Rachel is a witch who first appears in the Johan comic story The Master of Roucybeuf (1953). She also appears in The War of The Seven Springs (1959) and the cartoon show episode adaptation re-dubbed The Haunted Castle (1982).
Rachel specializes in potions and cures, uses a broomstick to travel, and has even threatened to turn people who annoy her into gherkins. She lives in a cottage in the middle of the Wood of Hanged Men ("bois des pendus" in the original French) which is near the castle of Roucybeuf. As a witch, she is greatly feared and even the bravest of men hesitate to go anywhere near her home, but although a bit sullen and moody she is not really evil.
The Master of Roucybeuf
When his friend Sir Hughes de Roucybeuf was poisoned by an enemy, Johan took him to Rachel's cottage and asked her to cure him. Rachel expected payment but Johan refused, pointing out that saving the life of the son of the popular baron would help improve her reputation and spare her from being burnt at the stake. Rachel agreed and offered him a drink; Johan hesitated, fearing that it was poisoned, but it turned out to be actually very good wine. Rachel then proceeded to preparing a cure for Sir Hughes and Johan left her to it. When he returned the next day, Johan found the cottage empty except for a cat and assumed that Rachel had turned Hughes into it, but it turned out that Hughes was alive and well and simply helping Rachel cut some wood. After their enemies had been defeated and the land restored to the rightful baron, Rachel was among the guests invited to a celebration banquet.
The War of the Seven Springs
Later Johan and Peewit learned of how a witch called Sara had put a curse on the land of Baufort, drying up the springs that provided the land with water. While making enquiries into the matter, they learned that the late Sara had passed her knowledge on to Rachel. Rachel herself had tried all sorts of ways to restore water to the land but all her efforts had been in vain.
While exploring her cottage, Peewit drank from a flask labelled "marvellous wine" ("vin merveilleux" in the original French). The wine caused him to roar with uncontrollable laughter. It was supposed to be a cure for depression, but Peewit had drank too much and there was a risk of him dying as a result. Fortunately, Rachel quickly made him an antidote.
Rachel knew the Smurfs and had borrowed a magic flute from them for undisclosed reasons. Johan and Peewit were still at her cottage when Papa Smurf came to fetch the flute — but not before Peewit had used it to make Rachel and Johan dance uncontrollably. Papa Smurf gave them a magical divining rod which enabled them to restore the seven springs.
(In the TV cartoon adaptation, it is Rachel who provides the magical rod.)
Rachel is mentioned, but not seen, in the comic story The Cursed Land (1961). When his King falls into a state of depression, Johan goes to see Rachel who gives him some of her "marvellous" wine which he hopes will cheer the King up, but something goes wrong and the King instead starts to cry and whine that everybody hates him. He is cured of his depression by other means.
Rachel makes a cameo appearance in the comic La Nuit des sorciers (The Night of the Sorcerers) (2002). She can be seen in a panel in which Homnibus tells a gathering of fellow sorcerers that they are about to put together a powerful artefact which is the main reason for their assembling.
In the comics, Rachel is depicted as wearing a black patched robe similar to Gargamel's. Possibly because of this similarity, the color of her robe, though still patched, is changed to brown in the cartoon adaptation. She was voiced by Janet Waldo, who also provided the voice of fellow witch Hogatha, to which Rachel's was similar but without the snort.