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The Witch is one of the first five Special Infected which debuted in the first Left 4 Dead game. Players can see her wailing while sitting or walking throughout the campaign. Unlike the other special infected, she will not attack the players until startled.
Do not let her vulnerable appearance fool you because you will soon find yourself at her mercy. She can take down the one who angered her with a single swipe. In expert mode and above, she can even instant-kill them. So, once you play this survival game and hear her cry, turn off your flashlight, and do not run, the Witch is nearby.
Bottom Line Up Front: Witches are special infected that appear in both Left 4 Dead games. She is a pale woman with extremely long claws, used to maul her victims. She has incredible strength and speed despite her small frame.
Players will be alerted of her presence with her sobbing. She will not attack the player unless she is startled. Extra care is needed when encountering a Witch since she is the most dangerous infected in the game.
What is the Witch?
The Witch is one of the eight Special Infected of the Left 4 Dead franchise. She is a pale woman with long sharp claws that she uses to maul anyone unlucky enough to startle her.
She will not attack the players who remain oblivious to anything happening in her surroundings. She will not even react to the sound of a ticking pipe bomb. She will only attack once the players startle her.
Despite her frail appearance, she is the most dangerous amongst the Special Infected in the Left 4 Dead franchise. Her attack can instantly take you down while you can take a punch or two from the tank. In expert mode and above, she can one-hit-kill the player. She can also take a large amount of damage though second-only to the tank.
However, it is possible to complete a campaign without even fighting and killing her at all. All the player needs to do is not startle her. Turn off your flashlight once you hear a woman sobbing.
You can easily spot her due to the red glow that surrounds her. Do not run but crouch. Another unique trait about the Witch is that she is the only Special Infected that is not playable in the versus mode.
The Witch Appearance in the Games
Left 4 Dead
The Witch is exclusively female. She has pale skin and white hair. Her red eyes are sunken and can glow in the dark. A white tank-top and a pair of underwear is the only thing left of her clothing.
Her most prominent feature is her claws which used to be her fingers before the infection. Her loud cries can signal the players that she is already near their vicinity. The player’s characters will often remind each other what to do when a Witch is nearby.
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2 added new features for the franchise as Valve introduced melee weapons in the sequel. New Special Infected appear – the Charger, the Jockey, and the Spitter. And for the first time, added campaigns set in the day.
Continue reading our complete Spitter Left 4 Dead guide.
Left 4 Dead 2 also added new information regarding the Witch. In Hard Rain, Witches have an attraction to the scent of sugar. It explains why the campaign has relatively more witches than the other campaigns.
The Walking Witch
The Witch also received an update for the sequel. In the first Left 4 Dead game, the Witch will only sob on the floor. In Left 4 Dead 2, the Witches can now walk though only in campaigns set in the day.
Walking Witches take a longer time to be startled. However, it does not mean that the Walking Witches are not dangerous since they have the same power as their sitting counterparts. Being careful with them around is still of the utmost importance.
The Bridal Witch
Another unique Witch appeared in the Passing campaign. The Witch is wearing a tattered bridal dress surrounded by her now zombified guests. You can walk around her since the wedding ground is wide enough. If you want a more challenging experience, find the speaker and turn it on to startle her.
witch wedding guests
How the Witch Acts in Left 4 Dead
Players can hear a haunting wail accompanied by eerie music when the Witch is nearby. The characters will then comment about her and remind each other what to do once they encounter the Witch.
Players can find her sitting on the floor and crying. She is hard to miss due to a glowing red light surrounding her. She will ignore everything on the map unless she can sense the players are approaching her or directly attacking her. She will look at the player and begin to growl once the player is near her.
If her rage remains, she will stand and spread her claws. She screams at the player who enraged her if her anger did not subside. She will return to crying as soon as the players are out of her sight. Shining a flashlight on her will startle her even faster because the Witch is sensitive to bright lights.
The sequel game introduced the Walking Witch. She appears during campaigns set in the daytime. The Walking Witch will wander around the map with her eyes covered by her claws. Like her sitting counterparts, she will not attack the players until provoked. The Walking Witch is not that sensitive to the player’s presence.
Extra care is still needed when encountering a Walking Witch. Sneaking past all the witches without disturbing them in a single campaign will give you the achievement of “Do not Disturb.” If you do not want to fight the Witch, then here are the general tips that you need to do:
- Do crouch – crouching gives you time to assess the Witch’s behavior allowing the player to plan the next move.
- Do turn off your flashlight – The Witch is highly sensitive to bright lights. She can be startled much faster than turning it off. She will also react to the player’s presence much further.
- Don’t run – being loud could alert her of your presence.
- Don’t shoot her – she will immediately attack the person shooting her. For more challenging difficulties, this could potentially be a death sentence.
Once she’s startled by a player, she will rush towards the one responsible. She possesses massive strength and speed and can outrun the player unless the latter has effects of adrenaline. Getting hit by the Witch means instant incapacitation.
Getting hit by the Witch in Expert Difficulty and above means instant death. She can destroy most walls and doors with one hit except for safehouses. The Witch will only attack the one who startled her.
She will shove everything that stands her way, including other players. She will maul the incapacitated player until the startler dies unless the other players intervene. Once she kills the startler, the Witch will run away and despawns when the players lose sight of her.
The Witch’s Mutation in Left 4 Dead
The mutation of the virus caused the Witch to develop elongated fingers, which would serve as her claws. She is only wearing her underwear with the rest of her clothes are gone, which could indicate that the Witch has a severe fever.
The Witch could have shredded her clothes to alleviate her temperature. Her having a fever could explain her sensitivity towards light and sounds. She is also distinguishable by her haunting cry, but the reasoning is still unknown. One theory points to depression which may have caused her loss of sanity.
Another one points out that the virus may not have yet taken over her mind and she’s horrified about her current situation. The virus will only take over once a non-infected is near her, meaning the virus is luring unsuspecting survivors with her cry.
Despite her sensitivity to sound, she does not react to the beep of the pipe bombs and car alerts like the other infected. In Hard Rain, it is known that Witches also have a strange attraction to the smell of sugar. This is why there is plenty of Witches gathering in the sugar mill.
How to Fight the Witch in Left 4 Dead
The Witch is arguably one of the strongest infected in the game but, she will only attack if provoked. It is possible to complete a campaign without even fighting a witch. However, there is a tendency for Witches to spawn in inconvenient places, like in the middle of a hallway.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have no other choice but to kill her to complete the campaign, then here are tips you should remember when dealing with the Witch.
Burning the Witch
One great strategy in killing the Witch is to ignite her on fire since she will die in 15 seconds. Keep in mind, igniting her after she is startled would lead her to chase down the one who ignited her instead.
It can be a strategy; you can become the new bait once you find a better position if your teammate who startles the Witch is about to be incapacitated. Igniting the Witch with a Molotov will give you the achievement of “Burn the Witch.”
Baiting the Witch
The Bait-and-Run strategy is always about using a player as bait to control her direction. It hinges on the fact that the Witch will only attack one person before fleeing. There are plenty of ways to exploit it:
- Upon encountering the Witch, players must choose who among them will be the “Startler” or the one who will startle the Witch.
- Players can startle the Witch at a safe distance. First, the players will plant gas cans without angering the Witch and then move back. Meanwhile, the other three players must form a defense between the “Startler” and the Witch. The startler will now shoot the gas can upon reaching a safe distance, making the Witch take a lot of damage. The Witch will rush towards the startler straight, while the other three must concentrate on shooting her. The Witch will be dead before even reaching the startler if done right.
- This strategy will work well in Left 4 Dead 2 with the introduction of adrenaline, allowing the startler to outrun the Witch.
- The Startler can throw Molotov if Gas cans are not available but keep in mind that the aim must be precise; a bad throw could endanger your teammates.
Smacking the Witch
It is possible to kill the Witch using a melee weapon. One swing from a melee weapon can deal up to 250 damage. Meaning four swings from a melee weapon can already kill the Witch.
Killing a Witch with a sharp melee weapon without being incapacitated or killed will give you the achievement “New Haircut.” Here is a more detailed step-by-step Left 4 Dead witch Guide:
- Walk behind the Witch and make sure that she won’t be startled by your presence.
- Start hitting her at the back and dodge her first attack.
- Continue hitting her with a melee weapon after dodging until she is dead. She can’t attack after the first swipe because of how fast you attack her.
- Shove her in between strikes to ensure that she won’t attack. Shoving her will stun her for a second.
- In Left 4 Dead 2, shoving will already cool down, so shove only during critical moments.
- Any melee weapon can kill the Walking Witch; however, a fast-moving melee is required for stationary witches.
Using the Environment
The Left 4 Dead games not only encourage cooperation but also encourage strategizing the use of the maps. Players can exploit the doors, ledges, and ladders as well as hidden passageways that dot the maps. You can use the environment to your advantage when dealing with the Witch.
- The player can startle the Witch and rush towards the safehouse since the door of the safe house is indestructible. Since the Witch will only target the startler, the startler will hide behind the door while the rest will target the Witch.
- In Campaign mode, witches can quickly destroy most of the doors on the map. Players can still exploit this since they can put gas cans in front of the door. So, when a Witch slashes it, she also ignites the gas cans. Since she ignited herself, she will no longer target any players and simply die.
- You can also stay in the middle or top of a ladder once you startled the Witch. The other players can kill her without any risk. You must make sure that the Witch cannot reach you.
Crowning the Witch
One of the most challenging but rewarding ways to kill the Witch is to kill her in one shot using a shotgun. Doing so will give you the achievement “cr0wnd,” hence why the method is called crowning.
The Witch has 1000 health points, and the full damage of a shotgun is a little bit over that. Meaning, that players must ensure that all shotgun pellets must hit her before she can incapacitate anyone. If you want to learn how to “crown” the Witch, here is a step-by-step guide in how to do it:
- Approach the Witch without startling her. It would be best if you were quick to make your next move before she stands up.
- You can approach her while crouching so that you can have a better aim before she stands up. However, one disadvantage with crouching is that you cannot run away if your first shot is missed.
- Aim your shotgun and shoot her at the back or front before she is angry enough to attack. It is advisable to shoot her multiple times when doing this method to make sure that she is dead.
- Despite the achievement’s implication, it is much better to aim at the back or chest instead of the head. That is because the chest and back have a larger target area for the pellet to hit than the head.
- Do not hesitate. Any hesitation when doing the crowning may give her time to become startled. Once she is startled, it would be difficult to kill her without incapacitating you first.
- Do not rush in crowning her. Rushing would lead to a greater chance of you missing your first shots. If you miss, she will be startled.
- Do not panic if you miss; it is possible to divert her attention from the startler to another player by igniting her with Molotov or incendiary ammo.
- Make sure that all common and special infected in the area are dead before crowning. Any disturbance may lead you to miss your shot and startle her.
- Do turn off your flashlight. Turning on your flashlight will make her startle faster and mess up your timing.
- Do practice this method in lower difficulty. Practice will let you improve your timing and aim in crowning the Witch.
How NOT to Fight the Witch in Left 4 Dead
Witches are extremely difficult to battle with. You are up against a vicious zombie who can incapacitate you in one blow. I explained in the previous section the strategies you can use to go toe-to-toe with her. Here are some helpful tips on things NOT to do.
- Do not fight her when possible. Sometimes, the Witch may be in an area where you can completely skip past her. With careful movement, you can avoid an encounter entirely.
- Do not use a melee weapon. The Witch is not the type of zombie you can fight using an ax or a katana. You should only use a melee weapon if you are trying to accomplish the “New Haircut” achievement in Left 4 Dead 2.
- Do not flash your light towards her. Turn off your lights the moment you hear the cries of the Witch. They are easily agitated by light.
- Do not run near her. Running will also agitate her, much like a flashing light on her.
- Do not fight against her in a closed space. When the area is too cramped, she can easily catch up to you and hit you. Instead, you can bait her out of the area and into an open field. That way, you have ample time to run and let your teammates shoot at her.
- Do not use a pipe bomb against her. Witches will not run towards the beeping since they are focused on their target. However, a pipe bomb’s explosion still stumbles and damages her, but it requires practice and timing.
- Do not use bile bombs against her either. The Witch is too fast for the common infected to chase, rendering the bomb’s effects useless.
- Do not panic. Panicking makes your aim worse. Have a steady aim while avoiding the Witch. Remember that if you are not the one who startled her, she will not come after you.
Best Weapons to Kill the Witch in Left 4 Dead
The best weapons to use depends on which game you are playing, whether Left 4 Dead or its sequel. Below is a detailed description of all the weapons you can utilize to fight the terrifying Witch.
- Melee Weapons: Surprisingly, the best weapon to kill the Witch are melee weapons. However, it is not recommended if the Witch chases you because you need to get closer to her to use melee weapons. It is best for the teammates who will help the one being chased. They do 250 damage with one swing, so it only needs four strikes to kill her.
- Chainsaw: The chainsaw in Left 4 Dead 2 can kill the Witch within two seconds, as it does massive damage when it is turned on.
- Shotgun: You can kill a Witch in one hit with a shotgun using the Crowning method. However, it requires skill and dedication. Plus, it is very risky. It still is a good weapon against the Witch even when you fail with one hit, as it deals a great amount of damage.
- Molotov Cocktail and Incendiary Ammo: Burning the Witch can deal more damage as you shoot her. Thus, Molotov cocktails and incendiary ammo are great tools to kill the Witch faster.
How to Use the Witch in Versus Mode
The Witch is the only Special Infected to be unplayable in Versus Mode. This is due to game balance since her instant incapacitation can give a massive advantage for the players playing as the infected.
There is no way for you to play her legitimately unless you modify the game’s codes. Even if you cannot play as her, there are still plenty of ways for the Infected to take advantage of the Witch:
- Smokers and Jockeys can drag a survivor towards the Witch and startle her. This strategy is incredibly effective in Sugar Mill due to having more witches.
- Boomers can obscure the Survivor’s view of the Witch. An unsuspecting survivor will shoot the Boomer, which can startle the Witch when the former explodes. How to deal with Boomers?
- Spitters can control the field with her puddle. Since survivors will move away from the puddle to avoid damage, good placement of the goo will force survivors to move towards the Witch.
- Tanks can throw survivors towards the Witch with his punch.
- Chargers can charge at survivors and push them towards the Witch. However, doing it as a Charger requires a good aim.
Witch-Related Achievements in Left 4 Dead
In Left 4 Dead
- CROWND – “Kill a witch with a single headshot.”
- DO NOT DISTURB – “Sneak past all Witches in a campaign without disturbing one.”
- WITCH HUNTER – “Kill a Witch without any Survivors taking damage from her”
- BURN THE WITCH – “Light a Witch on fire with a Molotov.”
In Left 4 Dead 2
- NEW HAIRCUT – “Kill a Witch using only a sharp melee weapon without anyone getting incapacitated or killed.”
- SHOTGUN WEDDING – “Kill the Witch Bride with a single shotgun blast on expert difficulty.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How Strong is the Witch?
Answer: Witches are the strongest infected in the game. Her swipe can take down the players in casual difficulties and instantly kill when in expert difficulty. She possesses incredible speed allowing her to outrun the players unless the latter uses adrenaline. She can take a lot of damage, second only to a tank.
Question: Which is Stronger in Left 4 Dead, Tank vs. Witch?
Answer: I think that the Witch is the strongest infected in the game. Her swipe can take down the players in casual difficulties and instantly kill when in expert difficulty. She possesses incredible speed allowing her to outrun the players unless the latter uses adrenaline. She can take a lot of damage, second only to a tank. However, you can avoid a Witch, whereas you cannot avoid conflicting with a Tank.
Question: In Left 4 Dead, How Can You Tell if a Witch is Nearby?
Answer: You can tell a Witch is nearby when you hear a female sobbing and crying. Her eyes glow red in the dark, so you can also spot her easily in dark places. She is hunched over the floor but sometimes wanders around with her hands covering her face.
Question: Can You Play the Witch in Versus Mode?
Answer: Witches are unplayable in Versus Mode though she still appears in the maps and can be used by the Infected Team to their advantage. If you are on PC, there are mods in Steam Workshops that allow you to play as her.
Question: Can Witches Attack Multiple People?
Answer: Witches only attack the person who startled her. She will not stop until the startler is incapacitated and killed, then she flees the map. It’s possible to redirect her aggression to another person by igniting her on fire.
Conclusion About Witches in Left 4 Dead
Witches are incredibly powerful and dangerous infected. The Witch is not hostile to the players unless they startle her. Once enraged, she will attack the startler and incapacitate or even kill them with a single swipe. She possesses great speed and can outrun the players if they do not have any adrenaline.
Players have to be extra careful upon hearing her cries because it indicates that the Witch is nearby. Witches are highly sensitive to lights and will be enraged faster if being shined upon, so it is advisable to turn the flashlights off.
Careful when you aim when dealing with the common infected near the Witch because you might accidentally shoot her. Doing so would make her angry immediately. It is possible to kill her without anyone getting hurt but doing so requires good teamwork and a good plan.
The Witch is unplayable in Versus mode but still spawns in the game. She can give the Infected Team an advantage because of her ability to incapacitate a Survivor. Once she spawns, it is the interest of the Infected to protect her from the Survivor and wait for the opportunity to startle her.