The Famous Books Exploring Witchcraft and Demons

Take a closer look at these magical texts

By Google Arts & Culture

Witch maskBritish Museum

Throughout history there have been many books written about witchcraft and demons, including two influential publications:The Malleus Maleficarum and The Magus. Read on to take a closer look at the world of the occult...


The Malleus Maleficarum

The Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of the Witches) is a treatise on witches, written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, and first published in Germany in 1487.

Engraving depicting the trial of a witch at Salem, Massachusetts. (1901)LIFE Photo Collection

The main purpose of the book was to prove that witchcraft existed (claiming that witches were more often women than men) and to educate magistrates on how they could find and convict them.

Bilder Saals (1901)LIFE Photo Collection

The Malleus Maleficarum became popular throughout Europe in the late 15th and early 16th century, aided by the invention of the printing press.


The Magnus

The Magus (or Celestial Intelligencer) (1801) was created by Francis Barrett and is a handbook on the occult and ceremonial magic.


Barrett collected a lot of the material for the book from old occult handbooks and drew information from two other books on demonology: Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Agrippa and Heptameron by Pietro d'Abano.

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This book brought information on demonology into the public eye and contributed to the increasing interest in the occult and magic.

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