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Mysterious Monk Walking Alone During Sunset. Source: Igor Ovsyannykov / CC BY 2.0

Italy’s Ancient Benandanti: Harvest Rites and Ghostly Battles

In the Friuli region of Italy in 1580, during the peak of the Roman Inquisition’s foray into witchcraft, an inquisitorial examination of a local town crier produced the following eerie testimony: “…...
Example of a monument for an accused witch – “Maggie Wall burnt here 1657 as a Witch.” Source: Alan Weir/CC BY 2.0

Monumental Reminder of Scottish Witch Persecutions

The Scottish public is being consulted on a proposed national memorial in Fife for people condemned as witches. Scottish records inform that between the 16th and 18th centuries there were at least 1,...
Saul and the Witch of Endor

The Biblical Witch of Endor: Contacting the Spirit of a Prophet

The Witch of Endor is also known as the biblical Medium of Endor. According to legend, she was a medium who apparently summoned the Prophet Samuel's spirit. She is known from the Old Testament but...
Portrait of Emma Hamilton as Circe. This image was popular in illustrations for numerous books referring to Circe. (Public Domain) Circe’s cave is located at Mount Circeo, in Italy. Source: Association of Speleo-Archeological Research, Rome Sotterranea

Seductress’ Cave of Depravity from Homer’s Odyssey Found?

Italy's Mount Circeo or Cape Circeo is located about 60 miles (97 km) south of Rome and this promontory marks the southwestern limit of the former Pontine Marshes. This famous geological feature is...
Lady with an elegant headdress

Ningal: The Mesopotamian Goddess Awakening Female Mysticism

In the city of Ur, where the first settlements in the marshes of southern Mesopotamia were built with reeds without any type of nails or woods, Ningal was born to Ninhursag and Enki. Her name means...
Coprnice of Croatian myth. Source: captblack76 / Adobe Stock.

Cursing of Coprnice: The Good and Evil of Croatian Folklore

There have been many legends that survived through Croatian history. Some were spread worldwide, and some remain unknown. One of these lesser known legends is the myth of Coprnice. To simplify,...
A dark wizard (venerala / Adobe Stock)

Involuntary Initiation: Tales of Demonic Powers of Sorcery Transmitted to the Unsuspecting

It is said that in certain cases and under certain circumstances an individual can obtain special powers at the mere contact with a sorcerer without any kind of previous initiation. Such ancient...
Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga: The Wicked Witch of Slavic Folklore

As ambiguous as she is hideous, Baba Yaga is an anomaly – both a maternal, mother-nature figure and an evil villain who enjoys eating those who fail to complete her tasks. Though the origins of her...
A wizard in a cave

Cave Filled with Hundreds of Witches’ Marks Suggests People Used Magic to Counter Disease, Death, and Other Evils

Originally written off as graffiti, experts have now declared that the hundreds of markings of squares, letters, mazes, and lines in an English cave system are actually witches’ marks – apotropaic...
 A woman and children were found dead in a well near their home.

Ancient Superstitions Pervade India as Modern ‘Witch Hunt’ Leaves Mother and Children Dead

A shocking story from India is showing that in some areas of the world old superstitions are still alive and leading to terrible crimes. The belief in witchcraft is still common in many areas of...
Silhouette of a mysterious witch inside a cave

Kebokwe’s Cave: Where a Witch, A Legendary Scottish Explorer and a Tribal Chief Unite

Legends say Kebokwe’s Cave got its name from a witch who practiced black magic. When the sorceress was thrown from the hills near the cave, her magic is said to have allowed her to gently land on the...
Detail of ‘Walpurgisnacht’ (Walpurgis Night) by Fritz Roeber.

Walpurgis Night: A Saint, Witches, and Pagan Beliefs in a Springtime Halloween for Scandinavia

Walpurgis Night is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurgis, a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Walpurgis Night falls on April 30th and is a traditional holiday celebrated in northern Europe...
A 17th century engraving depicting an ordeal by water.

Trial by Ordeal: A Life or Death Method of Judgement

In the modern judicial system, the innocence or guilt of an accused may be established based on the evidence brought against him or her. In ancient and medieval societies, however, a different way of...
A cloaked witch (Leo Lintang / Fotolia)

The Evolution of The Medieval Witch – And Why She’s Usually a Woman

Flying through the skies on a broomstick, the popular image of a witch is as a predominantly female figure – so much so that the costume has become the go-to Halloween outfit for women and girls...
Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: Grindelwald, Dark Fantasies and Secret Societies

At the end of the Harry Potter fantasy prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them , we find out about the dark wizard Grindelwald as well as his plan to expose the magical community to the...
Mythical creatures – The Tooth Fairy

Tooth Fairy Tales: The Strange Origins of the Dental Sprite

The tooth fairy is rivalled only by Santa Claus in popularity among American children. She is famous for exchanging a few dollars for baby teeth that have fallen out. Belief in the tooth fairy has...

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