Witchlore: Book I

Although it cannot be hoped that any work be truly comprehensive, “Witchlore” seeks to bring together a large and eclectic mix of fascinating works upon the subject of witches and witchcraft. Some of the works included are sympathetic to witchcraft, some keep a scholarly distance, whilst one, namely, that of Matthew Hopkins, is murderously opposed. This first book opens with the classic “Aradia, or The Gospel of Witches” by C.G. Leland, followed by a large number of spells and incantations collected by that same author and published originally in the second part of his “Etruscan Roman Remains in Popular Tradition.” (Therein one finds such wonders as The Spell of the Boiling Clothes, The Spell of the Falling Star, The Spell of the Lamp, as well as information on ring sorcery, divination, omens, amulets, etc.) Other works included are by Walter Gregor, Oliver Madox Hueffer, M.A. Murray, J.A. MacCulloch, and Wallace Notestein. With such a diverse range of perspectives, it is hoped that this book will afford the reader with a rounded view of witchlore.


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The contents to Book I are as follows:

Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches
by Charles Godfrey Leland.

Spells, Incantations, &c
by Charles Godfrey Leland.
I. La Stalla Di Maiale—Dreaming in a Pigsty and Swine Lore
❖The Spell of the Ivy and the Statue
❖The Spell of the Hare
❖The Spell of the Spider
❖The Spell of the Green Lizard
II. Birds and Treasures
❖The Spell of the Falling Star
❖The Spell of the Acorns
❖The Spell of the Swallow
Minor Cures from Marcellus
Le Quattro Cose Della Buona Fortuna
La Formicola. The Ant
The Three Wise Men of the East and the Witch Medals
III. The Exorcism of Death
❖The Spell of the Cradle
Divination with Lead
Divination by Oil
Pyromancy and Incense
Grain on Coals
Incense on Coals
❖The Spell of the Lamp
IV. Evil Incantations
❖The Spell of the Holy Stone and the Salagrana
❖The Spell of the Shell and the Tone of the Stone
❖The Spell of the Snail
Il Canto del Gallo
Divination with Ashes
V. The Amethyst
❖The Spell of the Black Hen
❖The Spell of the Bell
❖The Spell of the Boiling Clothes
Ring Sorcery
Amulets, Omens and Small Sorceries
Lead and Antimony

I. The Witch
by Walter Gregor.
II. The Witch’s Attributes
by Oliver Madox Hueffer.
III. Organisations of Witches in Great Britain
by M.A. Murray.
IV. Witches and the Number Thirteen
by M.A. Murray.
V. The Mingling of Fairy and Witch Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Scotland
by J.A. MacCulloch.

A. The Discovery of Witches
by Matthew Hopkins.
B. List of Cases of Witchcraft, 1558-1718, With References to Sources and Literature
by Wallace Notestein.
C. List of Persons Sentenced to Death for Witchcraft During the Reign of James I
by Wallace Notestein.


The Book of Witches

In this remarkable work, O.M. Hueffer casts both a searching and sympathetic eye upon witchcraft through the ages. “I have attempted nothing so ambitious as a large-scale Ordnance Map of Witchland,” he writes, “rather I have endeavoured to produce a picture from which a general impression may be gained. I have chosen, that is to say, from the enormous mass of material only so much as seemed necessary for my immediate purpose, and on my lack of judgment be the blame for any undesirable hiatus. I have sought, again, to show whence the witch came and why, as well as what she was and is; to point out, further, how necessary she is and must be to the happiness of mankind, and how great the responsibility of those who, disbelieving in her themselves, seek to infect others with their scepticism. We have few picturesque excrescences left upon this age of smoothly-running machine-wheels, certainly we cannot spare one of the most time-honoured and romantic of any.”

witchcraft spells history of witchcraft

The sixteen chapters are as follows:

I. On a Possible Revival of Witchcraft
II. A Sabbath-General
III. The Origins of the Witch
IV. The Half-Way Worlds
V. The Witch’s Attributes
VI. Some Representative English Witches
VII. The Witch of Antiquity
VIII. The Witch in Greece and Rome
IX. The From Paganism to Christianity
X. The Witch-Bull and Its Effects
XI. The Later Persecutions in England
XII. Persecutions in Scotland
XIII. Other Persecutions
XIV. Philtres, Charms and Potions
XV. The Witch in Fiction
XVI. Some Witches of To-Day

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Sun- and Moonlore

Herewith a trove of myths, legends, and folklore concerning the sun and the moon, gathered through the scholarship of William Tyler Olcott and Timothy Harley, making for a book that is sure to edify, fascinate, and delight.

sun and moonlore mythology luna

The contents are as follows:

I. Solar Creation Myths
II. Ancient Ideas of the Sun and the Moon
III. Solar Mythology
IV. Solar Mythology (Continued)
V. Solar Folklore
VI. Sun-Worship
VII. Sun-Worship (Continued)
VIII. Sun-Catcher Myths
IX. Solar Festivals
X. Solar Omens, Traditions, and Superstitions
XI. Solar Significance of Burial Customs & Orientation
XII. Emblematic and Symbolic Forms of the Sun
XIII. The Sun Revealed by Science

❖ Moon Spots
I. Introduction
II. The Man in the Moon
III. The Woman in the Moon
IV. The Hare in the Moon
V. The Toad in the Moon
VI. Other Moon Myths
❖ Moon-Worship
I. Introduction
II. The Moon Mostly a Male Deity
III. The Moon a World-Wide Deity
IV. The Moon a Water Deity
❖ Moon Superstitions
I. Introduction
II. Lunar Fancies
III. Lunar Eclipses
IV. Lunar Influences
❖ Moon Inhabitation

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Thirteen Tales

Of science-fiction, that is. Tales that are strange, thoughtful, speculative, and humorous, by a largely-forgotten man from the golden age of the genre.

Fyfe Cover

The thirteen tales are:

Fee of the Frontier
Manners of the Age
Satellite System
This World Must Die!
Outbreak of Peace
The Transmutation of Muddles
The Envoy, Her
Irresistible Weapon
Let There be Light
The Talkative Tree
The Wedge

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In the Sweet Dry and Dry

“Dunraven Bleak, the managing editor of The Evening Balloon, sat at his desk in the center of the local-room, under a furious cone of electric light. It was six o’clock of a warm summer afternoon: he was filling his pipe and turning over the pages of the Final edition of the paper, which had just come up from the press-room. After the turmoil of the day the room had quieted, most of the reporters had left, and the shaded lamps shone upon empty tables and a floor strewn ankle-deep with papers. Nearby sat the city editor, checking over the list of assignments for the next morning. From an adjoining kennel issued occasional deep groans and a strong whiff of savage shag tobacco, blown outward by the droning gust of an electric fan. These proved that the cartoonist (a man whose sprightly drawings were born to an obbligato of vehement blasphemy) was at work within.”

So begins this droll, scathing, fantastic, and charming satire of prohibition and do-gooding tyranny. The Pan-Antis seem bent on banning everything. Even fermentable fruit and vegetables. It is enough for a man to be dragged off to the asylum if he is suspected of even thinking about having a drink. Against this, an underground movement foments unrest—and ferments not a little wine too.


The edition from Owlfoot Press includes prohibition-era illustrations by James Montgomery Flagg, as exemplified above.


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Speculum Gothicum: Four Dark Tales

The four dark tales here gathered represent Gothic at its literary high-point. Inexorable doom, cursed life, a grim setting, and nameless horror all find their place. The crown of these stories is perhaps the first, “The Headsman”, a long and well-woven tale of life gone awry. The second, “The Iron Shroud”, shows a Romantic-Gothic fascination with the medieval, and has its own take on the motif of time ticking away and walls closing in. The third, “Horror: A True Tale”, is the epitome of Gothic fiction: an old mansion, a hideous visitation, and a blighted life. The fourth, called “The Thirteenth”, is set, like the first, in Germany, and imparts in the reader the dread sense that, whatever may ensue, a happy ending is not to be found.


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