When you look to purchase or build a house likely at the very tip top of your list is strength and solid construction. Far, far down the list is a home built to combat superstitions. So when you find out that this West Michigan home was built specifically to repel witches it might make you think.

Posted to the Our Old House group on Facebook recently was a home with an odd bend in the chimney. The OP says the home is in the West Michigan lakeshore community of Holland. The photo is from the attic and shows a bizarre bend in the brickwork of the chimney leaning like the Tower of Pisa.

Is it a sign of structural deficiency? Not at all. It's an intended feature to build the chimney not quite square. It's called a witches crook and is designed to keep a witch from entering the house because, of course, witches can enter a home via a straight shaft but not through a bent one.

The house in question was built in 1893. Home construction from previous centuries frequently was built with features that were intended to repel witches. In New England, particularly Vermont, homes were built with a feature known as a witch window, a window built off 90 degrees, again so a witch could not enter the home.

This home inspector gives a great look and explanation of a witches crook.

So should you find yourself in an older built home in Michigan, take a peek at the attic and you might just be surprised to see the build is not quite straight - and know you're safe from witch menacing.

Editor's note: the image accompanying this article is a stock image of a chimney and not the home in Holland.

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