Fiction with Kay

I read. I write. You enjoy!

Do we truly know who Coraline is?

Both the novel and the film Coraline are amazing works! And the characters are very unique and extremely intriguing. But what makes them so interesting, you may ask?

The film itself is full of magic and mystery, but after watching the film several times over and over, I have developed my own surprising theory about Coraline, the Beldam, and Misses Spink and Forcible.

Let’s begin with the leading lady (No, not you, Miss Forcible), Coraline Jones. Coraline is a restless young girl who is constantly searching for an adventure. But I feel that this 10-year-old has some secrets up her sleeve… I believe this nature-loving, free-spirited girl is indeed a witch!

My first piece of evidence is from a scene near the beginning of the movie where Coraline takes a branch from a nearby bush and declares it to be a “dowsing rod”. She even chants, “Magic dowser, magic dowser! Show me the well!” in attempt to use this instrument to help her find an old well she had heard of upon arriving to the Pink Palace. After meeting Wybie, he even refers to her as a “Michigan water witch”.

Also, when Coraline meets the stray black cat, she asks him if he knows of this spoken well, and when he does not answer, she says, “Not talking, huh?”, as if she has experience actually talking to animals. Some believe the myth that witches used to have animal whispering abilities, ultimately talking to their familiars, black cats.

Let’s take a look at Coraline’s parents for a moment. It’s obvious that they are irritable, and that they try their hardest to ignore their own child. But why is that? Could it really be that they are just that tired? Or perhaps they have grown a resentment toward her because they are unhappy with having a witch for a daughter? Why do you suppose the Joneses wound up moving in the first place? Is rent cheaper at the Pink Palace? Did they relocate for business purposes? Or is it possible that Coraline’s witchcraft could had gotten them into trouble in their previous town?

Another clue to Coraline’s witchiness is her love for rainy weather. Witches are known to enjoy storms, being that the energy from the thunder is said to give their spells a great boost. We also know that Coraline enjoys plants and nature all together. Witches are known for growing their own herbs and other plants for spells or rituals, and maybe Coraline is sprouting her interest for such things at an early age.

Let’s look at another more subtle hint to this little detail. When the Joneses are having dinner in their new home, Coraline’s father is singing a cute little song to her:

Oh, my twitchy witchy girl

I think you are so nice

I give you bowls of porridge

And I give you bowls of ice cream

Notice that he says, “Twitchy witchy girl”. Maybe this is sort of an inside joke shared between the two? Or maybe he could be taunting her, reminder her of her huge flaw?

Throughout the movie, we also notice that Coraline is in fact left-handed. Hundreds of years ago, if a person was left-handed, they were accused of being a witch, or even having some relation to the devil. However, I seriously doubt that Coraline had any engagements with the devil at all, so we’re going to overlook that one little myth.

Later in the movie, Coraline actually sees and talks to ghost children. “Well, duh, it’s part of the movie!” Well, do we suppose that Coraline could possess the gift of necromancy? For those who aren’t sure what that term means, it is the ability to interact with or even work with the dead. Not only does she talk to them, but she frees them through a ritual that she just somehow knows, which consists of her sleeping with the soul’s conduits under her pillow.

In the end of the movie, Coraline is walking alone to the old well, preparing to dispose of the key. But notice, as she’s walking, she’s singing her father’s song to herself. Or is she chanting the song? Perhaps she’s using this song as an incantation for self-protection? Afterall, that’s how spoken spells work, isn’t it?

Now that these clues are out in the open, could it be possible that Coraline is indeed a young witch? Or is she simply a young child with a too-wild imagination? Let me know what you think in the comments!

The real history of the Beldam

Let’s take a look at the Beldam. Of course, she’s obviously some sort of other-worldly creature who seems to feed off the lives of children. It is uncertain just how old the Beldam really is, and how long she has been in this other world preying off of children, but perhaps there is something much, much more than meets the eye.

Before she became this spider-like scullery maid, what do you suppose she was during her years of life? Some may say that she was a normal woman who discovered a magical realm and traded her own soul for eternal life within this realm. I, however, have something more in-depth to suggest.

Let’s begin with the land surrounding the Pink Palace. When Coraline first moves to this new place, the first thing that really strikes her interest is an old well. I’m sure you’ve all noticed the ring of mushrooms that surrounded the opening of the well. This is known as a fairy ring, and legends say that these actually act as magic portals to other realms.

Before you guys remind me that this theory already exists, I am fully aware of the YouTuber, the Theorizer’s own story about the well acting as its own entrance to the other world, and I fully agree. However, my own theory does take a more diverse path than his brilliant story does.

Anyway, my point of mentioning the well is that perhaps, there is a natural magical energy beneath the grounds of the Pink Palace. Unfortunately, I cannot answer how it got there to begin with, but I can definitely say that it is possible for this sacred ground to possess its own magical aura.

Now, let’s return out attention back to the Beldam. We see from both the film and the movie that she actually lives off of and bases her entire world off the lives of young children that she lures in like a spider with its prey. But let’s take a closer look. Does she honestly feed off of normal children? Or does she seek out more “special” children? The movie lacks this one piece of evidence, but in the book, we find that the Beldam has actually killed a fairy!

She was a very pale child, dressed in what seemed to be a spider’s webs, with a circle of glittering silver set in her blonde hair. Coraline could have sworn that the girl had two wings—like dusty silver butterfly wings, not bird wings—coming out of her back.”

This theory is also valid when combined with my other theory of Coraline’s being a witch. Unfortunately, I have no evidence to base upon the other two ghost children. However, if this theory is true, it makes perfect sense because the magic from the children’s souls would offer more life and more possibilities to the other world for the Beldam to work with.

Now that we have considered the thought of magic outside of the other world, who else do we believe could have possessed magic in her lifetime? The Beldam. I believe that the Beldam was actually a witch in her life before discovering the other world. Perhaps when she was younger, she discovered her abilities at a young age, and when others found out, they shunned and mistreated her, sort of in the same way Coraline’s parents show a tremendous amount of anger toward her in the film. We already know that the Beldam had a deadly hatred toward her own mother, for in the book, she admits to KILLING HER!

“’I swear it,’ said the other mother. ‘I swear it on my own mother’s grave.’

‘Does she have a grave?’ asked Coraline.

‘Oh yes,’ said the other mother. ‘I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back.’”

Perhaps after murdering her mother, she needed to flee to a safe haven and stumbled upon the land belowground and claimed it as her own. And after discovering that she was in fact not immortal, she knew she had to take drastic measures: finding magical beings to kill and use their magic to sustain her. She also may have decided that children were an easier prey, since children are more gullible and more vulnerable.

It is obvious that she has to build from something already existing, being that she does not have the ability to fabricate anything out of thin air, so perhaps she used portals (ie, the well and other hidden portals that the cat used in the film), and perhaps, she decided to create her own portal inside her home, the Pink Palace, to avoid having to come in contact with any outsiders who may try to harm her for being a witch. This would make it easier for her to gather materials from the real world to build from.

Another thought I have is that the Beldam may be psychic. Notice that the dolls look exactly like the children she is targeting. However, we do notice that the doll looks like Coraline BEFORE Coraline even moves into the Pink Palace. And perhaps she knows when these children are going to move into the manor. We see in the beginning of the film that the sewing room is covered in cobwebs and dust, indicating it has been years since she’s used any of these tools. This could be because she knows precisely when she needs to make these dolls.

Speaking of the dolls, let’s take a closer look at Coraline’s “little me”. Not only does this doll look identical to her, but the doll also seems to make its way to her, as if it’s alive! Okay, okay, I do not actually think it’s alive. BUT! I do believe that the doll can be moved by the Beldam’s magic.

I believe that the Theorizer already covered the fact that the Beldam definitely uses these dolls as her spies, not to mention that Coraline plainly says this in the movie. But perhaps the button eyes are tied to her own via magic. Perhaps the Beldam is able to transport this doll and see into the other world with the button eyes. And on another note, perhaps this doll (or the doll’s eyes) can act as a portal itself! Remember in the film when Coraline falls asleep in the other world and wakes up back home. Notice who is there beside her bed when she falls asleep: the Beldam. Who is there when Coraline wakes up? The doll.

The YouTuber the Fangirl has her own “Limbo” theory, which pretty much says that once Coraline entered the other world the first time, that she never actually returned back to her real world. She believes that the Beldam has actually created an illusion to trick Coraline into thinking that she made it back home, but all the while, she is still in the grasp of the Beldam. (Great theory by the way! If you haven’t already, you really need to check out the Theorizer’s and the Fangirl’s Coraline theories! They’re MIND-BLOWING!)

On the contrary, I believe that the Beldam used the doll to transport her back home. “But why didn’t she do that in the first place? Instead of making her go through the door?” Why didn’t Glinda tell Dorothy that she could have used the red slippers to go home? FOR THE SAKE OF STORY!

Anyway, I do have more evidence on the teleporting doll. Both times that Coraline falls asleep in the other world and wakes up back in her own world, the Beldam is there when she falls asleep, and the doll is there when she awakes. However, the final night that Coraline tries to go to sleep to wake up in her bed, who is missing? BOTH of them! Coraline had left the doll back in her own world, and the Beldam did not follow her into her room.

In addition to the Beldam’s being a witch, as I mentioned in my Coraline witch theory, witches have a special ability to talk to animals, which is most common to be cats, specifically black cats. However, The Beldam seems to have to ability to communicate with the cat, to whom she refers as “vermin”. Instead, it seems that she actually is able to talk to mice and rats. Throughout the film and the movie, we discover that the jumping mice act as the Beldam’s servants, and that they are truly rats in disguise.

Honestly, I had thought that her most compatible animals were bugs, being that bugs are used widely throughout the film; even the furniture is a group of giant bugs! But it seems that bugs are more of a treat for her instead, or maybe an obsession. Many also believe that the Beldam is actually a spider. Of course, she does have spider-like legs and fingers, and she does turn the entire living room into one giant web in the end of the movie, but I honestly think that this is only symbolic, showing that she is trying to lure Coraline into her web, and that she is only feeding her a “web of lies”. Either way you see the spider detail, it is still creepy and very suitable for her character.

Now, let’s talk about the buttons. When the Beldam asks Coraline if she would like to stay with her in the other world, she tells her that she must have buttons sewn into her eyes. The Theorizer had said in one of his videos that he believed that the buttons were more of a placebo, if you will. I, on the other hand, see more definition to them.

Notice that in the film, all the living creatures and people have buttons for eyes. You think she did this to keep them inside her world? I doubt it. I believe that the buttons are her enslaving method. In other words, any creature or person with these buttons are under her control.

“Then why does she have buttons?”

That answer is quite simple. The Theorizer once said that the Beldam sacrificed her eyes to offer her soul to the other world. On the contrary, my answer is that she uses the buttons on herself to link herself with her chosen servants.

Just two sweet old ladies… Or not!

I have two final characters to bring into this theory: Misses Spink and Forcible. These two quirky old ladies add a great deal of humor and life to both the novel and the film. However, their secret is obvious in comparison to the rest. As oppose to them just being your typical senile elderly women, it’s no secret that these two are definitely witches!

When Coraline visits their flat downstairs for the first time, Miss Spink offers to read Coraline’s tea leaves, which is a form of divination (witchcraft!). Also, I believe their magical abilities sister as yin and yang. For example, Miss Spink see a “very peculiar hand” in the bottom of Coraline’s cup, while Miss Forcible flips the cup upside down to reveal a giraffe, informing Coraline that it is indeed good news. While Miss Spink is delivering a sinister warning, Miss Forcible is offering Coraline a good omen, foreseeing a “tall handsome beast” in her future. A minor theory I have developed from this scene is that it is possible that Miss Forcible was actually prophesizing a romantic relationship between Coraline and Wybie, referring to a future handsome Wybie.

Another piece of evidence for this belief is that Misses Spink and Forcible give Coraline a hag stone to seek out “bad things” or “lost things” when she tells them about her missing parents.

Wait, where the heck did they get this from? So glad you asked! Part two of my Spink and Forcible theory includes these two women actually having visited the other world in the past.

Wait, where the heck did they get this from? So glad you asked! Part two of my Spink and Forcible theory includes these two women actually having visited the other world in the past.

I’m sure both women were aware that Coraline would not be able to use the stone in the real world, as it is only an alien object there. So, I am led to believe that they knew perfectly well that Coraline would have to use it in the other world.

Moving on, let’s go back to the tea leaves. When Miss Spink spots the hand drawn by the leaves, how exactly does she know this is a bad sign? Is it possible that she remembers the Beldam’s scary hands from her own experience in the other world? Maybe!

Also, let’s recall the one flaw that Miss Forcible has: her bad eyesight. I know, she’s old, and it’s normal for our vision to fail us as we advance in age. However, there could be another explanation for her impaired vision. My idea is that when the two entered the world together, they experienced the same battle with the Beldam regarding the buttons. I believe that the Beldam attempted to sew the buttons into Miss Forcible’s eyes, but was interrupted when Miss Spink fought back and was able to save bother herself and her beloved friend from her trap. I know, this is a very wild theory for something as small as bad vision, but I say it ties in nicely.

Whether or not it is true that Miss Spink and Forcible did visit the other world, there is not doubt that these two ladies are witches, as there is too much evidence to prove this part of the theory to be correct!

Well, that’s all I have for you guys, and I really hope you enjoyed it! Tell me what you think in the comments!

***I also want to add that I will definitely be extending this event to possibly Tuesday. I had planned to have squeezed everything in over the weekend, but as it turns out, my love for Coraline is too immense, and I’ve packed in way too many projects to publish within a three-day period. With that being said, yay to more Coraline!

Also, if you haven’t, check out my Coraline Book Review and my Coraline Movie Review!

Thank you all again for joining me for my Coraline Weekend! As I’ve said before, this event is also taking place on my official Facebook page, Fiction with Kay, and you are all more than welcome to join me there as well! I hope you all have an amazing night, and remember to Keep Reading!

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