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Biohazard symbol
Witch 2
Witch
Health 1000 Easy
1000 Normal
1000 Advanced
1000 Expert
1000 Versus
Abilities Can incapacitate or kill a Survivor in one hit, can run faster than Survivors
Attacks Clawing
Alternate names Crying girl, Bitch, Nick's Ex-Wife/Girlfriend, "the ones that cry"
"Rochelle...that ain't you, is it, girl?"
Coach
"RUN LIKE HELL!"
Zoey

The Witch is one of the Special Infected and the only one to display an initially passive response to presence of Survivors.[1] She is also the only non-playable Special Infected.

The Witch is highly sensitive to light and the close presence of uninfected humans. Shining a flashlight on a Witch or approaching too closely will "startle" her and trigger an attack. Hitting her with any damage has the same result. She is completely unresponsive to Infected and the passage of nearby bullets.

When alert to the presence of an uninfected human or flashlight, she will look in the human's direction and make a low warning growl: this signals an incipient attack. If the human backs off, switches the light off or moves quickly out of her presence, she will fairly soon settle back into a passive state. But if the threat persists, she will launch an attack directed at the human who "startled" her at great speed, singling out the person who provoked the attack. She is able to incapacitate her victim instantly whereupon she frenziedly slashes that person with her clawed hands, only stopping if either she or the victim dies.

If an attack is successful and if she is still alive, she will run off sobbing out of sight. She will display the same behavior if her attack is frustrated (e.g. the victim is able to outrun her), again she will give up and run away.

Killing a Witch is not always required, since players can often sneak around her or wait until she wanders away from their intended path. However, if she is immobile because it is dark and it is not possible to go around her (i.e. she spawns in a narrow hallway), the only option is to work out a plan to kill her.

Appearance

A Witch's physique is that of an extremely thin young woman with pale skin, shoulder-length platinum-blonde hair, sunken red eyes, and a bloody mouth full of sharp teeth. She is only clad in the remains of a tattered white tank top and a pair of white panties, and like most Special Infected she does not wear any shoes. Her most distinctive features are the twelve-inch-long, bloodstained claws her fingers have grown into. Her knees and feet are stained with dirt and blood. Oddly the Witch in the games is portrayed as flat-chested, while in "The Sacrifice" comic they have considerably much larger breasts.[2]

Extent of Mutations

Witch-artwork

Witch concept artwork.

The Witch has been heavily mutated by a strain of The Infection, in terms of physical strength rather than appearance. Though resembling a typical female Infected, she has sharpened elongated fingers that are similar to the condition of arachnodactyly (which often accompanies Marfan syndrome). In an interview with Chet, he claimed that the Witch had a strange attraction to the smell of sugar, which explains why there are a large number of Witches near the Sugar Mill in Hard Rain, although this may be due to hunger or other factors caused by the Infection. Her choice of attire when compared to other Infected could indicate a raised body temperature such as a fever, which could also explain the sluggishness, constant signs of distress, irritability, and sensitivity to light and sound. However, the Witch may have attempted to remove her clothing herself as it appears as if she cut the clothing up herself.

Despite her petite figure, the Witch has incredible strength and stamina, enabling her to incapacitate or instantly kill Survivors in one hit, depending on the difficulty level. Needless to say, great care is vital on Expert. She is known to cry when not aware of the Survivors, although the reasoning behind it is unknown. It's likely she is incredibly depressed - a symptom that could accompany her loss of sanity or the virus has not taken full control and she knows she is a monster and she is depressed due to this fact and when a survivor is to close or turns a flashlight on etc. the virus starts to take over or it could be an evolutionary advantage, meant to lure unsuspecting Survivors to her, as further demonstrated in the intro of Left 4 Dead, when Bill and Zoey go to investigate her crying, thinking she may be a Survivor. Even though her mentality is largely similar to that of the typical Infected, she is not distracted by things like the flashing lights and beeps of a Pipe bomb (though setting her on fire will anger her). She is also not apparently attracted by things such as car alarms going off, although this will alert her of the Survivors' presence. Oddly, she glows red in dark areas, possibly due to her glowing eyes. It is also unknown whether or not the Witch is extremely thin because of the Infection (weight loss due to starvation) or if this was her body shape before the infection took place.

General Information

Witch

The Witch as seen in-game.

  • It is a widely held belief that it is never worth starting a fight with a Witch. However, she is often unavoidable, sometimes spawning directly in the path of the Survivors with no alternative route. The Director will sometimes give a sign that a Witch has spawned on the map; there is a split second where a faint chord of the Witch's Theme will sound, after which you can hear her crying.
  • She can and will appear on every difficulty and level, sometimes even twice or more. Her first strike on any Survivor will incapacitate them, after which she will pause and then begin ripping them to shreds. An exception to this is on Expert, Realism (as long as it is not on Easy), and specific mutations.
  • Because of The Witch's instant incapacitation power, playing with no bots/players is very dangerous, as nobody is there to help you up. It is recommended you have teammates with you when you attempt to kill her, or get the achievement Cr0wned.
  • After she has killed her target, the Witch begins to run around screaming and covers her head with her hands, seemingly to escape further hostility. She will still attack anything in her way, pushing Survivors back if they run into her. If she manages to escape from the Survivors, she mysteriously disappears once she is completely out of sight.
  • If you run past the Witch when she is not facing you, you will hear a quick gasp, this means she knows you're there but will not attack unless you stay near her.
  • The Witch will stare at whoever is making her angry before she is startled.
  • It is impossible to shove her with a bash unless you catch her while she is stunned from a stun-inducing headshot or explosion.
  • If a player gets within close range of the Witch, she will instantly go from moaning and whipping to groaning loud and angrily. Players should be aware of this as they will have very little chances of escaping her from this range.
  • Regular Witches are much more dangerous than Wandering ones. Regular ones stay in their spot, and if they start "groaning", the players hide, she will go from her "groaning" to "groans lightly". Regular or sitting Witches are also more easily startled, as their startle proximity radius is larger, and they react to flashlights at a long range, unlike the Wandering Witch.

Left 4 Dead 2

The Wandering Witch

Witchwander

The Wandering Witch.

Wandering Witch01:36

Wandering Witch

During daylight time in Left 4 Dead 2, the Witch changes her behavior: Instead of sitting in one spot, weeping, she walks aimlessly through the map, crying as bitterly as ever. In this state, a Witch is referred to as a Wandering Witch (also known as the Walking Witch). In the Hard Rain campaign, the Witches wander during daylight, but become idle when night sets in.

She is still zoned out like the original Witch, and she still cries, but has different sound effects and a new music cue. When a Survivor is near, the music cue gets more intense, as she starts growling, with her hands slowly moving away from her face. As she grows more agitated, she may stop moving and may start looking around for the Survivors with her arms spread to maim whatever is disturbing her. When she is startled, her music cue becomes the startled music cue from the first Left 4 Dead. The Witch does not like the light, based on the way she covers her eyes and moves. This would explain why flashlights startle her in the original Left 4 Dead. This is probably the reason why flashlights do not anger her as much in the day as she is already in sunlight, hence this extra light would not startle her very easily if kept at a smaller distance to her than at night. The Wandering Witch is sometimes hard to avoid, leaving the Survivors in a situation that they must kill her to get past her. However, the range for angering the Witch due to proximity appears to be severely reduced to the point where one can nearly touch or even slightly damage her without startling her (end-of-level tallies have shown over 50 damage).

Witchyyy

Wandering Witch covering her eyes and crying.

Despite the Wandering Witch's unpredictable nature, they are often easier to handle during the day than during the night. She is much harder to anger by proximity and presents a larger target, making it relatively easy to simply walk up behind her and fire a single shotgun blast to the back, killing her instantly. If one is patient, they can wait for her to pass by, however this is not recommended on harder difficulties due to the increased rate of Hordes. Compared to the regular Witch, Wandering Witches can be angered. However, if left alone, the Witch will revert back to her crying state, whereas regular Witches gradually revert back to the initial state. When startled, there is a one-two second frame before she will begin to attack, allowing the Survivors to attack her quickly or use an Adrenaline shot and run away, while idle Witches immediately attack the startler.

When the sun goes down, the Witch will act the same way she does in Left 4 Dead, sitting and sobbing while waiting for the Survivors. Oddly, the Witch is significantly less aggressive during the nighttime in Left 4 Dead 2, even compared to the original game. Players can stand close enough that she looks up at them and growls, but she won't stand up or attack them unless they stand within poking distance, shine a light in her face, or attack her.

Witch Bride

Witch Bride from The Passing.

In part two of The Sacrifice comic, Louis warns two soldiers guarding his and Francis' cell of the Wandering Witch's habits, advising them to keep silent and press their backs against the wall, allowing the Witch to walk past undisturbed. However, this is most likely that he had just implied what he had learned from a regular Witch, as both are generally the same in terms of avoiding. However, the Witch in the comic was not aware of the two soldiers guarding the cell, most likely for the story to make more sense.

Bride Witch

A new skin was introduced for the Witch in The Passing where she is the bride left at the altar. Unlike the normal Witch, which appears to be in her 20s or 30s, the Bride Witch is older and somewhere in her 40s. Here she is dressed in a tattered gown and veil with her loyal wedding guests surrounding her, still awaiting the groom. Her behaviour is the same as any other Witch in the game, however a player may startle her by changing the song on the radio the same as if they were standing over her. She plays the role as the Crescendo Event for the riverbank chapter in Rayford Park. Though it's somewhat difficult and extremely tedious, she can be avoided, making it the only Crescendo Event you can avoid without involving some sort of exploit or glitch. Once she is startled or killed (if cr0wned), the infected guests will go berserk starting the horde within the Crescendo.

The Bride Witch is also the only Witch in the game that is guaranteed to appear, whereas all other Witches spawn randomly. Since she is right outside the gazebo, and there is no other way around it, it is very hard if not impossible to avoid her.

Players can confuse her by jumping onto the tent. First they must find the music box. Find a box covered in blue, jump on it, and jump onto the music box, and then onto the tent. Turn on the music, and as soon as the Witch is startled, she will get confused and retreat. This is perfect for Expert when players cannot get past her.

Tactics

Preparing for a Witch

  • It is wise to have at least one Survivor armed with an Auto (Tactical) Shotgun or a Combat Shotgun, or at the very least a Pump Shotgun or Chrome Shotgun. That way, if you have no way of sneaking past her, you will have a better fighting chance against her. Shotguns have the remarkable ability to "cr0wn" Witches — kill in one head shot — whereas the other weapons cannot, however the tier-2 shotguns are more efficient for killing Witches than the tier 1 shotguns. There is a certain time span with which the Witch can be killed with a single shot from a shotgun and the tier-2 shotgun has a much larger duration that tier 1 — plus a faster fire rate adds more damage in less time if you fail to cr0wn the Witch. The Hunting Rifle and Sniper Rifle have much longer range, which can prove useful in striking the Witch from a further distance - especially if there are several terrain impediments the Witch must cross. This gives your team more time to eliminate her. Please note that the "Shotgun cr0wning" tactic will not work in Realism mode after the December 3rd, 2010 patch.
  • A Molotov is able to slow a Witch down slightly as well as doing damage to her. Gas cans have the same effect as lighting her on fire, though Survivors will have to shoot the gas can near her. If the Witch is on fire, she can be shoved. Have someone that didn't startle her and get behind her, and keep shoving her while everyone else shoots her. A Propane tank, when used correctly, can stun the Witch and make her stagger momentarily, as well as inflicting damage. Putting the propane tank in her running path and exploding it at the right moment can allow more time for the Survivors to shoot her. Also, throwing a Molotov at the Witch will unlock the achievement Burn The Witch. Remember that if you light her up, she will focus on you instead of the initial person who attacked her.
    • In contrast, pipe bombs and Bile Bombs are ill advised as it will startle the Witch and not cause (sufficient damage) to her.
  • A burning Witch moves slower and will die after 15 seconds. This can make a person who startled her a chance to get away from her and survive rather then being killed or incapacitated. This only works if a player does it at a fair distance with 40+ health; anything below will let her catch up with you.
  • Regardless of your approach to the Witch problem, clear the area first if possible, also watch for horde and Special Infected while you kill the Witch. It just takes one common infected to mess with your aim, or one Special Infected to make you open to Witch attack. If needed, retreat to clear other threats first before dealing with the Witch.
  • Avoid using a flashlight against idle Witches; they will get startled much faster.
  • If Survivors have melee weapons, they can kill the Wandering Witch before she can incapacitate anyone on any difficulty. It is unknown if this works for the normal Witch, and was only tested with Nightsticks, Katanas, and Machetes (the fastest weapons according to testing). It is possible to kill the Wandering Witch alone with a Machete, but it is more luck-based, requiring you to dodge the Witch's first slash in order to squeeze in all four attacks.
  • The best primary weapons against the Witch in Left 4 Dead 2 are the Sniper Rifle, the Combat Shotgun, and the Tactical Shotgun. The Combat Shotgun with its tight spread will also down the Witch. The Tactical Shotgun is also effective, but with its wide spread one needs to be close to the Witch.
  • If you have Adrenaline, take it before you attack the Witch. The speed boost will keep you out of her range until your teammates shoot her down, as long as you keep moving away from her. However, if the Witch is not killed before the speed boost runs out, she can catch up with you and incapacitate or kill you (depending on the difficulty).
  • Explosive Ammunition is incredibly useful, as it causes the Witch to stumble, allowing more time to do damage to her. You can also shoot a Witch with a full magazine of Explosive Ammunition, and most of weapons will do enough damage to kill her. This has the added benefit of not causing her to become startled - so long as she never gets the chance to recover - like a proper cr0wning, handy for achievements.
  • Incendiary Ammunition also is your great friend - unlike the Tank, attacking her with these sets her on fire until she dies. Also, it can save someone who is about to get hit by her as it focuses her attention on you instead of her initial target, especially if the person is almost about to die. It's also possible to solo kill the Witch with Incendiary Ammunition, shoot her once and run for 15 seconds and she will die, this can be done with any primary weapon.
  • Search for spots that can protect you from the Witch, such as a ladder. As long as the ladder is high enough to avoid her swipes, you should be fine, although players doing this should be vary of pinning Infected as they will knock you off the ladder and into her range.
  • Make sure that the path isn't too narrow, because if a player/bot is blocking her way she will redirect her anger towards that player and incapacitate/kill them. Examples are alleyways and doorways.

Events/Actions that startle the Witch

A Witch will growl threateningly at first, and may also stand as a warning. If left alone, she will eventually return to kneeling and sobbing. She will only attack upon being startled, homing in on specifically the character that startled her; however, if she is blocked by another Survivor in pursuit, she will attack that one instead, ignoring her old target. There is a long list of things that she does not appreciate:

  • Touching the Witch (though on rare occasions you can actually jump on or jump past the Witch in Left 4 Dead), or standing near her for too long. The Wandering Witch has a much higher tolerance for this. Melee shoves can also startle her immediately.
  • Staring at her for too long, even from a VERY far distance. This usually only applies if she is aware of your presence (such as staring at her back from far away will not startle her, because she doesn't know you're there). The Wandering Witch has a much higher tolerance for these actions.
  • Explosions near her. Explosions will at first cause her to stumble, followed by attacking the Survivor who caused the explosion. If a Boomer is killed within her proximity, this will also startle her. If the Witch is not within a Survivor's line of sight, this will not startle her. You will simply hear the Witch scream, followed by sobbing. However, if a Pipe Bomb is used, even if the Survivors hides, she will get startled and attack the player who startled her, even if the player is out of sight, though it might vary depending on the range from the player and the Witch.
  • Being within the Witch's "anger" proximity. In this case, there will be a period of time between the Witch starts growling and starting her attack. Note that as the Witch raises her alert, her anger proximity will increase. So if one Survivor makes the Witch start growling, once she starts her attack, she will target the survivor closest to her, who may being totally innocent. Note that the anger proximity can be blocked with solid obstacles. In other words, a survivor who is out of line of sight of a Witch can make her starts growing, but will never become her target unless the survivor attacks her. This does not affect the Wandering Witch unless you get too close to her (as always), since Wandering Witches go back to crying when everyone gets away from her anger proximity. The anger proximity range also appears to be longer on her front than on her back.
  • Shooting the Witch. If you don't actually hit the Witch, shots can land quite close to her without disturbing her, but you have to be far away; if you are too close and shoot near her (especially with shotguns), she will be startled immediately.
    • In Left 4 Dead 2, Wandering Witches shot by AI will not be startled from it. This can be used to kill them, although this will take very long to do, as this is done by accident when there is an Infected very close to her.
    • It is highly recommended that players with Shotguns switch to their secondary, as the large spread may accidentally hit a Witch and startle her.
      • Carrying a shotgun however can kill her faster, but when startled it is very unlikely that the carrier will be unable to kill her before she gets to them.
    • Stationary Witches, as always, will be instantly startled if shot at. Wandering Witches will also be instantly startled if shot on fire or gets hit by an explosive round that hits her feet.
  • Setting her on fire. If any Survivor apart from the startler hits her with incendiaries (gas cans, molotovs, incendiary ammo), she will refocus onto the Survivor who lit her on fire. This can help in higher difficulties to allow an incapacitated person some free space when she can easily kill them in seconds.
  • Throwing a Bile bomb at the Witch. As long as it doesn't hit her, it can land very close to her, but Common Infected will not damage her.
  • Medium proximity with a flashlight pointed at the Witch. The Wandering Witch has a much higher tolerance for this.
    • According to in-game cvars, see console commands for details, one can discover that z_Witch_personal_space 100 and z_Witch_flashlight_range 400
    • In other words, a flashlight will startle the Witch at exactly four times the distance mere proximity would.
Witchrun

A Witch just before attacking

  • In extremely rare situations, other Special Infected will attack the Witch causing her to be partially startled. This can be dangerous as she is a figurative bomb ready to pop, so the first Survivors who she sees she will instantly go after. Though if attacked by a Tank, the Tank will kill her before she attacks anyone.
  • On rare occasions, if a Witch is approached from behind, she will not immediately notice that Survivor. But if she begins to stand and comes under large amounts of retaliating gun fire (from about three Survivors), instead of targeting the one who shot first, she will cover her head with her hands and try to run away. If she cannot escape the Survivor's line of sight, she will simply stand in a defensive position, covering her head. This sight is extremely rare since Witches are usually killed before they gain the opportunity to retreat.
  • A laser sight will NOT startle a Witch, unless you are too close (as always).
  • In The Passing, playing the sound system to the right of the Bride Witch will cause her to become startled and attack the person who turned it on.
  • The use of melee weapons. Since every melee weapon does about 250 damage, you can hit her 1-2 times before you get incapacitated, unless you can dodge her slashing attacks.

Killing the Witch

Crowning the Witch

The achievement "Cr0wned" is awarded for killing a Witch with a single shot from any shotgun. Despite the implication in the name and common FPS logic, it is actually inadvisable to aim for her head: the back presents a much easier target. As the Witch has 1000 health points and a shotgun blast does just slightly over that, every pellet from the shotgun must hit the Witch or she will only be startled (if the player is using a tier 1 shotgun they will not have time to fire a second killing shot before the Witch can incapacitate or kill them). The easiest way to do this is to walk up behind the Witch, wait for her to stand up (to give you a bigger target), and fire at point blank just before she startles. However, on higher difficulties, a single shot may not deal enough damage if aimed at her back, resulting in her incapacitating/killing you before she dies. On difficulty above Normal, though, headshot is essential of killing her in one shot.

Many players use "crown" as a verb, meaning simply to kill the Witch with a shotgun before she can attack anyone. This includes conditions that would not result in the achievement being awarded, such as killing her with two quick shots from an automatic shotgun, a much easier proposition. Sometimes, if you try to cr0wn the Witch via headshot and she sees you when you fire, the game will state that you have startled the Witch.

  • Approach the Witch without startling her, preferably quickly to give you a chance to do something while she starts moving to get up. Aim your shotgun at her head when you are in extremely close proximity. If you fire your shotgun and miss with the weapon's spray, the Witch will become startled and attack you. If the Witch is approached from behind, she will even present her face as a prime target by looking over her shoulder. From there, a single blast from the shotgun will defeat her (though as a cautionary measure, always shoot more than once). If feeling particularly audacious, another tactic involves running at the Witch and shooting straight downward into her face while jumping over her. Make sure the Witch is still kneeling before attempting this, however, because if she is standing, the only thing this tactic yields is a freshly-opened chest cavity. Also note that this will not count against Do Not Disturb, as she will die before becoming startled. To get the achievement, you need to make sure every pellet from the shotgun's blast impacts her head. Some things to remember include:
  • You do not have to shoot her in the head to get this achievement. The real point of this achievement is to kill her without startling her. If multiple shotgun blasts make contact, but it never said she is startled, it will count as a cr0wn. It may be easier to shoot her in the back, rather than the head, due to a larger target area. It is possible to kill her from the front, side, or even from below if she is on a platform (as long as you are close to her - doing it from below will not work if she is much higher than you are).
    • Some players prefer crouching in front of the Witch, thereby tightening the shotgun cross-hairs and increasing the chance of getting all the pellets in the Witch's face. The only downside to crouching is that it does not let the Survivor run away fast enough from the Witch if the first couple of shots fail.
  • Don't hesitate. If you approach her and hesitate to fire, you may find she'll be startled before you attack her. If she's startled, it will be extremely hard to kill her before she gets you. However, if you try to kill her too quickly, you are likely going to miss and lose. Take your time and preferably wait for her to stand up to get a clear shot.
  • Don't panic if you miss – if you have the auto shotgun, usually you can still do enough additional shots (one or two) to finish the job. If you have Tier 1 shotgun, finishing her up without getting incapacitated/killed is more a matter of luck.
    • Fire ammo is good for saving your teammates, if the survivor she targets is not hit yet, use fire ammo to turn her attention towards you, another survivor hit her with fire ammo to divert her attention again, repeat this until she dies.
    • It's okay to be nervous while you are not experienced in Witch crowning, practice on lower difficulties to build up confidence before attempting this on Expert. You only have about 3 seconds to crown her on this difficulty, failure often means death.
  • The flashlight will affect the speed at which the Witch gets aggravated before being startled. If possible, turn off the light before attempting to cr0wn her, as it may mess up your timing. Don't worry if you are in dark area, she will glow in red and you can see her with flashlight off.
  • With an Auto Shotgun you can get in two shots if you are hasty, but you'll want to be sure your teammates are still there to get her off you before you try this, unless it's Expert difficulty, in which case you'll be instantly killed, though players with defibrillator units will be able to revive you back.
  • Practice will easily teach you when to shoot and when not to. This can be achieved in the Developer Commentary on the level The Sewer. At the very end of the level, in front of Mercy Hospital's entrance, there is a commentary node that when activated, will spawn a Witch. The Witch can be killed and respawned for an infinite number of times. This way, you can practice killing her in one shot. However, the achievement itself cannot be unlocked in "Commentary Mode". It is only useful for practice. It's important to note that she can still attack any bot teammates, and if shot with a Hunting Rifle she will stumble, then attack you.
  • It is possible to cr0wn the Witch with a minigun, although this may be rare, as Witches generally do not spawn near turrets.
  • If you are cr0wning with a shotgun, make sure all Common Infected in the area are killed first, as they may run up and hit you, which will mess up your aim, and possibly accidentally startle the Witch.
    • This also applies to incoming horde or Special Infected, you can leave the area to avoid startle the Witch accidentally.
  • The Assault Rifle's power shot is still active for those who don't have the Crash Course pack for the Xbox 360, enabling you to cr0wn the Witch using this method.

In short, the basic steps for cr0wning:

  1. Equip a shotgun-type weapon.
  2. Move as close to the Witch as possible, and as fast as possible. (check for other Infected, they can potentially mess your aim up)
  3. Aim for an area where all the pellets of the shotgun fire is likely to impact (such as the body).
  4. Fire as accurately as possible before the Witch gets angry enough to attack.

Hunting Rifle/AK-47/Magnum/explosion melee

It appears that, somehow, if one stuns the Witch via a Hunting Rifle/AK-47/Magnum Pistol headshot, or if she is blown up using a Propane tank, Oxygen tank or Pipe bomb, she can be still stunned by your melee attacks, which makes her an idle victim. To perform this tactic, you must stun (shooting her when she is crying, not growling) her with a headshot or explosion and start using your melee attack on her before she can recover - then unload your ammunition into her. Once you need to reload, switch to your Pistols and continue. In Left 4 Dead 2 it is recommended that you have a melee weapon as well since the shove fatigue can prevent you from killing her before she is startled. The best tactic is to shove, then hit her with your melee then shove again (repeat till she dies). It is also possible to melee her when she's on fire. However, it's not recommended do so. In Left 4 Dead 2 headshots with a Hunting Rifle/AK-47/Magnum only stumbles stationary Witches but does nothing towards the Wandering Witch. Pipe bombs and Oxygen tanks still work, however.

Note: This does not count as startling the Witch. Also this tactic (scoped weapon & melee) works in realism mode, while shotguns are no longer effective.

Hit & run

The best strategy for defeating the Witch relies on her established tendency to attack only the person who startled her. There are many tactics to exploit this:

  • Have a designated runner to disturb the Witch from afar while the other Survivors form a defensive line between the runner and the Witch. The runner should attack the Witch, preferably with a Molotov cocktail or a Gas can detonated by gunfire to ignite the Witch, or a scoped rifle if she is at a fair distance from the runner. While the runner is being chased, all the other Survivors must concentrate fire on the Witch, who generally moves in a straight line towards her target. If the runner is sufficiently far away and the other Survivors are sufficiently competent at aiming, then the Witch would be unable to inflict any damage. Keep in mind, however, that the Witch can switch targets if a Survivor other than her initial victim blocks her movement for too long. For example, she shoves you back but you are on a narrow catwalk and continue to block her path, or if she climbs something and you are right in front of her when she gets up. For the latter, no knocking back from her is needed. Also, in Left 4 Dead 2, she may change targets to a closer aggressor if the initial target doesn't attack her/does not do enough damage to her. The behavior seems somewhat similar to "threat" from MMO games.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, the above strategy is even more effective if the runner uses Adrenaline prior to disturbing the Witch.
  • If you're fortunate enough to find her at the top of a ladder that has a space Survivors can use, use it by having the person who startled her climb a ladder and make the Witch follow. You can trap her under or above the Survivor and she can be easily picked off with any weapon (though you should be very careful with the shotgun, to avoid harming the bait). However, if with bots, they will not climb up the ladder, and its possible for the Witch to sWitch targets, though if at a fair distance, you can act as the bait, in which the Witch will get killed if the bots fail to get her, but bots are unable to inflict friendly fire.
  • Fire does damage over time to a Witch, and will kill her in 15 seconds. She will do a weird swayed run at you that is slower than usual, screaming from the heat, but can still attack you, unlike normal Infected. Throw a Molotov at the Witch from as far away as you can, then run back towards the beginning safe room (if close enough) while your allies open fire on the Witch. Also, make sure you close the safe room door behind you.
  • Attacking her with a Grenade launcher works as well, depending on your accuracy and your grenade's hit. Players must note the fact that a bad hit will cause her to instantly attack you rather then the usual stun.
  • The Witch will retreat if someone startles her and runs into the safe room at the end or at the beginning of the chapter.

Other Witch-killing tactics

  • At maximum possible distance, have your Hunting Rifle/Sniper Rifle player shoot the Witch in the head as many times as possible. One can kill a Witch by unloading a full magazine into her from the Hunting Rifle, however the larger magazine size and rate of fire of the Sniper Rifle is clearly better for taking down a Witch. It is always wise, however, to have the other Survivors around you, just in case.
    • This does more damage (as it is a headshot), but will' 'not work with Wandering Witches. 
  • As an added variant of the above, you can use a Molotov, Gas can, or a Propane tank to finish the Witch if you are on a wide even ground. This tactic needs preparation and foresight, and works better with the regular Witch rather than the Wandering Witch. You must use Sniper Rifles for this to be effective. Lay down said items to the path in front of you, preferably midway. Set your distance. Then shoot the Witch as many times as you can. When she approaches the area where you laid down the said items, shoot those to inflict more damage. If you used Molotovs instead, keep shooting, as when the Witch approaches the fire, she'll be engulfed in flames and will be depleted of health faster. On easier difficulties, the fire or blast will finish the Witch off. If you used a propane tank, this will stumble the Witch, buying more time to finish her off.
  • Line up your team like a firing squad, within suitable distance from the Witch. Using one of the scoped rifles, a well-placed headshot will stun the Witch and knock her back before she is startled. During these few seconds of startled time, have everyone open fire on her and she will die surprisingly fast. This method is also extremely useful against Tanks if you're not using shotguns, which have an aggressive damage drop off.
  • Use the ladder to your advantage. If you startled a Witch, you can stay at the middle or top of the ladder, make sure you are beyond her attack range, then your teammates can kill her without a risk. Be careful, however, as this may activate her "anti-cheat" attack which will incapacitate you at maximum range, then allow her to attack you.
  • Using a minigun if one is nearby. It has the power to kill a Witch so quickly that she may be not able to even move from her sitting place. This is rare, however, as Miniguns are rarely seen in the game.
  • Form a square. While not that complex or daring, it is possible, with enough firepower to have her sWitch targets just before incapacitating/killing the player. Keep on shooting to make sure she's dead, because if one person thinks she's dead, she may strike down a Survivor. Don't use shotguns, because the wide spread will not be effective, and possibly hit other teammates.
  • A good strategy (especially on easy when the Witch has less health) is if someone has a Grenade Launcher and shoots the Witch with it. This will not kill the Witch, not even on Easy, but it will make her stumble, and give plenty of time for the team to kill her. But you can also kill her on easy with three grenade shots.
  • Using any melee weapon, you may be able to kill the Witch quickly by running up to her and hitting the back of her neck twice. This works well if everyone else is shooting at her while you do this (make sure that they only start to shoot it after you have already hit it the first time, otherwise it will proceed to attack whichever Survivor shot it). However, this method is in no way advised, as it usually results in the melee person being incapacitated or killed by the Witch.
  • "Using" a Tank to kill a Witch. It has been seen by some people where the Tank hits a Witch (most common with a thrown rock), killing her instantly. This is usually done by accident, however, by moving into the path of the Witch when running from a Tank.
  • If a Witch has incapacitated someone, a quick way to kill her is to use the standard pistol, and rapidly fire them at her as those pistols can quickly deal some damage against her.
  • Going out of the map. In some campaigns in Left 4 Dead, you can glitch outside the map, shoot her, and she will run away.
  • In Left 4 Dead, en route to The Sewers, the Witch may spawn near a destructible gasoline station near the lift that takes you to the rooftops. If the Witch is located very near the gasoline pumps, you can destroy the gasoline station and the Witch along with it. The environmental damage it causes will kill her outright.
  • Other map hazards can be exploited either to kill the Witch or buy time to kill the Witch. One such example is the cliffs in The Highway in the start of Dark Carnival. Have the startler provoke the Witch if she's down on the river. Once startled, let two or three members (human-controlled) go down the cliff and unload on the Witch while she's climbing up. Keep distance and shoot only when she's climbing. This may not be a good idea if the other three Survivors have incendiary rounds, as this will cause the Witch to fall from the cliff and switch targets.
  • Using Gas Cans to light a Witch on fire. If one gas can is used, the Witch will attack the player who lit the can on fire. However, if a second Gas Can is used, and is shot at to light the first one, the Witch will instead recognize it as a terrain fire (like the fire in Dead Center) and will easily die without the Survivors having to run and gun her.

Witch tactics that do not work

  • Meleeing against a Witch with the butt of your gun or any other item, unless she's stunned.
  • Attempting to use anything else than a shotgun in a confined space with little means of escape will cause you to get incapacitated or killed by her.
  • Startling a Witch from several rooftops away (especially on the Dead Air campaign) and expecting the Witch to have difficulty reaching you. However, she can climb buildings quickly out of sight, so stay cautious.
  • If the Witch has killed a Survivor and is fleeing, do not attack her. This is a waste of ammunition, and it is possible to startle the same Witch more than once by setting her on fire. Remember to stay out of her way, as she may attack you if you block her path while she's retreating. Eventually, she will disappear and respawn somewhere else in the map.
  • Closing a door on her while she's chasing you. Although the Intro Scene shows the Witch having difficulty destroying a door, she tears it down in one or two hits in-game. Stopping to close a door will most likely result in the Witch catching up to you. However, it is possible to close the door while running. The only doors that are impossible for the Witch to break are safe room doors and large freezer doors, which are only found on The Church level in Death Toll, and The Crane in Dead Air, in Left 4 Dead.
  • Using a Bile bomb. It will not slow her down like when she is on fire. By the time the Horde arrives, the Witch may have already been killed or killed her victim. However, if thrown from a great distance, a Bile bomb will cause a Witch to become confused and retreat.
  • Blocking her path in a narrow space (such as a doorway) when another Survivor has startled her. If a Survivor is blocking the only available path to her original target, the Witch will change targets and instead attack the Survivor standing in her way.
  • Setting her on fire. If the Witch has killed her original target and someone sets her on fire, she will get startled and attack that Survivor, although this Survivor may be able to escape the Witch due to her slowed speed.
    • Throwing a Bile bomb on a Witch causes similar results as with a molotov; the Witch will attack whomever threw the Bile bomb, even if her original target is dead. The Bile bomb DOES NOT blind the Witch, and she can kill the summoned Horde with ease.
  • Shooting her and then using a Chainsaw. The long claws of the Witch have a much more greater range then the Chainsaw itself, as using this means a quick incapacitation or death.
  • Headshotting a Wandering Witch. It will just make her angry and attack the person who tried to headshot her. You can only stun a Wandering Witch with only Explosive Ammo or a Grenade Launcher.
  • Shooting her then trying to climb onto obstacles. The Witch's long claws can hit you from tables level with her, though it is rare to not get hit by her, and there is the house where you enter the swamp and into the Crescendo Event where you can jump onto the shelf and then jump again, to avoid her claws. Also, she is able to claw you while climbing, making any bot allies who try to rescue you be unable to, with continuing attempts. Also, this attack is her "anti-cheating", as she will instantly claw you if she has to climb, with stretching her hand to the limit and claw you and then climb up.

Survivor Bots vs Witches

  • Survivor Bots will automatically shut off their flashlight if the Witch is close. This is the only time Bots will shut off their flashlight in the game.
  • Bots will not shoot the Witch if she is not startled yet, but they will slow down and keep aiming at her if she is close. This is very useful for Witch Hunters and those who want to avoid her, as for the Witch Hunter, they can find her quickly without looking too long, and for those who want to avoid her, they can quietly skip past her or make a plan to kill her.
    • If a Bot startles a Witch (say, Rochelle walks into one while following the player) If they were already walking slowly, they will return to normal speed and run backwards while shooting at the Witch's body.
  • It is very much impossible to file past a Witch one by one, since Survivor Bots will most likely all follow you at the same time.
    • If you are in/on a narrow passageway or sidewalk, such as near the shed at the bottom of the elevator in The Sugar Mill in Left 4 Dead 2 and a Witch has spawned on the other side, you can either try to sneak around her, try to cr0wn her, or push a Bot into her (if you have a defibrillator or the difficulty isn't on expert), since the Bots will not resist your pushing and their accuracy is high.
  • Occasionally, Bots will accidentally shoot the Witch and startle her. This often happen when another Special Infected or Common Infected is near the Witch. Even more occasionally, Bots will accidentally shoot the Witch (inducing a scream of pain from the Witch), but she will not be startled. This may be due to shooting through another Infected, but is not clear yet. However it will rarely happen, as stationary Witches get startled as soon as they get hit. Wandering Witches are not affected though, but if a player shoots them, they will scream and get startled.
  • Walk past and move away from the Witch fast. If you stopped right after passing the Witch, Bots may not follow you even they are too near to the Witch until they startle her.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, Bots will not get away from the wandering Witch if she walks to them. Lead them away from the Witch fast.
  • Rarely, Bots will successfully cr0wn the Witch. This only happens when a Bot with a shotgun is very close to a Witch, so he/she will fire one or two shots into the Witch right when she is startled, killing her instantly.
  • In Mutations where the Bots only have access to a melee weapon, their AI will conflict, as they will go into melee range against the Witch, but refrain from attacking until the Witch is startled.
  • Sometimes a bot will unknowingly stand next to the Witch and not move until the Witch attacks and incapacitates or kills them.
  • If a Witch spawns near a saferoom, the bots AI will conflict, moving slowly, which will then make the Witch get startled and attack them.
  • If a Witch is retreating, but is not dead, and a Special Infected immobilizes you, the bots will not save you until the Witch is out of sight or is dead.

Non-violent tactics

  • Without touching the Witch, Survivors file past her one-by-one, each waiting for her to go from growling back to the "safe" crying state before making their move. If you don't wish to wait so long, you can try a more risky option and file past her two-by-two. Remember to turn off flashlights so the Witch isn't aggravated as quickly. Try to move when she is in a crying state and move from behind her and as far away as possible. Do not stop moving until the Witch is out of sight and possibly out of hearing range. It may be worthwhile to snipe any Common Infected lurking around her so you won't be distracted by them when moving.
  • Another completely different way for Survivors to walk past her is to let the entire team move past very quickly. When not being attacked, the Witch has a set up time for her to be startled (depends on difficulty, 5 seconds on Expert.), so she will not attack if the entire team get past her within the time limit, take care not to push other Survivor players out of the way. This is usually the only option when teamed with Survivor Bots.
  • In rare situations, the Witch will spawn in an open doorway. If you can run up and close the door on her body without startling her, thereby jamming her in the doorway. She will get up and run away without a fight. In addition, if the Witch spawns on the opposite side of a closed door, one can open the door on her with the same result. This has been confirmed on Normal, Advanced, and Expert modes. Just keep an eye on Survivors' positions so you don't block her fleeing path.
  • If the Witch has spawn close to an environmental fire, and the Survivors happen to have a gas can on hand, a survivor can throw the gas can into the fire, then let it land near the Witch. This will let the Witch counts as lit by the environment and will only run around before burning to her death.
  • Another good way is to place Gas cans. By placing one close to her, and then getting another one within the range of the one placed near the Witch, it is possible to burn her up without her being startled. However, the targeted gas can's fire must not be in the range of the Witch, otherwise she will be startled.
  • A risky tactic is to run and jump over her if she's blocking a choke point such as a doorway. This is possible on Easy or Normal. This will aggravate her a lot, but if done correctly, she will not be startled. It is not advisable to do this if the Witch is in front of stairs, as it goes up, and you might end up on top of her head and startle her, unless the stairs go downwards, though this is impossible with bots.
  • Another quite useful and easy tactic is to crouch by her and repeatedly melee her. She will not move at all while you are doing this, and eventually will sit back down on the ground. Once she is on the floor again, she will proceed to ignore the Survivors unless shot. Valve has confirmed this was not intended, but decided to leave it in the game for humor's sake. This does NOT work on the Xbox 360 Game of the Year version. It will just make her angrier.
  • If someone startles the Witch, have them hang off a ledge. A good level is The Hospital. The game counts as the player being downed, and the Witch will just run off. If the player is helped up, she won't attack them because she thinks she killed that player. This is a good alternative to downing the player to friendly fire on expert to avoid the one-hit kill, because hanging deals no damage to the player. It will, however, lower your health once you've been helped up if you've been hanging for a long time. Another reason this tactic is preferred to attacking the startler is because the Witch cannot reach the hanger, gets confused and runs off, unlike while incapacitated, she may still proceed to attack her target on the ground. Also, you can hang off a ledge even while in a critical condition (a.k.a, black and white mode), unlike if incapacitated while in this mode will kill that person instead of downing them. Good examples of places to hang are the hospital (No Mercy), a building roof (Dead Air), a cliff-face (Blood Harvest), a ledge of an apartment or upper mall floor (Dead Center), the slide just before The Fairgrounds Crescendo Event (Dark Carnival), deep water (Swamp Fever), the top of the Sugar Mill (Hard Rain), which can be extremely helpful when heading through the many Witches, and off the top of the freeway (The Parish). However, if a Witch is startled, and a Smoker grabs you and you are playing with bots, the bots will not save you due to the Witch, as the Bots AI will conflict into finding the most dangerous thing and then the least dangerous.
  • A tactic with Wandering Witches is to simply watch her until she exits the path, and when the path is clear, you run past the Witch without disturbing her. This, however, risks for the Director to think you stayed in one place for too long and may summon a Horde.
  • Using the environment. If there is an open fire, and the campaign is daylight, Survivors can lure Witches into open fire to BURN the Witches without any damage on them. She will also just get confused and retreat for no reason.

Infected

Although you cannot play as the Witch, you can use her in your tactics:

  • Smokers can drag Survivors to the Witch.
  • Jockeys can steer Survivors towards the Witch.
    • This works especially well on the Sugar Mill, due to the extra number of Witches. (remember that there is a lower amount then the Campaign itself, about 3-4)
  • Hunters and Boomers can crouch in front of the Witch, obscuring her from the Survivors' sight. Alternately, if a Boomer is killed while the Survivors are relatively close to the Witch, the explosion will startle her, sending her after the person who killed the Boomer. It is also useful to crouch behind her, as they will not risk trying to kill you if it would alert the Witch.
  • Spitters can protect the Witch by spitting acid near her. As instinct, Survivors will usually attempt to get away from the acid puddles quickly, which may cause them to touch the Witch or get near the Witch, which will force them to deal with her quickly.
  • If you pounce a Survivor as a Hunter while the Witch has already incapacitated someone and is attacking, you will not be damaged, and the Survivor will die twice as fast. You will also get points for the damage she inflicts, but very rarely, if a Survivor disturbs a Witch and you pounce on the fleeing Survivor, the Witch will attack and instantly kill you.
  • Some Hunter players crouch just out of sight near the Witch, waiting until a player runs up to attack the Witch, then pounce them just before they get a chance to fire. This gives the Witch the potential to do a lot damage, possibly even killing the Survivor if timed properly.
  • The Tank can throw Survivors when he punches them, which could be used to get a Survivor near a Witch. It would be difficult to actually get the Survivor to hit the Witch.
  • Most experienced Survivor teams will have three players take up defensive positions while one goes up to cr0wn the Witch. As a Smoker, you can strangle the player who was tasked with Witch-killing just as he/she is about to cr0wn her. The Witch will be startled, and the Survivor is basically a sitting duck.
  • An Infected player can melee the Witch just as she looks up when a Survivor gets too close, sending her after them. Melee damage is negligible for all Infected other than the Tank.
  • Chargers can bring a Survivor to a Witch, but this requires a lot of work and proper aim. Instead, try using a Charger to protect the Witch from Survivors (auto shotgun or chainsaw-wielding Survivors.) When the Charger grabs one, the other Survivors will run to their rescue, which is prime time for a Jockey or Smoker to pull a Survivor right to her.
  • If a Wandering Witch is around in an area Survivors must go to, attempt to cause some panic near her. Survivors may hit her by mistake or move too close, attempting to kill you or your teammates and startle her.
  • Remember that the Wandering Witch's movements are erratic. Smokers and Chargers may miss bringing Survivors close to her, attempt to predict her movements and grab Survivors when she stands still or is in an enclosed area, or it is advised you use a Jockey instead.
  • If a Survivor has set the Witch growling, you can claw her, which will send her rage to its peak, making her "personal space" area much larger.
  • In the first Left 4 Dead, it has been known for several players to, as the Hunter, crouch by her, claw her until she gets startled, and leap away toward the Survivors, where she will proceed to kill the player playing the Hunter, then angrily incapacitate or kill one or two Survivors.
  • An update by Valve has given the Witch an aura colored in white for VS mode when playing as the infected. This can help players locate the Witch more easily and plan strategies around her. The white aura will gradually change to red as she gets more angry and it becomes a full red when the Witch rages out and attacks the survivors.

Achievements

See Main Article: Achievements

Left 4 Dead Achievements

L4d cr0wned CR0WND (30G)
Kill a Witch with a single headshot.



L4d do not disturb DO NOT DISTURB (20G)
Sneak past all Witches in a campaign without disturbing one.



L4d witch hunter WITCH HUNTER (20G)
Kill a Witch without any Survivor taking damage from her.



L4d burn the witch BURN THE WITCH (10G)
Light a Witch on fire with a Molotov.


Left 4 Dead 2 Achievements

Sob story SOB STORY (30G)
Navigate the Sugar Mill and reach the safe room without killing any Witches.


Behind the Scenes

Thewitch

The Witch during initial game development.

Originally, the Witch was to attack the entire group upon being startled. However, this was cut from the final game because it was deemed too difficult, as she would often wipe out the whole group with little trouble.[3] Despite only attacking one person in the final game, writing about the Witch on a safe room wall reads "I once saw one tear apart 10 people!", implying that the Witch may still attack entire groups, even if she doesn't during gameplay. But if the Witch has been startled by someone and someone else threw a Molotov at the Witch, the Witch will attack whoever burned her, even if she already incapacitated someone. The Witch was also featured with black hair and black clothes instead of white and pale green.

Glitches and Oddities

  • Sometimes, in No Mercy, if you startle a Witch by using a Molotov, run through the gas station then blow it up, she will sometimes infinitely stumble.
  • Sometimes, if you are in a room directly above the Witch, you will hear her growl softly like you entered her territory, despite the fact that you cannot see her and she can't see you. This happens in areas like The Crane, in the office buildings.
  • If a Witch is in a closet and you pass by, she will notice. You will hear her growl. If you stay in that area, she will continue to be angered, despite the wall. After about thirty seconds, she will become startled. This may be a glitch.
  • When being healed by an AI-controlled Survivor and a Wandering Witch is in the area that would cause her to become startled, she won't attack until the AI is done healing the player.
  • When the Witch is examined up-close, it can be noted that her face was not given any facial animations like the Common Infected. This is also the case with most Special Infected, except for the Boomer, who slightly moves his mouth.
  • On rare occasions a Witch will be startled and freeze with her arms raised and her head, and will keep following the person who startled her. This will sometimes even happen after she incapacitates the person who startled her. She may also glide in the direction she was running instead, not being able to move and stopping all her animations after incapacitating the Survivor.
  • When examining a Wandering Witch up-close, it can be noted that her footsteps are not in sync with her movement, thus making her appear as if she is 'gliding' on surfaces or 'moonwalking'.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, never use Incendiary Ammo on a Witch if you didn't startle her, especially after the Witch incapacitated or killed her victim. Setting her on fire will make her immediately go after whoever shot them, even if she just killed or incapacitated the person who originally startled her.
    • This has been fixed on PC, but is still present in the Xbox 360 version. Cr0wning the Witch with incendiary ammo will glitch her into becoming invincible, and the bots will mistake her for being dead and attempt to revive you while you are down. She will continue to attack until you die, but instead of running away after the player is killed, she runs around in a certain area with her arms flailing instead of over her head. If you do cr0wn her with Incendiary ammo in the Witch Hunter screen, it will show that you did enough damage to kill her (near 1000), even if you unloaded many more shots than what would do that amount of damage.
  • Sometimes, when you kill a Witch (by regular gunfire, cr0wning, melee weapons, etc.), the damage may not come out properly. For example, if the players gun her down with various weapons, the damage shown will reach above 1000 (her maximum health points). If a player is downed and shoots her, and another player damages her with melee weapons, it can also reach above 1000 health points. If a player throws a Molotov at her and runs, the damage will be just 30, because the player did not do the damage although the fire did. This is odd because when a player hits a Special Infected with a Molotov, they go on fire, and when they die the player is credited with the kill.
  • If a Witch slashes a door that is indestructible (like a freezer door), blood will come out the door, despite the fact she didn't hit anything living, like a Survivor. However, it could be the blood from her claws that still hadn't dried, indicating that other Survivors had just come in the area. This isn't possible though as the times Survivors might have gone can range from a few minutes to several months, in which if it was a long time, the blood could have dried.
  • If the Witch misses at attempting to slash a Survivor somehow, blood will still splatter. This is probably because Valve set this up so whenever the Witch would attack, she would hit her target. This shows that the blood splattering effect is actually a product of the Witch's attack, rather than its impact with a Survivor. This could also indicate that her claws either have blood on them from another attack, or possibly that her hand is bleeding from some area (which can make sense as seen in The Sacrifice Comic – see Gallery for more info).
  • If a Pipe bomb is set off right next to a sitting Witch, you will see a blood spatter and hear her scream, and she will die instantly. However, if the players go to where she was sitting, there will be no corpse. The game will also show that you only dealt about 15 damage. If you do it on a Wandering Witch, she will likely walk far enough away from the pipe bomb to not disappear, and she will attack the Pipe bomb thrower instead. If the Witch is sitting and your Pipe bomb explodes on her while she is growling, you will startle her. It is possible that this glitch occurs because Witches are programmed to be indifferent to their surroundings (including pipe bombs) until they are startled. As the pipe bomb is thrown while the Witch is not aware of the Survivors' presence, she just disappears.
  • Using a Sniper Rifle or a Hunting Rifle and shooting the Witch can cause a glitch that makes her disappear completely. Shooting her with either of the sniper weapons through a wall or floor when she is not aware of the Survivors' presence may cause her to disappear, possibly due to her being startled without being able to determine what caused it. For example, if the Survivors pass over a staircase and she is under them, shooting her through the floor may make her disappear.
  • If you throw a Molotov on the Witch and run away from her without doing damage, her body disappears even if there aren't other dead Witches on the map. (it is proved that having three or more Witch corpses on the map usually causes the more later ones to disappear)
  • Opening a door on a Witch will cause her to run away instead of becoming startled. It will also not register as startling her (unless you set her on fire).
  • In the Left 4 Dead 2 version of The Sacrifice, shooting a Witch near an explosive barrel with a grenade launcher will cause her to become glitched and walk as slow as a Wandering Witch while on fire and doing her "on fire" animation, this can be used to your advantage as the Witch will only take a couple more shots to kill.
    • In a similar fashion, stumbling a Witch with an explosion from a Propane Tank/Oxygen Tank and setting her on fire from a gas can at the same time will cause her to be stuck in an infinite loop of being stumbled while she burns to death.
  • An extremely rare glitch involving the Witch will make her disappear entirely. This glitch takes place at the hotel in the first level of the Dark Carnival campaign and requires the Witch to have been spawned by the stairs next to the destroyed wall, as well as at least two players having explosive ammunition. One player must have the Sniper Rifle and approach her from the upper flight of stairs. The other must have the Submachine Gun and approach her from the ground floor. Both players open fire at once, and the Witch disappears.
  • Another rare glitch can occasionally occur when you attempt to file past the Witch one by one. If the Witch comes close to being startled because of one survivor, and another passes by close enough to startle her, she will become startled, however instead of attacking, she will run away with her hands covering her head, as if she had just killed a Survivor. This is most likely because the Witch actually became almost-startled at one of the earlier Survivors (who is now out of line of sight), so when she does finally get startled, it is actually at the earlier Survivor, and so she becomes confused and runs away.
  • On the impound lot on The Parish, if a Witch spawns, it will be a Wandering one, due to the daylight, but on the last car before leaving the impound, the Witch will not move from her spot, just crying aimlessly and not wandering around as always. It could be a glitch, or it could be the car blocking the way.
  • On the gas station in The Sugar Mill, a Witch can spawn there, and sometimes may spawn on the two cars that are flipped over on each other. The Witch is unable to move, even if startled as long as the startler doesn't go behind her to let her loose.
  • On the Dark Carnival's Whispering Oaks Motel, if a Witch spawns on the ground floor, and you go on the first floor, she will strangely groan. It cannot be from gunfire, since then the Witch knows people are around, but you cannot make Witches groan from gunfire. Also, it is unknown how she can start groaning when she cannot see you.
  • On maps with multiple Witches, such as Hard Rain's Sugar Mill, when you see the tally, it says "Witch Hunter- Did most damage to the Witch", though it should be plural, and that you deal more then the health of 1 Witch (such as 2000 or 11800).
  • The Witch, when still living, has her hair in red. However, when she dies, the hair slowly turns gray. This is most likely for players to spot her, as it would be hard for players to notice her until one gets too close.
  • On specific spots on the Campaigns, such as the staircases on the Sugar Mill, and when you startle a Witch and run on the staircases, the Witch "freezes", along with either continue raging, or retreating with glitching. This is a perfect way to kill her or observe how she retreats, etc.
  • In The Streets in Dead Center, when the Survivors are suspicious of the crying, players cannot use the button to make comments on the Witch. When a player startles her and runs from her, sometimes they will mention the Witch in their quote, such as Coach. For example, if Coach startles a Witch and runs from her, he might say "Run, run, Witch coming through!". The Survivors correctly address her and the other Special Infected properly when The Mall begins.
  • On Commentary Mode in Left 4 Dead, it says, "All Infected will ignore you." However, in the chapter as soon as you enter the hospital, grab a Hunting Rifle, start the node that spawns the Witch and headshot her, she will stumble and then target you despite the fact that the Infected ignore you in Commentary mode. Doing this with other weapons immediately gets her right to the point where she is about to attack someone.
  • When a regular player startles a Witch, if a new player blocks her way, she will attack that player. It will also say "The Witch injured/killed you! Don't startle her next time!", even though that player didn't startle her.
  • In some Witch spawn points, she might spawn on the top of a house. This makes it easy for teams as they do not have to wait for her to leave, as she will just wander at the roof of the house or be stationary there.
  • Sometimes, in some areas where both Common and Special Infected climb, she might get stuck, going up the fence onto the other side and repeating it.
  • Even though a Witch usually spawns once per level, there are several times where 2 Witches might spawn regardless of difficulty and if the Witch was killed or not.
  • A very commonly used glitch on the PC versions of L4D and L4D2, while playing Versus you can stand near a Witch, press "Use", and become the Witch, being able to switch from walking to sitting and startled to neutral.
  • Despite being a Special Infected, there are a few differences on the Witch then other Special Infected:
    • When killing her, there will be no special quotes said by the characters when they kill a Special Infected, nor when she attacks them there will be no quotes said that relate to her when the character is incapacitated, although they have quotes when she is chasing them.
    • There is no "Witch incapacitated "Player name" when she gets someone, although when she is startled it will say "Player name" startled the Witch." to all of the players.
    • When using melee weapons on Special Infected, they deal 500 damage on them. When using it on a Witch it only deals half the damage it should have done on her, but this is more likely for balancing reasons, as a player could easily kill a Wandering Witch without the fear of taking damage.
  • If a Witch is thrown with a bile bomb, she may freeze up putting her arms in front of her and glide towards you.

Notes

  • Rarely, there has been times where the Witch has been startled by an infected. This may have been a result of a glitch or exploit.
  • In Left 4 Dead, when the Witch dies, her eyes still glow. In Left 4 Dead 2, when she dies, her eyes become closed. Technically, her eyes are still open, but texture on the eyeballs have the same color as her skin.
  • It is possible that the Witch herself is responsible for her state of undress. The bottom of her shirt has been shredded and the Bride Witch's wedding gown sports long, vicious gashes (as if it had been clawed at), exposing most of her legs. The Witch may find clothing to be restrictive or uncomfortable and has attempted to remove them herself, similar to the Hunter in Left 4 Dead 2.
  • The Witch has a different running animation in Left 4 Dead 2 [4]
  • According to an interview with Chet Faliszek[5], the Witch apparently enjoys the scent of sugar, which explains why there is a Witch-infested mill in Hard Rain.
    • Despite this, Coach sometimes suggests that the rain is what brings out so many Witches. This is probably because he did not suspect that the sugar was the cause. Also, in the Left 4 Dead 2 Campaigns, it does not rain at all except for the chapter mentioned above.
  • Although a Witch spawning in a finale is highly unlikely, it will happen when the Director is feeling particularly sadistic. However, it will never be a Wandering Witch (The Parish finale has no spawning point for a Witch, along with that players doing it on Expert would probably shoot the Infected, hitting the Witch too, and one on the Dead Center and Swamp Fever finales will be sitting down).
  • Even though Witches don't have any physical features that show her strength, there's no question that she is the strongest Infected in the game. Though a Tank could deal a large chunk of damage on Expert Difficulty, the Witch can instantly kill the Survivor, meaning Survivors could live after being punched, but not being slashed by a Witch. This may be due to the method of attack, as the puncturing effect of the Witch's claws would likely cause far greater internal damage than the blunt trauma inflicted by the Tank's fists. However, the Witch can take the second highest amount of damage; the Tank has the highest, which is quite odd because of the Witch's frail size.
  • The Witch is the only Infected that fights against the attacking Common when covered with Boomer bile from the bomb. All the other Special Infected just wait until they're dead or the Common stop attacking, but the Witch kills all in her way to get the one who has thrown the bile bomb at her, quite literally ploughing through common Infected from all sides whilst a Tank simply pounds the unlucky zombie standing in front of him.
  • The Witch's cry has often been used in many TV shows and songs such as: Video on Trial.[6], Ghost Adventures.[7], the "Adventure Time" episode "The Enchiridion", Team Fortress 2's Halloween title song, and 1000 Ways to Die's "Unintented".[8]
  • In the Left 4 Dead demo, a well-known glitch was her ability to be startled by, and attack, other Special Infected, as evidenced by a video from the demo showing her attacking a Tank, though the Tank instantly killed her. This glitch was fixed when the game was officially released. However, the Witch may still attack any Infected in her way if they are blocking her route to a Survivor who aggravated her.
  • A Witch can kill another Witch (Along with most other Infected, except for the Tank) with a single slash of her claws, which means a single slash could equal around 1000 damage, the same as a Witch's maximum health.
    • Not strictly true for Left 4 Dead, as extending a Player's health beyond 100 and being attacked by a Witch reveals her slashing deals 100 damage.
  • Almost no campaigns in Left 4 Dead are set in the daytime, so the Witch wasn't seen at that time of day, meaning Witches could possibly wander from the start. However, this was never observed before the events in Left 4 Dead 2 (3 weeks after the first infection).
  • Left4dead22-1-

    A Witch can be noticed running on this image

    The only occasions where a Witch will be sitting down and crying during the daytime is on the finales of both Dead Center and Swamp Fever, and in The Sacrifice. In the former, this is presumably because Witches aren't naturally coded to spawn in these levels and so the Witch Encroacher may be the default variant rather than the Wandering Witch. In the latter, it could be due to balancing and consistency between Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2.
  • As of the November 19th, 2010 update, the Left 4 Dead 2 Witch now has an aura outline for the Infected team in Versus modes.
  • In Dead Rising 2: Case West, there is a reference to the Witch. In the tunnels, there is "Safe Room Graffiti" written in blood that reads "Don't startle the Witch!" with a hand-print next to it and crying can be heard when near the area. A video of the Easter Egg/Reference can be seen here.
  • Through the use of server mods in L4D2 on the PC, the Witch can become playable but only if she spawns on the map. How to tell if the Witch Control mod is active is if the Witch is sitting down crying despite the campaign being in daylight.
  • If the Director notices that the players are having an easier time killing the Witch, it may spawn more Witches than usual. These Witches may also be in close proximity to each other.
  • On specific acts on L4D2, such as Swamp Fever, it is strangely enough to encounter 2 Witches in all but the finale, even if the players have a hard time (like using tier 1 weapons), or even if no human-controlled/bot Survivor is using a shotgun.
  • The Witch is the only Special Infected that it's tallies on the Sugar Mill exceed over 10000, if the player can manage to cr0wn them successfully and at least 10 Witches are in the level.
  • In the Sacrifice Comic, Louis is shown to be slashed at by a Witch. However, the Witch does not pursue him, which is very odd considering that Witches attack and chase anyone who startled them.
  • Although the Witch was designed not to kill more than one survivor, let alone the entire team, there is one very humorous exception (as seen on YouTube)
  • In the starting saferoom of the Church, there is also a graffiti indicated a single Witch had killed 10 Survivors at once.
    • By in game mechanics, it is rare but not impossible for a single Witch to kill an entire team in expert difficulty or in realism, by having the entire team standing in tight way such as a train car, or equipping the entire team with incendiary ammunition (Left 4 Dead 2 only).

External links

  1. The Witch's "Bacteria"

Gallery

See image archive for more images...

References

  1. Infected: http://www.l4d.com/l4d/infected.htm
  2. http://www.l4d.com/comic/comic.php?page=78
  3. Developer Commentary in The Sewer
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTQTAfEgWto
  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1aQLkA3vD4
  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1esiNYWwqE
  7. It was used once on the episode describing the history of the Abandoned Ceder Grove Psychiatric Hospital again in the episode describing the history of the Pennhurst State School then once more when describing the history of the orphanage at 'Gettysburg'.
  8. http://www.spike.com/video/unintented/3302191
The Infected
Playable
Introduced in Left 4 Dead Introduced in Left 4 Dead 2
Boomer nav Hunter nav Smoker nav Tank nav Charger nav Jockey nav Spitter nav
The Boomer The Hunter The Smoker The Tank The Charger The Jockey The Spitter
Non-Playable
Introduced in Left 4 Dead Introduced in Left 4 Dead 2 Cut Infected
Witch nav Common nav Uncommon Infected nav 70px-Screamer nav
The Witch Common Infected Uncommon Infected The Screamer

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