In Benevento, any kind of supernatural being is called a witch. And boy, are there a lot of them.
The Clopper: An old witch believed to be the last of her particular kind. She haunts the open square of the Theater, chasing children who dare cross it. Every kid in Benevento knows the clop clop clop of her one wooden clog!
Demons: Wily magical creatures who live among humans disguised as animals. In Benevento, 1 in 7 cats are demons, unless they are black, in which case it’s 2 out of 3. Dogs, on the other hand, are never demons. Goats almost always are.
Evil Eye: A curse given by non-witch folk. It can be deflected by looking away, giving the horns, and spitting.
Ghosts: Spirits of those who die before their time. They must be taken care of by the descendants, in whose homes they dwell. (Also called Ancestor Spirits)
Goblins: Animal-like creatures whom Janara keep as pets.
The Horns: A hand gesture made by extending the index and pinkie fingers from an otherwise closed fist. By pointing the horns toward the ground, one is protected from curses such as the Evil Eye and all manner of bad spirits. It is more powerful when accompanied by spitting.
Janara: (Juh-NAHR-uh) Certain men and women can transform themselves into this type of witch by rubbing a magic oil into their armpits and saying a spell. This done, they fly off to the Tree to start a night of mischiefs. Janara belong to a secret society, and don’t dare reveal their secret identities to anyone!
Manalonga: (Man-uh-LONG-uh) The most feared of all witches. They lurk under bridges or inside wells and try to snatch children for unknown (but surely sinister) purposes.
Mares: A type of goblin who sits on children’s chests at night, causing bad dreams.
Mischiefs: Tricks played by Janara on non-magical folk, usually farmers.
Smorfio: (ZMORF-ee-oh) The witch of dreams. The dreams he weaves are puzzles; if solved, they can bring all sorts of good fortune, especially at the lottery.
Spirits: Witches who have no earthly bodies and live in one particular place, be it a house, chimney, stream, or arch. Types of spirits include ghosts, house fairies, and water sprites.
The Tree of the Janara: A walnut tree on the banks of the Sabato River. It is around this tree that Janara gather before going off on a night of mischiefs. It is said that they are accompanied there by goblins and demons, but no one knows!