen das Licht halten” [please hold against the light].

Now you should be able to see thirty figures in five groups. In the sky, at top-left is a goat with search-light eyes illuminating the way, followed by six witches on brooms and a devil and witch closely embraced. Immediately below the hotel (with windows nicely illuminated), and slightly to the left, is a couple, four single witches (one on a broom, another wearing a pointy hat), a cat and a dog. Immediately below them, and slightly to the right, are seven figures, two of whom are embracing, while one is on a broom. Immediately below this group, is a witch and a goat, to the left of whom is the final group: of three witches and a cat. So, we have: 24 witches (3 male), 1 devil, 2 goats, 2 cats and a dog, quite a crowd!

[detail of top-left]

The postcard is captioned “Gruss vom Hexentanzplatz” [Greetings from the witch’s dancing place], “Bitte gegen das Licht halten” and “‘Meteor’ D. R. G. M. 88690” at the top-right and “No. 200” at the bottom-left. “Meteor” was a Berlin publisher (i.e. Berlin, Internationaler Verlag “Meteor”), while D.R.G.M. stands for “Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster” [German Reich Registered Design], so “88690” is a copyright number. I presume “No. 200” is a series number. This card has not been posted, but other cards with this copyright number are postmarked 1899 or 1900 (if you Google “88690” and “Meteor” you will find this epilepsy-inducing page of Hold-to-light postcards, among many others).

And, for the record, I justify including this fabulous card on the basis that at least some of our witches are attractive and a few are nude. Admittedly, most are misshapen lumps, but Venus herself is nearly mono-breasted in the Tannhäuser card published by Meteor (click on no. 16 here). So, clearly, the publisher did the best they could to depict twenty-one sexy witches, but the task was beyond them. I have another HTL (hold-to-light) Brocken postcard, with fewer—and sexier—witches, but I haven’t scanned it yet, so you will have to wait and see that invisible sexy witches are possible!

5 Responses to “Invisible Brocken Witches, ca. 1899”

  1. This is the neatest post in some time. I knew there had to be a few in the clouds. Seeing a bunch in the hills was a bonus and anytime you see a flying goat with searchlight eyes or a person canoodling with a goat-man in mid air, well, that’s a red letter day.

  2. Persephone Says:

    I love that card! Simple miracles, little surprises, those are what I miss most from my childhood.

  3. This is an amazing card! I love the goat, and the one witch that is bent over, hat on, legs crossed, and while, yes, it is a little blobby, you can almost see that “Come here, handsome” grin on her face!

    This is very, very cool!

  4. I have postcard from Germany dated 1946 with the title “Die sage vom Brocken.” The witches of Brocken, bats & goats, flying over a tumultuous sea, to meet at the devils pulpit. By Louis Glasor, Leipzig numbered 4225. (I would ask is there any value on these postcards). I find this story very interesting. Thank you BR.

  5. redwitch1 Says:

    Brian, I am not familiar with the card, but the value will depend on condition and the quality of the artwork. The only way to really find out the value is to put it on eBay, but Brocken cards sell, on average, for between USD10–100.


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