So, you’ve recently noticed that there’s a bend in your chimney and it has you asking a bunch of questions. Like… why is it there? Is it normal? Do I need to take special care of it? And most importantly – how on earth does Santa make it down the chimney if there is a kink in it?

Well, it isn’t just any old bend – it’s a witches crook. And while it may sound scary, it was put there on purpose and maybe not for the reason you might think. (And no worries – Santa can still slide down it.) At Ashbusters Milwaukee, we’d be happy to answer all of your questions. 

Why Do I Have a Witches Crook?

A witches crook is most often present because the fireplace was in a location that wasn’t directly below where the builder wanted to place the chimney.  

The highest point in the roof is typically where the chimney is placed in order to make your home look aesthetically-pleasing. If that location on the outside of the home isn’t directly above the placement of the fireplace inside, the mason might build a witches crook to allow the chimney to function properly, while still looking good.

Is it normal to have a witches crook? Having a witches crook in your chimney is more common than you’d think – and it doesn’t typically invite a lot of problems or issues in terms of safely using your fireplace.

What Do Witches Have to Do With It?

So, you know what a witches crook is and why they are typically built. But… what do witches have to do with it? 

a black silhouette of a witch flying on a broom in front of an orange and yellow round moonThroughout history many things have been associated with chimneys. For example, Greece, India, and many other places around the world tell us that chimneys are the entry point for babies that were dropped off by storks.

The tradition of Santa Claus is another thing associated with chimneys. In some places, Santa was joined by scary demons that would enter the home through the chimney. Santa might bring you gifts if you were good, but the demons would leave you coal if you were bad.  Yikes!

And witches have also long been associated with chimneys. Some legends tell of old women who would come down your chimney after the new year, broom in hand, to sweep up the worries of the past year. If you left them wine and goodies they would leave happy. If they didn’t get any snacks, they might not be so nice.

You see, witches can’t fly at angles, just straight lines. And that small bend in your flue is perfect for ensuring they can’t swoop into the home through this easy opening.

Over the years, these myths and legends evolved, turning witches into creatures we watch to keep far away. The bend in your chimney is called a witches crook because, when families would gather around the fireplace to tell stories, they would look at the chimney and tell the children that the crook was put there to keep the witches out. You see, witches can’t fly at angles, just straight lines. And that small bend in your flue is perfect for ensuring they can’t swoop into the home through this easy opening.

Do I Need to Take Special Care of My Witches Crook?

Worried a witches crook is gonna invite more maintenance (and cost) than you can afford to give it? Well don’t stress – just because you have a witches crook in your chimney doesn’t mean that you’ll have to invest more in chimney care. 

By itself, a witches crook should make little difference in the health of your chimney. In fact, it could be a positive in terms of the strength for your chimney.  After all, it’s not easy making bends in masonry work – the mason that put it there must be pretty good.

What Can I Do To Make Sure My Chimney Is Healthy?

Witches bend or not, the care and maintenance of your chimney is very important to the health of your home and your family. Which is why a quick call to Ashbusters Milwaukee to book your inspection is an easy way to make sure your chimney is in great shape – and that any witches in the area will stay away.

Ashbusters Milwaukee will provide you with care from the best team of chimney and fireplace technicians around. Certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), we are highly trained in spotting chimney problems and fixing them fast – saving you headaches and giving you a lot of peace of mind.

Call Us In This Spooky Season

Halloween is coming, and witches aren’t the only thing you need to worry about getting stuck in your chimney. Schedule with the team here at Ashbusters Milwaukee, so we can help you identify how you to keep out falling leaves, wandering animals, and eventually snowfall, as well. We don’t even need you to leave out goodies for us!

With our help you can be sure that you and your loved ones are happy and warm as you pass out treats to the cute, trick-or-treating witches – while keeping the bad ones away.

Call us at 414-377-7450 or reach out online today.