National Union of Fairies, Sprites, Elves and Dropouts

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How to Experience the Sensation of Flying on a Broomstick

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The information given on this page is real, genuine stuff. This is how the village hags of old really did experience the thrill of flying on a broomstick, and in telling of their enjoyment gave rise to the tales we hear today. This information was given out by garden designer Chris Beardshaw on BBC Radio 4 Gardeners' Question Time on 6th August 2006 (yes, really).

  1. First, find and dig up a plant of vervain (Verbena officinalis). This is a wild British native plant - next time I see one I'll try to take a photo to put here. According to Chris Beardshaw it grows in damp wild places, but according to my book on wild flowers it grows in dry bare or sparsely grassy places - I can't remember where I've seen it. Anyway, the part you want is the root.
  2. Put the root in a little water and pulverise it very thoroughly, then soak a piece of cloth in the liquid.
  3. Wrap the cloth around the broomstick and press against it a part of your body where plenty of blood vessels are close to the skin.

The result is hallucinations (so you can guess which part of their bodies the old hags used to ride the broomstick).

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