'An absolutely clean child gives off the most ghastly stench to a witch,' my grandmother said. 'The dirtier you are, the less you smell.'
"'An absolutely clean child gives off the most ghastly stench to a witch,' my grandmother said. 'The dirtier you are, the less you smell.'"- The Witches
The Witches was originally published in 1983 and, in the original story, neither the young narrator of the story or his Grandmother are ever named. In the 1990 film version, however, Grandmother was given the name Helga Eveshim and played by Mai Zetterling.
It is often said that Roald Dahl based the character of the narrator's storytelling, cigar-smoking Norwegian grandmother on his own mother - a woman he said was "undoubtedly the absolute primary influence on my own life" in More About Boy.
She is certainly a brave and formiddable character. A retired witchophile, it's her warnings to her grandson that keep him alert to the dangers posed by the Witches. When his brush with The Grand High Witch leaves him forever changed - although not in the film version - she doesn't flinch. Together, they manage to outsmart not only all the English witches but even The Grand High Witch herself...
Nobody has ever seen the devil... but we know he exists.