A rising tide of witchcraft hysteria overwhelmed the sober Puritan communities of 17th-century New England, culminating in the notorious Salem witch trials of 1692. Rooted in religious zealotry as well as political friction and property disputes, the witch-hunts ranged beyond the gallows to ruin countless innocent lives. Voices from both sides of the controversy can be heard within this compilation of revealing documents from one of American history's darkest eras.
Assembled by a distinguished historian, this volume comprises 13 original narratives by judges, ministers, government officials, and others involved in the trials and persecution of the accused. Many firsthand reports from the men and women charged with sorcery appear here, along with accounts of the evidence against them, tests for witchcraft, trials and executions, and much more. Written by such famous figures as Increase and Cotton Mather (and featuring the first publication of the latter's "A Brand Pluck'd Out of the Burning"), the narratives include "Lithobolia, or the Stone-Throwing Devil," by Richard Chamberlain (1698); "Memorable Providences, Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions," by Cotton Mather (1689); "A Brief and True Narrative of Witchcraft at Salem Village," by Deodat Lawson (1692); "A Modest Inquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft," by John Hale (1702); and more.
A peerless source of firsthand information, this compilation offers a superb resource to anyone interested in the belief in witchcraft and its effect on colonial America.
"Throughout the whole vast shadowy world of ghosts and demons there is no figure so terrible, no figure so dreaded and abhorred, yet [looked upon] with such fearful fascination, as the vampire, who is himself neither ghost nor demon, but yet who partakes the dark natures and possesses the mysterious and terrible qualities of both."
So begins this riveting study by one of the foremost authorities on witchcraft and occult phenomena. An indefatigable researcher, Summers explores the presence of vampires in Greek and Roman lore, in England and Ireland during Anglo-Saxon times, in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Romania, and Bulgaria, even in modern Greece. More than just a collection of library lore, however, this detailed examination of the history of vampirism in Europe also includes anecdotes and firsthand accounts gathered by the author from peasants in places where belief in vampires was still common.
A fascinating, sometimes terrifying book, The Vampire in Lore and Legend is a "mine of out-of-the-way information full of unspeakable tales," writes The New York Times; and according to Outlook, "a fascinating inquiry into the vampire legend . . . a storehouse of curious and interesting lore." Of great interest to any enthusiast of the supernatural and the occult, this book will appeal as well to the legions of general readers captivated by this ancient myth.