Scott Snyder: Wytches really came about because my parents, when I was growing up, had a house in pretty rural Pennsylvania — and we had a neighbor who had a kid that was my age and we used to go exploring in the woods across the road from our houses … and we’d put nails in bats and make up these stories about evil Satan worshippers that lived deep in the woods. Then every piece of garbage was evidence these people were real — I remembered me and my friends used to talk about a family of witches living in the woods. My parents kept the house, and I was back there with my kids about a year and a half ago. I was going for a run back along the road where the path into the woods lead … but they’d built a school there since I was a kid, and as I was looking back behind the school to see the path, this tree kind of leaned out from behind another tree and spooked me out — it looked like a person peeking out from behind another tree. I remember having this sort of overwhelmingly creepy feeling — not that there’d be a monster back there, but that there’d been a monster there waiting for me this whole time, since I was a kid. That idea really spooked me out, and I remember knowing there was some sort of a seed of a story there. And it sparked.
SS: What if witches, instead of being the kind of green-skinned, cauldron-stirring, broom-riding, pointed-hatted hags, were, instead, these kind of very elusive awesome offshoots of humanity that lived on flesh and lived deep, deep in the woods and who waited out there for people to come to them? So, they don’t come to your house and break in and drag you out to the woods — what happens is they have this incredible knowledge of natural science, their own sort of ancient private science. So they can make these mixtures — cure all sorts of ailments modern medicine can’t. They can make you forget things, add years to your life. They come after you if someone marks you, pledges you to them. Marks you with this scent only they can smell and the idea really is these witches are really scary because they’re extensions of the worst parts of us. They only come after you if somebody else pledges you — and, in that way, I knew I had a kind of story there. It would allow for a deep personal horror that I love the most — where it’s not just a story of people pit against a monster, but about a monster that’s sort of reflective of the darkest and most nightmarish parts of human nature.