Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
This is a family movie based on a Roald Dahl children's book that would have given me nightmares if I'd seen it as a child. It's about a young boy, Luke, and his grandmother, Helga, who vacation at a large seaside hotel in England where Luke discovers a convention of witches, and tries to stop their evil plot, even after he has been turned into a mouse.
In the opening scene, Helga tells Luke all about witches: they are ordinary looking women with ordinary jobs; they are bald so they wear wigs; they have no toes so they wear sensible shoes; they have purple eyes; they often wear masks and gloves to hide their hideous hands and face; and they abduct and kill children because they hate them. Children smell like fresh dog droppings to them. The fake organization Luke discovers at the hotel "The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children" is just a front for the witches who are plan to kill all of the children in England by turning them into mice by using a secret potion concocted by the Grand High Witch.
Before Helga and Luke go to the hotel, a witch uses a snake in an attempt to abduct Luke. Luke is playing up in a tree fort at Helga's house when an odd woman calls up to him to come down to her. He recognizes that she is a witch when he sees her purple eyes, so he is scared. She tells him not to be afraid because she has something very valuable that she found on her walk that she would like to give to him if he will come down to get it. She pulls a snake out of her handbag. He knows she's using the snake to lure him to her so she can abduct him, so he stays up in the tree fort. She tells him the snake is harmless and that little boys like snakes. When she sees he won't come down, she tells him that she will leave the snake below for him to get later. She warns him that snakes will wriggle away quickly unless you tell them not to, and then she talks silently to the snake and it freezes stiff on the wall. When he refuses her offer, she tries to lure him down with a candy bar, but just then Helga calls him and the witch runs off, leaving the snake on the brick wall. Then the snake suddenly vanishes into thin air and re-appears in her hands, as she laughs maniacally. Luke tells Helga that she hypnotized a real snake.
The snake is a Corn Snake, native to the eastern part of North America, not England, and a popular pet snake.