Study Guide

The Witches Chapter 8

By Roald Dahl

Chapter 8

Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse-Maker

  • This chapter is one to be read. By you. Seriously. Go do it.
  • It's pretty much a back and forth between the GHW and the other witches, who basically just praise and confirm and ooh and ahh at everything she says. It is kind of like Sesame Street meets Fascism. If that doesn't make you want to check it out, what will?
  • In case you don't get around to it, though, the GHW gives the witches their plan, and here it is: all the witches will buy the best sweet shops in their towns (with the money the GHW makes herself). Then they will each have a Great Gala Opening and give out free sweets to all the children.
  • Here's the catch. Each of those sweets will have a magic formula inside – FORMULA 86 DELAYED ACTION MOUSE-MAKER.
  • In case you're not familiar with FORMULA 86 DELAYED ACTION MOUSE-MAKER, here's what happens to children who ingest it: they turn into mice. (Not right away, though – hence, delayed action). Naturally, once they're transformed and there are mice running around everywhere, people will set-up mouse traps and all the mice (a.k.a. children) will die.
  • As if this isn't creepy and violent enough, the GHW finishes with a really spooky and ominous song (again, just check it out).