The Official Witch of Los Angeles

louiseIn 1969, as Los Angeles was being horrified by the acts of the Manson family, another occult drama was unfolding in the highest reaches of local government.

It seemed that County Supervisor Ernest Debs had offended a witch who, the year before, had cast a spell to increase “sexual vitality of the County of Los Angeles.” She was now threatening to “de-spell” the County, leaving L.A. in a less fertile state.

The witch was Louise Huebner, wife of film production illustrator Mentor Huebner who would later be known for his work on Blade Runner and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Mrs. Huebner had risen to local prominence for organizing a large number of festivities celebrating the city’s birthday and for doing astrology segments for local radio and television.

To help promote a series of summer concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in 1968, Mrs. Huebner was hired to cast the fertility spell on stage. To make her legitimate, one week prior Ernest Debs had presented to her a signed certificate, complete with County seal, certifying Louise Huebner as the “Official Witch of Los Angeles”.

On July 21, 1968, with the help of 11,000 members of the Bowl audience, L.A.’s witch cast her first “official” spell.

After the ceremony, Mrs. Huebner went on to use her new title of Official Witch of Los Angeles to promote appearances, on her book jackets, and even on her own record album, “Seduction Through Witchcraft”.

Meanwhile, Ernest Debs, who had given the her the title, was cursing himself for doing so.

officialwitch.gifLess than a year later, his office attempted to dismiss the title, referring to it as merely a gag to promote the Hollywood Bowl, and that Louise Huebner was not only not a witch, but she didn’t believe in witchcraft. Finally, in December, 1969, a lawyer for the County sent Mrs. Huebner a letter insisting she had no authority to use the title, and demanding she “discontinue its use”.

On the website where Mrs. Huebner tells the tale, she writes the letter, “I guess was meant to shake me up. Being a Witch ~ I don’t shake up easily.”

Instead, she used a few spells learned from her background in P.R.: sending a reply to the County of Los Angeles explaining that she was offended by the demand, and issuing a press release threatening to “de-spell” the County if her title was revoked.

“What with smog and freeways being what they are, I shudder to think of what the De-Spelling could do to devastate the County.”

The story hit national wires, and perhaps as a result, there is no indication the County pursued the injunction.

To this day, Louise Huebner remains the first, and only, Official Witch of Los Angeles.