So, you’ve probably heard of Santa coming down the chimney, but did you know he isn’t the only holiday character that’s known for making his way into your home this way? Unfortunately, the other one isn’t quite so jolly.
Many chimneys back in the day were built with a bend in their structure, and rumor had it that these were to prevent witches from flying down them and into your home on Halloween. Apparently, these enchantresses are only able to fly in a straight line, so even a slight angle will successfully deter them! So, if you were hoping to avoid the mischievous cackle of an evil witch in your home on the 31st, then a witches crook would for sure prevent at least one entry point in your home!
On a more serious note, these slopes were likely added more for aesthetics than anything else. Back in the day, before central heating was common in almost every household, fireplaces were set in the middle of the living space to guarantee more heat all around.
Unfortunately, the center of the home didn’t always line up with the peak of the roof (which was where the most stylish chimneys exited the home) leaving homeowners often unsatisfied. To ensure both visual appeal and heating efficiency, a bend (or witches crook) would be added.
Where Would My Witches Crooks Be?
If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a witches crook, we suggest popping into your attic to take a look. To ensure everything looked as good as possible for homeowners and their guests, the masons constructing these would have the bend occur in the attic where it could be effectively hidden from sight.
Is My Witches Crook a Problem?
If you have a witches crook you may be wondering if this is a problem for the functionality, safety, and overall efficiency of your chimney.
And perhaps the bigger question is… if you have it straightened, will you have to fear an unwelcome visitor brewing potions in your living room on the 31st?
Well, we can’t speak much on the habits of witches, but we can speak on how your chimney is affected. Getting our techs in to look things over is the next step you’ll want to take here, but rest assured, things will most likely be just fine. It actually takes some skilled hands to build a witches crook, so if your home needed it done, it’s likely the mason who was hired who really knew their stuff.
The only issues you’ll have to worry about are the same things every other chimney and fireplace owner worries about (whether they have a bend in their structure or not). This includes things like water damage, leaks, clogs, deterioration, creosote buildup, animal entry, and the like.
If everything looks fine, though, there isn’t any reason we’d need to deconstruct or rebuild your chimney. Which means, not only did you avoid expensive repair costs this season, but you’ll also be protected from those evil hags year after year! (Although we’re not sure if this goes for their spells and hexes, too – for that, you’re on your own!)
Decorating for Halloween?
Once you know no witches will be swooping down your chimney and messing up your fireplace decor this year, you may be considering livening up your hearth and mantel with Halloween-related decor.
Just keep in mind some safety tips while doing so!
- Use non-flammable decor.
- Don’t let anything hang down where it might potentially ignite.
- Don’t throw old, damaged, or unwanted decor in the fire (this causes it to smoke and increases the amount of creosote deposits).
- Don’t tempt your pet with dangling items. This puts both your home and your little critter at risk!
- Use items that are sturdy and stable, so nothing accidentally falls and breaks.
- Avoid putting plants by the fireplace, as they can quickly dry out and become a fire hazard.
- Don’t use real candles. Although these are known for adding to that spooky vibe, they can drip wax onto your mantel and create an easy pathway for flames to travel.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close by.
Schedule Your Inspection Today
Witches crook or not, the most important thing you can do this year is ensure that your system is soot-free and safer for use this fall and winter – and, of course, ready for Santa come Christmas. Fortunately, a slope in the chimney won’t hinder him, but you wouldn’t want excess creosote getting his red coat dirty!
Jokes aside, keeping your system free of debris and damages is vital for safety and efficiency during the burning season. This means if you have yet to schedule your annual inspection, now is the time to get it done.
Our team of experts are experienced, CSIA-certified, and committed to being honest and reliable throughout every job we take on. If you’re looking for quality care in the Nashville area, we’re the crew to trust.
Give us a call to ensure you’re set up right. We look forward to speaking with you soon!