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CHAPTER I. The Origin, Prevalence, and Variety of Superstition—The Belief in Witchcraft the most horrid Form of Superstition—Most flourishing in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries—The Sentiments of Addison, Blackstone, and the Lawyers of the Eighteenth Century upon the Subject—Chaldean and Persian Magic—Jewish Witchcraft—Its important Influence on Christian and Modern Belief—Greek Pharmacy and... more...

INTRODUCTION The subject of Witches and Witchcraft has always suffered from the biassed opinions of the commentators, both contemporary and of later date. On the one hand are the writers who, having heard the evidence at first hand, believe implicitly in the facts and place upon them the unwarranted construction that those facts were due to supernatural power; on the other hand are the writers who, taking the evidence on hearsay and disbelieving... more...

CHAPTER I. Rise and Progress of Superstition—The Serpent—Cain's Departure from the true Worship—Worship of the Sun, Moon, and Stars—Strange Story of Abraham—The Gods of Antiquity—Ether, Air, Land, and Water filled with living Souls—Guardian Angel—Cause of the Flood—Magic—How the Jews deceived the Devil—A Witch not permitted to live—Diviners, Enchanters, Consulters with... more...

INTRODUCTION. The Witchcraft superstitions of the Channel Islands, sad as they were in their characteristics and results—as is abundantly evidenced by our judicial records—were but a part and parcel of that vast wave of unreasoning credulity which swept across the civilised world during the Middle Ages, and more or less affected every class of society, and all sorts and conditions of men. From the lists given in the following pages... more...

INTRODUCTION. The two very rare works reprinted in the present volume, written by two of the most celebrated of the early American divines, relate to one of the most extraordinary cases of popular delusion that modern times have witnessed. It was a delusion, moreover, to which men of learning and piety lent themselves, and thus became the means of increasing it. The scene of this affair was the puritanical colony of New England, since better... more...


Querie 1. That he must needs be the greatest Witch, Sorcerer, and Wizzard himselfe, else hee could not doe it. Answ. If Satan's kingdome be divided against it selfe, how shall it stand? Querie 2. If he never went so farre as is before mentioned, yet for certaine he met with the Devill, and cheated him of his Booke, wherein were written all the Witches names in England, and if he looks on any Witch, he can tell by her... more...

How Dorothea Stettin is talked out of the sub-prioret by Sidonia, and the priest is prohibited from visiting the convent. If Sidonia could not be the pastor's wife, she was determined at least to be sub-prioress, and commenced her preparations for this object by knitting a little pair of red hose for her cat. Then she sent for Dorothea Stettin, saying that she was weak and ill, and no one took pity on her. When the good Dorothea came as she was... more...

Amongst all the trials for witchcraft with which we are acquainted, few have attained so great a celebrity as that of the Lady Canoness of Pomerania, Sidonia von Bork. She was accused of having by her sorceries caused sterility in many families, particularly in that of the ancient reigning house of Pomerania, and also of having destroyed the noblest scions of that house by an early and premature death. Notwithstanding the intercessions and... more...

MAP AND ILLUSTRATIONS. The , based upon various local maps and the Coast-Survey chart, is the result of much personal exploration and perambulation of the ground. It may claim to be a very exact representation of many of the original grants and farms. The locality of the houses, mills, and bridges, in 1692, is given in some cases precisely, and in all with near approximation. The task has been a difficult one. An original plot of Governor... more...

INTRODUCTION. An article in The North American Review, for April, 1869, is mostly devoted to a notice of the work published by me, in 1867, entitled Salem Witchcraft, with an account of Salem Village, and a history of opinions on witchcraft and kindred subjects. If the article had contained criticisms, in the usual style, merely affecting the character of that work, in a literary point of view, no other duty would have devolved upon me, than... more...