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Articles on Witches

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The ‘Malleus Maleficarum,’ a medieval handbook, was used to try and execute supposed witches. Its influence lasted for centuries – including at the Salem Witch Trials. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

How do you spot a witch? This notorious 15th-century book gave instructions – and helped execute thousands of women

Witch trials relied on a medieval text called the “Malleus Maleficarum” – a book this reference librarian can hold in her hands.
Most Wiccans in the U.S. practice alone, though they congregate in large gatherings to conduct rituals and learn from one another. Sarah Swinford/EyeEm via Getty Images

What is Wicca? An expert on modern witchcraft explains.

Interest in Wicca and witchcraft appears to be increasing, but what exactly is Wicca in the first place?
Witch-identified folks are sharing spells online in an act of magical resistance in advance of the U.S. election. (Shutterstock)

This Halloween, witches are casting spells to defeat Trump and #WitchTheVote in the U.S. election

As the U.S. election approaches, various groups have mobilized to vote. But witches have taken it a little further, organizing online spellcasting meet-ups to engage in magical resistance.
US President Donald Trump has tweeted ‘Witch Hunt’ approximately once every three days since his inauguration two years ago. The Crucible (1996)/IMDB

You think this is a witch hunt, Mr President? That’s an insult to the women who suffered

With President Donald Trump’s frequent use of the term “witch hunt” he paints himself as a victim. The women persecuted in one of history’s darkest chapters should not be forgotten so easily.
Illustrations from the Nuremberg Chronicle, by Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514)

Dealing with devil has long been a part of medicine

Reports of demonic possession are once again on the rise. But during the devil’s last apogee in early modern Europe, demonic afflictions were taken seriously by both priests and physicians.
Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.

Fantastic Beasts – experts explain the mysterious real life questions behind JK Rowling’s magic tales

From witching equality to what we’d see if we looked in a real Mirror of Erised, researchers explore the magic of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
An old Canadian law which outlaws magic fraud is about to be eliminated. This print by William Hogarth, ‘Credulity Superstition and Fanaticism,’ from 1762 epitomizes the Enlightenment view that witchcraft and religious fanaticism go hand in hand. William Hogarth/1762

Hello magic and witchcraft, goodbye Enlightenment

An antiquated Canadian law against magic and witchcraft is about to be repealed. A close look at its history reveals that it is far less superstitious than it appears.

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