Nightmare Fuel / The Witches

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_witches_1990_1.jpg
  • The Grand High Witch's appearance is horrifying, in all versions. Also, the book invites the young readers or listeners to consider that their teacher — who could be reading the book to them — could be a Witch. It also points out that nice ladies are more likely than nasty ones to be Witches, because they depend on deceit.
  • The various anecdotes about how children are disposed of by the other witches, such as trapping them inside oil paintings or transforming them.
    • One of them simply tells of a little boy who walks off with a smiling lady and is never seen again.
  • The Grand High's Witch's plan to murder all the children in England.
  • The transformation scene of Bruno turning into a mouse is pretty frightening in itself in the movie version (so much so that most of the scene had to be cut to get a PG rating in the United Kingdom).
  • How does the Grand High Witch deal with witches who express reservation about getting rid of all the children? Incinerating them alive.
    Witch: We can't possibly wipe out all of [the children in England]...
    Grand High Witch: ...Who spoke?
    (A hush falls upon the crowd)
    Grand High Witch: WHO DARES TO ARGUE WITH ME!? (notices the witch in question) IT WAS YOU!?
    Witch: (terrified) I didn't mean to argue, your grandness...
    Grand High Witch: YOU DARE TO ARGUE WITH ME!?
    Witch: No, honestly! I-It just was a—
    Grand High Witch: A stupid witch who answers back must BURN UNTIL HER BONES ARE BLACK!
    Witch: No! No!
    Grand High Witch: A foolish witch without a brain, must sizzle into fire and flame! (the witches sitting next to the unfortunate arguer start running out of the way) Any witch who dares to say I'm wrong, will not be with us... VERY LONG!
    (sends a beam of light at the unfortunate witch, who proceeds to scream in terrified agony as she's incinerated by the flames)
  • When the protagonist is caught by the witches. Throughout the scene, he managed to stay hidden and the reader is lured into a feeling of security that he might just get away. Then, suddenly, one witch catches a whiff of him and the rest of the group turns the room upside-down until they catch him. From there, you know it's just a matter of time until something horrible is done to the poor kid.
  • The protagonist's transformation in the book. Since the book was written in first person, we get to hear firsthand what it feels like to turn into a mouse. It's not pretty.
  • There's a brief line in the book that says that American witches have a habit of turning children into food and then making the parents eat them.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/TheWitches