This, from "The Origins of Halloween" by the Barbara G. Walker - Strega should take a special interest:
"Halloween, Samhain, All Hallows, All Saints or Hallow-Eve is the season of the Crone. In ancient paganism, the word Crone denoted an elder priestess or tribal matriarch; a cognate word is 'crown,' the symbol of a leader. The word was made pejorative when the Christian Church redefined all elder priestesses of the old religion as malevolent witches. Similarly, the word 'hag' was once derived from Greek, 'hagia'—a holy woman—and also became a Christianized term for a witch."
As I'm sure I mentioned, probably sometime last year, the Norse goddess, Fria (or Freyja), daughter of Oden (Woden), sister of Thor and Loki, was inordinately fond of cats. When the Scandinavian countries were Christianized, they demonized Fria, determining she was a witch, and her cat, her familiar.
Like it or not, Strega, you're holy!
"There is really only one day a year when you can pull all the stops."
Clearly you haven't seen me on New Year's Eve --!