What she is referring too is known as folk magick. It is indeed very old and yes it does work. This is where the modern craft established its roots. This subject is excellent study material for any would be witch or practitioner.
Re: ancient secrets
By: ConjureLady_ / Knowledgeable Sep 11, 2013
Post # 5
Pointed hats had nothing to do with energy focus. Witches of old didn't do energy work. They worked with roots, herbs, etc. Natural items around them. They knew how to use these items to do various things from causing a person or land to become less fertile, to healing the sick.
Pointed hats were actually fashionable at one time. As the fashion went out, country folk continued to wear them, and artist depicted "evil witches" as wearing them.
Corn Husk Dolls are actually a toy. They are now used in some Wiccan ceremonies, however they are more notably attributed to Native American's (I can easily assume that any poor country folk who had access to corn did same or similar). They were created as dolls for children to play with.
Brooms have been used and still used today to sweep away ill effects. Witchcraft is extremely practical. In order to get illness, bad luck, etc. out of the house, you literally sweep it out the door step. The direction doesn't matter nearly as much as the actual "out the door" does (though traditional methods may vary and some may require specific directions, many traditions do not matter in terms of North South East West).
Apples have to many different attributes, it's not even funny. The are used in divination, they are seen as "wisdom" in some cultures, are offerings to the dead, etc.
Masks..I've never heard of using so I am unsure of that information
All magick is based on energy. I can take a pair of sweaty gym socks throw them in a tub. Add frog eggs, bat guano, a rock, butter and salt. Stir it three times clockwise two times counter. Dance a jig, have a drink and all in the name of a love spell. But it doesn't mean squat without the proper energy to do what you need.
Aliester Crowley described magick as the art and science of causing change in accordance with will. In other words its the intent and will used to cause change in energy to do any spell.
So it doesn't matter what tool you use to work with a element. If bathing before a ritual helps you cleanse unwanted energy from your body then there is your intent and will. Same with sweeping away with a broom.