A medieval engraving of the persecution of witches: historians are increasingly demonstrating that belief in witchcraft survived in Western Europe well into the 18th, 19th and even 20th centuries.
It is estimated that thousands of people are killed in witchcraft-related violence around the world each year. How can we tackle this problem today?
Rural China sheds light on the role of witchcraft in society.
Most anthropologists believe that witch labelling has evolved to get people to conform. But new research suggests an alternative explanation.
Tales of levitation tend to belie stark inequalities and various forms of violence (often upon women).
Independent, powerful feminist role models or a warning to women not to overstep the mark? Witches have been many things over the years.
How do leaders find authority as discerners of evil?
Wellcome Library, London.
Witch-finders of early modern Europe and modern Africa made themselves indispensable by showing people a threat of a growing crisis of threatening evil.
FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers at hearing on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
A 'witch hunt' is what Trump called investigations into his campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election. An anthropologist explains the connection between witch hunts and social control.
The Love Witch
This is a thought-provoking, odd, shocking and beautiful movie about feminism, fantasy and film history.
Paranormal or just plain ordinary?
The truth about the paranormal – just in time for Halloween.
Bokeh Blur Background Subject/www.shutterstock.com
A podcast on darkness: from why it makes us scared, to what kind of nightlife can thrive in the modern city and an update on the hunt for dark matter.
Older women are often identified and witches and persecuted.
It is particularly dangerous to be an elderly person in Tanzania's rural areas and villages. Legislation exists to protect this group, but it's not being translated into reality.
A recent survey suggests that a third of UK parents avoid reading their children scary stories. Is this a worrying trend?
You shall not pass!
They were the security systems of the post-medieval world.
Helen Sloan / HBO
It looks as if the story of the red priestess Melisandre is only just getting started. But is she a prophet, or a witch?
A photograph from The Sabbat Cycle’s Austin stop, where a screening of ‘The Witch’ was held, followed by a satanic ritual.
The Satantic Temple
What, exactly, are the political goals of The Satanic Temple, which formed in 2013? A religion professor attended a recent satanic ritual to find out.
In Nigeria some children who are branded as witches suffer severe abuse.
In many parts of Nigeria, children are branded as witches and suffer abuse and even abandonment. Religion and poverty are thought to play a role.
The Witch, film poster.
Were evil witches really stealing children in the 17th century?
How are people railroaded through the justice system? Early modern witch trials can provide a clue.
Marginalised outsiders, community conflict and a bad reputation – the prosecution of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey has all the hallmarks of the early modern witchcraft persecution. Warning: spoilers ahead.
Why do some people reach for the word “witch” to describe the women around them?
Heks op de bezem, Kees Groeneveld, 1959.
Why did Peter Dutton choose 'witch' when describing Samantha Maiden? The word has a long history of misogyny – particularly towards outspoken or powerful women.
The Newcastle Witch Hunt (1650), from Ralph Gardiner’s account (1655).
Witches in fiction fascinate but what were they really like?
Melisandre, a witch inspired by early modern history, burns Mance Rayder in Game of Thrones.
While Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin openly draws on medieval and early modern history in the worlds of his books, his subversive depictions of witchcraft make his female characters both intriguing and powerful.