A while back I heard somewhere that The Witching Hour was going to be made into a movie, or at the very least, a miniseries. There is even a script purportedly written by Anne Rice herself floating around out there. Needless to say, anticipation and excitement filled me at this prospect, but I have as of yet to hear or see anything more. What’s the hold up, I wonder? This book would be amazing to watch! This is not The Witching Hour of 1996 and addendum to The Craft with Robin Tunney and Neve Campbell. This is the book. The Witching Hour is written by the famously talented Anne Rice, the author of that little vampire tale about a wickedly jaded vampire named Lestat, and the vampire he created, the eternally tormented Louis. If you haven’t read either book, I suggest you read them. If you have read The Witching Hour, you know what I am talking about. For the Mayfair virgins out there, here’s a quick rundown.
The Witching Hour is an incredibly eerie and chilling tale of the matriarchal Mayfair family who just happen to be a long line of witches. This powerful clan is deeply embedded in New Orleans and all that is Southern gentility. They originally hail from Scotland and even journeyed to Haiti before becoming firmly entrenched in the crumbling secrecy of the First Street house. They are an extremely wealthy and successful family, a very secretive clan, and somewhat tight knit despite the plethora of family members. They have a family law firm aptly named Mayfair & Mayfair founded by Julien, one of the most powerful male witches ever born to the Mayfairs. Mayfair & Mayfair deftly manages the Mayfair Legacy, the Mayfair Emerald, and the female Designee. The Designee is the heir to the Mayfair Legacy (First Street House, the emerald, and “the man”), is always a daughter of the last Designee (except perhaps Julien), must exhibit some witchly power, and must meet one other major requirement to become the new Designee.
The Nightmare painted by John Henry Fuseli (1781)
Now the most delectable part of this witchy fable is “the man” and his relationship with the Mayfair witches, and most importantly the Designee. Since the 1600’s, the Mayfairs have had an inescapable covenant with a dangerous and seductive spirit named Lasher. The presence of the discarnate Lasher is ever present, foreboding, and strangely alluring. Is he a demon? Not quite, though he is a spirit called by the very first Mayfair witch Suzanne, his origins may be founded within the race of the Taltos. (The Taltos were a race of superhumans who lived in the Scottish Highlands who were annihilated by the Romans for abhorrent reasons.) Is Lasher a devil? Most definitely. Through the ages, he has manipulated, coerced, seduced and controlled the Mayfairs. Despite his favor, many of his beloved witches suffer tragedy, mental instability, and premature and unfortunate deaths. His fate and the fate of the Mayfairs, especially the Designee, are inextricably bound. He is one of the major reasons, if not the reason, the story of the Mayfair witches is so compelling.
The Talamasca’s Motto
The pseudo antagonists of this story are the mysterious Talamasca, a slightly decaying and aged secret order (of the 1st century to be exact). At times, the Talamasca reminded me of the church in its composition, but instead they are gifted scholarly psychics recording and witnessing the supernatural. They have in their possession a veritable treasure trove of occult artifacts, which they cleave to as their own private museum, and extensive archives of all sorts of paranormal events, occurrences and entities throughout the ages. In fact, they could be accused of hoarding paranormal evidence of all kinds and keeping it a secret from the general population. These silent watchers, or supernatural spies if you will, have of course chronicled the lives of the Mayfair witches for centuries, despite the very real peril to their own lives. They have also unwittingly become bound to the very witches they were set to simply watch.
Lucifer by Franz von Stuck c.1890
The Mayfair witches are wise and powerful, “the man” is always close at hand, and the devilish Lasher will protect his own as long as it serves his malevolent desire to live and breathe. Of course there’s lots more to this frightening tale. It is filled with the exploits of the many witches, their passions and pitfalls, and hair raising paranormal peccadilloes. It is a book that is decadent and alluring, seductive and thrilling, abounding with deeds of very questionable morality and conscience, filled with delightful tricks that are a definite treat. This sensual and lush world is filled with characters that are guaranteed to unnerve.Too delicious, right?
Orlando Bloom as Lasher?
That is why I think this work of fabulous fiction is definitely screen worthy. I think Orlando Bloom would make a perfect Lasher. He looks the part and his voice is Lasher to a tee. I wonder who would be cast as Rowan Mayfair, Michael Curry and Aaron Lightner? Hopefully we’ll see this movie on a silver screen (I’ll even settle for TV) sometime soon.