I started minecraft last week to play with my kids. I built a huge castle in the sky between 2 hills. When I was just finished I find something walking around the courtyard (all door were closed). I rushed it with a pickax, pinned it against the wall and clicked as fast as I could. I spent 2 pickaxes and didn't seem to do any damage. Now I'm dead and it standing over the bed and chests inside the castle courtyard. I look it up and find its a witch, but there are no comments on special tactics on how to kill it. Its supposed to be a simple thing?

How did it get into my fully lit and walled castle? Can they fly or jump? Open doors? Go through walls? Why won't it die? I need to be able to keep monsters out. Castle design:

|_______                        ____________________Witch__|   /
        |     castle            |                             |
        |            ___________|                             |
        |           |                                         |
        | respawn   |                                         /
        |___________|                                        |
       /             \                                      /
      /               |                                     | mountain 
     /                |

P.S.: I found out building a canopy over a valley is a bad idea. Shading that much area brings out a non-stop barrage of creepers and skeletons making going out a death march, not to mention un-passable, unless one brings a full load of dirt to climb out of the sheer number of blast craters.

  • Are you wanting to know how to kill it or why it spawned? The title says the former, but the rest of your question indicates more of the latter.
    – Vemonus
    Jun 6, 2017 at 16:06
  • @vemonus I need to kill it or make it go away, my coworker suggested building axes (no iron required) IF I can get tips on preventing this it would help out additionally.
    – ppostma1
    Jun 6, 2017 at 16:14
  • Some things I didn't know, 1: I can use wood to make weapons. I thought that required iron or greater. 2: some mobs will spawn from different surfaces (even my castle wall) regardless of light. 3: The respawn area should be walled and doored off even if you control the greater area around it.
    – ppostma1
    Jun 6, 2017 at 18:49
  • 1
    While you can use pickaxes and other tools to fight, I'd highly recommend using swords/bows. They do more damage to other creatures than their "tool" counterparts. A stone sword can take them out in a rush, but you might die a few times in the process.
    – Tim S.
    Jun 6, 2017 at 20:07
  • 1
    Note: witches despawn like all common mobs; just move over 130 blocks away and it will vanish. Another "cheap" way is to box it in with any blocks, then dig a block down, destroy one block on the witch's legs levels, then and attack the legs. It won't be able to attack you.
    – SF.
    Jun 6, 2017 at 23:30

6 Answers 6


Witches are a rare hostile mob, however they can be killed relatively easily. First off you want to set them on fire, this immediately causes them to drink fire resistance, and while they're doing that, they can't poison or throw anything nasty at you. During this time deal as much damage as possible, keep hitting her and don't stop until she dies. Of course if you have ranged weapons like bows then use them instead as then you'll be well out of the witches range, however you will need to be able to hit her otherwise she can take a while to kill as she heals up.

Also, in terms of witches abilities they are just as mobile as zombies (in terms of navigating your defences, so they cannot fly or climb walls).

  • So it is healing! ok! I'll look up setting them on fire. I just picked up flint before this went down.
    – ppostma1
    Jun 6, 2017 at 16:20
  • 1
    That also works, however lava will deal more damage when it's placed, but the effect of making them drink something is the same :) Jun 6, 2017 at 16:37
  • 1
    I mean if you're willing to take the risk you can attempt to dig a hole underneath the witch and make them fall into a hole before either covering it up, or suffocating the witch in sand/gravel. You may die doing this, but just respawn and bury them :3 Jun 6, 2017 at 19:06
  • 1
    In addition in case you were unaware you should also be jumping as you hit her in order to deal critical damage. Jun 7, 2017 at 10:50
  • 2
    BURN HER! BURN HER! Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
    – ppostma1
    Jun 7, 2017 at 23:20

Witches drink potions to heal itself, eg it drinks potion of fire resistance when on fire, potion of healing when hurt, etc. It also throws negative potions at you like poison, harming and slowness, so keeping a distance while combatting the witch is recommended. It should take 4 to 5 hits with an unenchanted bow to kill it, or if you really need to get close, about 7 hits with an unenchanted iron sword and 6 hits with an unenchanted diamond sword.

Also look for holes in your "fully walled" castle, as creepers might have breached it without noticing you. Furthermore, hostile mobs spawn when light level is below 7. Use the F3 menu if necessary


How did it get into your castle?

According to this wiki:

you can find witches in most Overworld biomes in light levels of 7 or less. Witches will spawn in the dark, usually at night. Once a witch has spawned in the dark, it can survive in the daylight.

So to avoid witches spawning in the future, make sure your castle and the surrounding area is well lit (using torches or other light-producing objects).

What can Witches do?

Witches are hostile mobs, meaning they will attack you as soon as they see you. According to the same wiki as above:

A witch is armed with splash potions such as: Splash Potion of Weakness, Splash Potion of Poison, Splash Potion of Harming and Splash Potion of Slowness.

Note that you can drink Milk to negate these potion effects if you are hit by one while fighting the witch.

Witches are also unique in they way they attack (emphasis mine):

a witch has a special attack. It will throw harmful splash potions at you causing you damage until you die.

Importantly, since they use potions, your armour will be negated entirely - this is perhaps why it so easily killed you:

Because of this, the player's armor is rendered useless, regardless of the armor's material and/or enchantments.

Finally, witches can also regenerate their health:

Witches also have the ability to regenerate health

How do I kill one?

There are a couple of different strategies for fighting witches, which can be summarized as follows:

  • Use a bow - using a bow you can stay out of the witch's range, meaning you cannot be hit by the potions it may throw at you.
  • Get in close and deal consistent damage - dealing high damage quickly will force the witch to use health potions instead of attacking you (as mentioned in the Reddit thread linked above). Just make sure you can deal more damage than she can heal.
  • Potion of Strength - you can also use a potion of strength to supplement your attacking, and help bring the witch down faster.
  • Use console commands - if you're having a really tough time, this answer explains how to use console commands to kill an enemy. You can find your coordinates using F3.

Now that I know more about the game I have a list of solutions:

  • Switch to peaceful mode to despawn the witch
  • Run far enough away to despawn the witch
  • Change to creative mode to get invulnerability
  • Command give items to yourself to fight back including golden apples
  • Build a wall around her to block her in until you get the weapons you need
  • (Optional) Blow her up with lots of TNTs
  • Prepare milk before doing

Bow and arrow from afar. It’s also a good way to clear out a mansion. Infinity bow, power 4,unbreaking 4. Can catch bows and enchantments fishing. Best of luck.


Witches can be a tough mob to kill.
As mentioned above, witches cannot do two things at once. If you have any cows around your mansion, I suggest you use their milk as a precaution to fall back on. But beware, for one is an easy target when one is busy drinking; make sure the witch stays occupied, or get out of firing range. If possible, circle the witch (the same technique used against skeletons). Good luck!

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