Wicked witch wanted

2009-07-28 22:06

London - Wanted: wicked witch to cast spell over historic caves in southwest England. Must be able to cackle and not be allergic to cats. Salary $83 000 per year.

That is the job description for a magic role available at Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, southwest England, where the owners are looking for a new witch to delight and terrify visitors after the last one retired.

Hundreds of hag hopefuls lined up on Tuesday for interviews at the caves, which are thought to have first been inhabited by man 50 000 years ago but are now home to flocks of bats.

Each candidate has one minute to convince three judges that they are the right person for the job, by emitting blood-curdling wails or casting a spell over the caves.

David Lamb - who is looking for a new job after losing his as a carpenter two months ago - was there to try out along with his fiancée and their 11-week-old daughter.

"It could really help us out to get this job, and we would do it as a family, so they would get three for the price of one," he said.

The advertisement for the job says applicants "must be able to cackle" and "must not be allergic to cats".

Legend has it that the original Wookey Hole witch lived in the caves in the Dark Ages causing crop failures and turning the local milk rancid before she was turned to stone by a local abbot who threw holy water at her.