In the movie The VVitch, Caleb returns to his family after being seduced by a witch.

Then he receives a cut into his right temple to allow bloodletting, what is the name of this medical practice?

boy is having blood dripping into a bowl

2 Answers 2


Like you said, it's a practice known as bloodletting. Using a sharp object you do an incision or a puncture in a part of the body and it was thought that certain illness would be cured.

In this case, the incision or puncture was done in the temple and it was expected to cure Caleb's fever, I believe.

As for medical terminology, if the blood is drawn from a vein is called phlebotomy or venesection, if it's from an artery (like it's the case here with the temple artery) is called arteriotomy, and scarification if it's from a superficial blood vessel.

The different areas you could draw blood from. Text in Latin.


Bloodletting was constantly used back in medieval times as answered above. There are modern connections especially in phlebotomy

Bloodletting info slide

  • 4
    You should edit the relevant information from that image into your answer. It's too small for me to read unless I enlarge it, and people with screen readers won't be able to see it at all.
    – F1Krazy
    Oct 29, 2019 at 15:16

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