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Miss Cackle

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Miss Cackle 1986

Amelia Cackle

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Magical Status

Witch

Gender

Female

Hair Colour

  • Grey
  • Brown (young)

Eye Colour

Blue Grey

Family

Occupation

Headmistress and Spells teacher

Actress

Miss Cackle (Miss Amelia Cackle in the 1998 series; Miss Ada Cackle in the 2017 series) is the kind-hearted headmistress and spells teacher of Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. Plump and pleasant, Miss Cackle is more lenient towards Mildred when she is in trouble, and rather than intimidate the girl as Miss Hardbroom does, Miss Cackle gives sorrowful lectures which causes Mildred to feel guilty for the trouble she is in. Her familiar is Pendle.

Story

Miss Cackle’s family have been heads of the academy for generations. Miss Cackle has an evil twin sister named Agatha Cackle who is bitterly jealous of her position of authority at the Academy (Agatha believes that Amelia "cheated her out of her inheritance"). Multiple times, Agatha and her coven of rebellious witches plotted to overthrow Miss Cackle and take over the Academy.

Books

In The Worst Witch, Agatha and her coven of rebellious witches plotted to overthrow Miss Cackle and turn her, the staff, and students into frogs as they slept. Mildred caught them as they brewed their invisibility potion, by turning them into snails and taking them to the school to show Miss Cackle. Ashamed that her own sister would break the Witches' Code, she ordered Agatha to accept defeat and live the code like all decent witches. Agatha reluctantly co-operated.

In The Worst Witch Strikes Again, Miss Cackle's birthday is celebrated at her beloved Academy, and her students believe it to be the most boring event of the year. The girls are all expected to sing, recite or chant for her in the Great Hall. Miss Cackle’s birthday is in the summer term (March-July). It is in July in the books, earlier in the term in the TV series.[1]

Agatha reappears in Mildred's third year[2], where she sneaked into the school disguised as a new teacher, Miss Granite, with a high-pitched, squeaky voice, a huge cloud of orange curls, and an extremely bizarre personality. She is later found out by Mildred when Mildred comes to collect Tabby from her. Luckily, Mildred and her friends turn Agatha and her coven into snails themselves. While disguised as Miss Granite, Agatha is able to appear and disappear HB-style.

1986 Film

1998 TV series

Miss Cackle attended a witches' school in her childhood, along with Wilhelmina Wormwood (who becomes Mistress Hecketty Broomhead). It's unknown if she studied at her family's academy or another school. [3]

in Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, three witches in the woods, one of which is Miss Cackle's evil twin sister Agatha, plan to sneak in toto the school invisibly and turn everyone into frogs. They succeed in turning Miss Cackle into a frog before being foiled by Mildred Hubble.

In Miss Cackle's Birthday Surprise, the Academy celebrates Miss Cackle's Birthday. In Let Them Eat Cake, We learn that Miss Cackle, who has a love of cheese, cheese cake and cream cakes, spends most of her free time at Cosie's Tea Rooms. She doesn’t want anyone to know she’s there, but they all know she goes there.

In A Bolt from the Blue, Agatha kidnapped Amelia in the middle of the night, tied her up and locked her in the storeroom. Agatha then pretended to be her sister and ran the school as Headmistress, until Mildred realised she was an imposter and rescued Miss Cackle.

In The Inspector Calls, we see that Miss Cackle is not above using bribery to ensure the safety of her school, when Mistress Broomhead is turned back into a little girl. After revealing that the girl was a bully and was expelled, she promises to keep the whole thing quite so long as Broomhead signs documents saying that the school passed its inspection with flying colours.

Mr Hallow previously owned the Academy, but it was returned to Miss Cackle as of as of Mildred’s second year.[4]

In Just Like Clockwork, Miss Cackle was away visiting her ill Aunt Gertrude, with Mistress Broomhead running the Academy; she returns when the other teachers ask for her.

Miss Cackle keeps the Mythocopia, a powerful book used for summoning monsters, behind the wall panel of her office.You need a password to get into it, and if you don't have the password, a cage drops down on you until she says the password again. Miss Cackle changes the password every week, when Mildred’s friends took the Mythocopia, the password was “Cauliflower Cheese”.[5]

The New Worst Witch

Miss Cackle is a Time Witch, and therefore has the ability to manipulate time itself.[6]

2017 TV Series

In this series, Miss Cackle's first name is Ada instead of Amelia.

On Selection Day, Mildred witnessed Agatha putting a spell on the celebratory meal, and managed to prevent Miss Cackle eating the soup (which was enchanted with a total obedience spell). However, Agatha still invoked a section of the Witches Code, which led to her and Miss Cackle engaging in a magical duel. Agatha won and transformed Miss Cackle into a snail. Fortunately, Mildred prompted her cat to knock the enchanted soup over Agatha, and then ordered her to transform Miss Cackle back to normal. Agatha's powers were then confiscated.

In The Great Wizard's Visit, Miss Cackle was placed in an enchanted sleep by Agatha, who subsequently impersonated her. Fortunately, Mildred realised the deception, and told Maud and Enid about it, which led to Maud feigning illness to skip the broomstick display. As the display got underway, Maud found the enchanted Miss Cackle and reversed the spell. Outside, Mildred's broomstick went out of control, but Miss Cackle arrived in time to save her, revealing that she was the real Headmistress as Agatha could not do magic, and Agatha was subsequently banished.

In The Mists of Time, Mildred and Ethel accidentally went back in time, and met Ada and Agatha as schoolgirls, and their mother, Alma, as Headmistress of the Academy. At that time, the sisters shared a mutual goal of trying to take their mother's power, and subsequently run the Academy by themselves. However, Mildred and the Miss Cackle from the present managed to dissuade Ada in the nick of time, and they also discovered a terrible secret - it was not Ada, but Agatha, who was the older sister of the two (by 13 minutes), which meant that Agatha was supposed to inherit the Academy. Alma explained to Miss Cackle that she lied about which twin was older as she wanted Ada to inherit the school, for she knew that Agatha would never run it according to the proper values. Agatha ended up being expelled and sent to Wormwood's Academy (where wicked witches were sent) while Ada became Head Girl. As Miss Cackle revealed, at some point as adults, she and her sister attempted to run Cackle's Academy together, but it was a disaster.

In The Worst Headmistress, Agatha uses her birthright and some trickery to take over the school, and Miss Cackle is trapped in the painting in the Headmistress' office. After the students are unable to rescue Miss Cackle, Miss Hardbroom tries to summon Miss Cackle herself, but her magic sets off the Agatha’s alarm, and Agatha traps Miss Hardbroom in the painting as well. When Agatha tries to destroy the school, All the students chant together to stop her spell, and this also changes Esmerelda Hallow, the teachers, and the grand wizard back into themselves, and Agatha and Miss Gullet end up trapped in a painting by Miss Cackle.

Physical Appearance

Miss Cackle is short and plump, with grey hair and horn-rimmed glasses that she often wears on the top of her head. She is exactly identical to her wicked twin sister, Agatha, with the only discernible difference being the type of glasses they wear.

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Miss Cackle in the books

Personality and Traits

Miss Cackle is a truly kind-hearted, amiable, and gentle lady, but can be intimidating when she needs to, and has occasionally broken into fits of rage, most notably when Mildred humiliated the Academy's reputation when she ruined a broomstick display during the Halloween celebrations (Ethel had cursed Mildred's broomstick to ensure she would make a fool out of herself). However, these moments of anger are rare and short-lived, and it must be noted that it is Miss Cackle's exceptional capacity for tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness that enabled Mildred to consistently evade expulsion throughout her education at the Academy.

Usually, Miss Cackle left the reprimanding portion to her Deputy Head and best friend, Miss Hardbroom, and though she often gave in to Miss Hardbroom's arguments, she was still perfectly capable of putting her foot down when she feels the Deputy Head has gone overboard. In times of great crisis (which she occasionally has to experience), she was shown to be able of remaining level-headed and quick-witted to resolve the situation.

In the books, it was mentioned that Miss Cackle does not believe in "any new-fangled nonsense" and prides herself on tradition. In the 1998 series, while she was portrayed as still being traditional and no-nonsense, believing that the Academy should encompass "the best of the old with the best of the new" (no electricity, or heating, or glass in the windows), she was a good deal more open to newer ideas and change, a prominent example being how she changed the school dinners to include a weekly "pizza-day" (Saturday).

In the 2017 series, it was shown that when Miss Cackle was herself a student at the Academy, she was not so well-behaved, but also not as mischievous and power-hungry as Agatha. In times of moral crisis, she could be convinced to do what was right instead of what was easy. In fact, it was this very aspect of her personality that made her mother, who was the Headmistress at that time, defy the Witches' Code by lying to ensure that Ada inherited her position, when it should have gone to Agatha (the older sister).

Abilities and Skills

As the Headmistress of Cackle's Academy, Miss Cackle is an extremely powerful witch, a Time Witch to be precise, and had successfully performed a variety of notable magical feats with apparent ease, such as:

  • Molecular Immobilization (application of her time-manipulation abilities)
  • Conjuring a tarantula
  • Creating a magical duplicate of Mildred
  • Casting an anti-manipulation spell on the ballot box
  • Repairing a broken time stream (another application of her time-manipulation abilities, though she had to combine her powers with those of Crescentmoon Winterchild, another Time Witch)
In the 2017 series, Miss Cackle was also shown to be a skillful duelist, being able to hold her own against Agatha in a magical duel.
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Miss Cackle with her staff in the 1998 TV series

Relationships

Miss Hardbroom

Miss Cackle has a close relationship with her deputy head, Miss Hardbroom. They are close friends and have almost a mother-daughter sort of relationship. In Mildred’s second year, Miss Cackle suggests that Miss Hardbroom is overworking herself and needs a holiday; this leads to Miss Hardbroom coming on the second year’s trip to Rowan-Webb’s riverside home.[7]

When Mr Hallow wanted to sell the Castle to Amanda Honeydew, and Miss Hardbroom threatens to resign in protest, Miss Cackle was seen chasing her down the hall, begging her to reconsider.[8] When Miss Cackle and Grand Wizard Hellibore were planning to merge Cackle's with Camelot College into a single, co-educational school, Miss Hardbroom gets upset. Miss Cackle finds her sitting by the river, and talks to her.[9]
Ada young

Young Ada Cackle

Agatha Cackle

Miss Cackle has an evil twin sister named Agatha Cackle who is bitterly jealous of her position of authority at the Academy (Agatha believes that Amelia “cheated her out of her inheritance”). Multiple times, Agatha and her coven of rebellious witches plotted to overthrow Miss Cackle and take over the Academy.

Miss Cackle and Agatha attended Cackle's Academy in their youth, although Agatha was expelled and sent to Wormwood's Academy (where wicked witches are sent) while Ada became head girl. They apparently attempted to run the school together, but it was a disaster.

Other Family

Miss Cackle also has a niece, Gabrielle Gribble, who came to the Academy as a student teacher during the episode Learning the Hard Way. Cackle kept her family connection secret from all the staff, not wanting any special treatment to be given.

In "Just Like Clockwork" Miss Cackle was away visiting her ill Aunt Gertrude, with Mistress Broomhead running the Academy; she returns when the other teachers ask for her.

In the Telemovie, she has another niece, Donna. "Donna's arrived. She'll be 136 next month, and she still acts like a teenager."

Also in the 1986 film, Miss Cackle's mother is mentioned: “There was a time, when I was a girl, when witches were persecuted, reviled, and burned at the stake. (turns to look at a portrait on the wall) It was Madlevana Cackle, my mother, who had the courage to fight for the formal education of witches.” In the 2017 TV series, Miss Cackle's mother is named Alma, and was headmistress of the Academy before her.

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Miss Cackle at her desk

Trivia

  • Miss Cackle's name in other languages:
     

French TV: Mademoiselle (Mlle) Amelia Caquet - Miss Amelia Cackle (Direct Translation)
French book: Mademoiselle (Mlle) Jollidodue - dodue means plump
German: Frau Amalie Graustein - Mrs Amelia Greystone
Dutch: Heks Amelia Kakel - Witch Amelia Cackle
Latin-American: Miss Cackle (unchanged)
Czech: Slečna Amelie Krákavá

  • Miss Cackle's Description from the BBC website:

"Miss Cackle is headmistress of the Academy and inherited the family business by virtue of being the oldest daughter - at 13 minutes older than her twin, Agatha. A biscuit-munching, cardigan-wearing, cat-loving middle-aged woman, Miss Cackle appears much less threatening than her severe deputy, Miss Hardbroom. But don’t take her more relaxed attitude for weakness: if you cross her, you’ll know about it."[10]

Appearances

References

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