A witch-hunt is a search for witches or evidence of witchcraft, often involving moral panic, mass hysteria and lynching, but in historical instances also legally sanctioned and involving official witchcraft trials.
The classical period of witchhunts in Europe and North America falls into the Early Modern period or about 1480 to 1700, spanning the upheavals of the Reformation and the Thirty Years' War, resulting in an estimated 40,000 to 100,000 executions. 
The last executions of people convicted as witches in Europe took place in the 18th century. In the Kingdom of Great Britain, witchcraft ceased to be an act punishable by law with the Witchcraft Act of 1735. In Germany, sorcery remained punishable by law into the late 18th century.
The term "witch-hunt" since the 1930s has also been in use as a metaphor to refer to moral panics in general (frantic persecution of perceived enemies). This usage is especially associated with the Second Red Scare of the 1950s (the McCarthyist persecution of communists in the United States).
- 1 History
- 2 Modern witch-hunts
- 3 Anthropological causes
- 4 Metaphorical usage
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Ancient Near East
Punishment for malevolent sorcery addressed in the earliest law codes preserved; both in ancient Egypt and in Babylonia it played a conspicuous part. The Code of Hammurabi (18th century BCE short chronology) prescribes that
- If a man has put a spell upon another man and it is not justified, he upon whom the spell is laid shall go to the holy river; into the holy river shall he plunge. If the holy river overcome him and he is drowned, the man who put the spell upon him shall take possession of his house. If the holy river declares him innocent and he remains unharmed the man who laid the spell shall be put to death. He that plunged into the river shall take possession of the house of him who laid the spell upon him. 
The pre-Christian Twelve Tables of pagan Roman law has provisions against evil incantations and spells intended to damage cereal crops. In 331 BC, 170 women were executed as witches in the context of an epidemic illness. Livy emphasizes that this was a scale of persecution without precedent in Rome, but smaller-scale witch-hunts. In 184 BC, about 2,000 people were executed for witchcraft (veneficium), and in 182-180 BC another 3,000 executions took place, again triggered by the outbreak of an epidemic. There is no way to verify the figures reported by Roman historiographers, but if they are taken at face value, the scale of the witch-hunts in the Roman Republic in relation to the population of Italy at the time far exceeded anything that took place during the "classical" witch-craze in Early Modern Europe. Persecution of witches continued in the Roman Empire until the late 4th century AD and abated only after the introduction of Christianity as the Roman state religion in the 390s. 
The Lex Cornelia de sicariis et veneficiis promulgated by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in the 2nd century BCE became an important source of late medieval and early modern European law on witchcraft. Strabo, Gaius Maecenas and Cassius Dio all reiterate the traditional Roman opposition against sorcery and divination, and Tacitus uses the term religio-superstitio to class these outlawed observances. The emperor Augustus strengthened legislation aimed at curbing these practices. 
The Hebrew Bible condemns sorcery. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 states "No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, who practices divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or one that casts spells, or who consults ghosts or spirits, or who seeks oracles from the dead. For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord;" and Exodus 22:18 prescribes "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live";  tales like that of 1 Samuel 28, reporting how Saul "hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land" suggest that in practice sorcery could at least lead to exile.
In the Judaean Second Temple period, Rabbi Simeon ben Shetach in the 1st century BCE is reported to have sentenced to death eighty women who had been charged with witchcraft on a single day in Ashkelon. Later the women's relatives took revenge by bringing (reportedly) false witnesses against Simeon's son and causing him to be executed in turn.
- "found among his people certain witches, whom he called in his native tongue Haliurunnae. Suspecting these women, he expelled them from the midst of his race and compelled them to wander in solitary exile afar from his army. There the unclean spirits, who beheld them as they wandered through the wilderness, bestowed their embraces upon them and begat this savage race, which dwelt at first in the swamps, a stunted, foul and puny tribe, scarcely human, and having no language save one which bore but slight resemblance to human speech."
The Council of Paderborn in 785 explicitly outlawed the very belief in witches, and Charlemagne later confirmed the law. The Council of Frankfurt in 794, called by Charlemagne, was also very explicit in condemning "the persecution of alleged witches and wizards", calling the belief in witchcraft "superstitious", and ordering the death penalty for those who presume to burn witches.
There were also secular laws against witchcraft, such as that promulgated by King Athelstan (924-999)
- And we have ordained respecting witch-crafts, and lybacs [read lyblac "sorcery"], and morthdaeds ["murder, mortal sin"]: if any one should be thereby killed, and he could not deny it, that he be liable in his life. But if he will deny it, and at threefold ordeal shall be guilty; that he be 120 days in prison: and after that let kindred take him out, and give to the king 120 shillings, and pay the wer to his kindred, and enter into borh for him, that he evermore desist from the like.
Witch-hunts sponsored by the Roman Catholic Inquisition begin only in the Late Middle Ages. Although it has been proposed that the witch-hunt developed in Europe from the early 14th century, after the Cathars and the Templar Knights were exterminated, and the Inquisition had to turn to persecution of witches to remain active, this hypothesis has been rejected independently by two historians (Cohn 1975; Kieckhefer 1976). They showed that the Inquisition witch hunts originated among common people in Switzerland and in Croatia, who pressed the civil courts to support them. Pope John XXII had authorized the Inquisition to prosecute sorcerors in 1320, but inquisitorial courts became systematically involved in witch-hunts only in the 15th century. In the case of the Madonna Oriente, the Inquisition of Milan was not sure what to do with two women who in 1384 and in 1390 confessed to have participated in a type of white magic. In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII issued Summis desiderantes affectibus, a Papal bull authorizing two inquisitors, Kramer and Sprenger, to systemize the persecution of witches. As a result, the notorious Malleus Maleficarum was published in 1487, at the very end of the medieval period, ushering in the period of witch hunts in Early Modern Europe which would last for the following two centuries.
Early Modern Europe
The witch trials in Early Modern Europe came in waves and then subsided. There were trials in the 15th and early 16th centuries, but then the witch scare went into decline, before becoming a big issue again and peaking in the 17th century. Some scholars argue that a fear of witchcraft started among intellectuals who believed in maleficium: that is, harm committed by magic. What had previously been a belief that some people possessed supernatural abilities (which were sometimes used to protect the people) now became a sign of a pact between the people with supernatural abilities and the devil. To justify the killings, Christianity and its proxy secular institutions deemed witchcraft as being associated to wild Satanic ritual parties in which there was much naked dancing, orgy sex, and cannibalistic infanticide. It was also seen as heresy for going against the first of the ten commandments (You shall have no other gods before me) or as violating majesty, in this case referring to the divine majesty, not the worldly.
Witch-hunts were seen across early modern Europe, but the most significant area of witch-hunting in modern Europe is often considered to be central and southern Germany. Germany was a late starter in terms of the numbers of trials, compared to other regions of Europe. Witch-hunts first appeared in large numbers in southern France and Switzerland during the 14th and 15th centuries. The peak years of witch-hunts in southwest Germany were from 1561 to 1670. The first major persecution in Europe, when witches were caught, tried, convicted, and burned in the imperial lordship of Wiesensteig in southwestern Germany, is recorded in 1563 in a pamphlet called "True and Horrifying Deeds of 63 Witches".
In Denmark, the burning of witches increased following the reformation of 1536. Christian IV of Denmark, in particular, encouraged this practice, and hundreds of people were convicted of witchcraft and burnt. In England, the Witchcraft Act of 1542 regulated the penalties for witchcraft. In the North Berwick witch trials in Scotland, over 70 people were accused of witchcraft on account of bad weather when James VI of Scotland, who shared the Danish king's interest in witch trials, sailed to Denmark in 1590 to meet his betrothed Anne of Denmark.
Witch hysteria also erupted in the Americas. About eighty people throughout England's Massachusetts Colony were accused of practicing witchcraft, thirteen women and two men were executed in a witch-hunt that lasted throughout New England from 1648-1663. The Salem witch trials followed in 1692-93.
Current scholarly estimates of the number of people executed for witchcraft vary between about 40,000 and 100,000. The total number of witch trials in Europe which are known for certain to have ended in executions is around 12,000.
Prominent contemporary critics of witch hunts included Gianfrancesco Ponzinibio (fl. 1520), Johannes Wier (1515-1588), Reginald Scot (1538-1599), Cornelius Loos (1546-1595), Anton Praetorius (1560-1613), Alonso Salazar y Frias (1564-1636), Friedrich Spee (1591-1635), and Balthasar Bekker (1634-1698).
End of European witch hunts in the 18th century
In England, Scotland and Ireland, between 1542 and 1735 a series of Witchcraft Acts enshrined into law the punishment (often with death, sometimes with incarceration) of individuals practising, or claiming to practice witchcraft and magic. The last executions for witchcraft in England had taken place in 1682, when Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles, and Susanna Edwards were executed at Exeter. Jane Wenham was among the last subjects of a typical witch trial in England in 1712, but was pardoned after her conviction and set free. Janet Horne was executed for witchcraft in Scotland in 1727. In 1711, Joseph Addison published an article in the highly respected The Spectator journal (No. 117) criticizing the irrationality and social injustice in treating elderly and feeble women (dubbed Moll White) as witches. The final Act of 1735 led to persecution for fraud rather than witchcraft since it was no longer believed that the individuals had actual supernatural powers or traffic with Satan. The 1735 Act continued to be used until the 1940s to prosecute individuals such as spiritualists and Gypsies. The act was finally repealed in 1951.
The last execution of a witch in the Dutch Republic was probably in 1613. In Denmark this took place in 1693 with the execution of Anna Palles. In other parts of Europe, the practice died down later. In France the last person to be executed for witch craft was Louis Debaraz in 1745. In Germany the last death sentence was that of Anna Schwegelin in Kempten in 1775 (although not carried out).
The last woman executed for witchcraft in Europe is believed to be Anna Göldi in Switzerland, in 1782. In Poland in 1793 two women were executed for witchcraft, however, the legality of that trial is contested, and the last official trial in Poland was in 1783.
Witch hunts still occur today in societies where belief in magic is predominant. In most cases, these are instances of mob justice, reported with some regularity from much of Sub-Saharan Africa, from rural North India and from Papua New Guinea. In addition, there are some countries that have legislation against the practice of sorcery. The only country where witchcraft remains legally punishable by death is Saudi Arabia.
In many societies of Sub-Saharan Africa, the fear of witches drives periodic witch-hunts during which specialist witch-finders identify suspects, with death by mob often the result. Countries particularly affected by this phenomenon include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Kenya, the Gambia and Zambia.
Witch-hunts against children were reported by the BBC in 1999 in the Congo and in Tanzania, where the government responded to attacks on women accused of being witches for having red eyes. A lawsuit was launched in 2001 in Ghana, where witch-hunts are also common, by a woman accused of being a witch. Witch-hunts in Africa are often led by relatives seeking the property of the accused victim.
Audrey I. Richards, in the journal Africa, relates in 1935 an instance when a new wave of witchfinders, the Bamucapi, appeared in the villages of the Bemba people of Zambia. They dressed in European clothing, and would summon the headman to prepare a ritual meal for the village. When the villagers arrived they would view them all in a mirror, and claimed they could identify witches with this method. These witches would then have to "yield up his horns"; i.e. give over the horn containers for curses and evil potions to the witch-finders. The bamucapi then made all drink a potion called kucapa which would cause a witch to die and swell up if he ever tried such things again. The villagers related that the witch-finders were always right because the witches they found were always the people whom the village had feared all along. The bamucapi utilised a mixture of Christian and native religious traditions to account for their powers and said that God (not specifying which God) helped them to prepare their medicine. In addition, all witches who did not attend the meal to be identified would be called to account later on by their master, who had risen from the dead, and who would force the witches by means of drums to go to the graveyard, where they would die. Richards noted that the bamucapi created the sense of danger in the villages by rounding up all the horns in the village, whether they were used for anti-witchcraft charms, potions, snuff or were indeed receptacles of black magic.
The Bemba people believed misfortunes such as wartings hauntings and famines to be just actions sanctioned by the High-God Lesa. The only agency which caused unjust harm was a witch, who had enormous powers and was hard to detect. After white rule of Africa beliefs in sorcery and witchcraft grew, possibly because of the social strain caused by new ideas, customs and laws, and also because the courts no longer allowed witches to be tried.
Amongst the Bantu tribes of Southern Africa, the witch smellers were responsible for detecting witches. In parts of Southern Africa several hundred people have been killed in witch hunts since 1990.
In March 2009 Amnesty International reported that up to 1,000 people in the Gambia had been abducted by government-sponsored "witch doctors" on charges of witchcraft, and taken to detention centers where they were forced to drink poisonous concoctions. On May 21, 2009, The New York Times reported that the alleged witch-hunting campaign had been sparked by the Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh.
In Sierra Leone, the witch-hunt is an occasion for a sermon by the kɛmamɔi (native Mende witch-finder) on social ethics : "Witchcraft ... takes hold in people’s lives when people are less than fully open-hearted. All wickedness is ultimately because people hate each other or are jealous or suspicious or afraid. These emotions and motivations cause people to act antisocially". The response by the populace to the kɛmamɔi is that "they valued his work and would learn the lessons he came to teach them, about social responsibility and cooperation."
In India, labeling a woman as a witch is a common ploy to grab land, settle scores or even to punish her for turning down sexual advances. In a majority of the cases, it is difficult for the accused woman to reach out for help and she is forced to either abandon her home and family or driven to commit suicide. Most cases are not documented because it's difficult for poor and illiterate women to travel from isolated regions to file police reports. Less than 2 percent of those accused of witch-hunting are actually convicted, according to a study by the Free Legal Aid Committee, a group that works with victims in the state of Jharkhand. A 2010 estimate places the number of women killed as witches in India at between 150 and 200 per year, or a total of 2,500 in the period of 1995 to 2009. The lynchings are particularly common in the poor northern states of Jharkhand, Bihar and Chattisgarh.
Papua New Guinea
Though the practice of "white" magic (such as faith healing) is legal in Papua, the 1976 Sorcery Act imposes a penalty of up to 2 years in prison for the practise of "black" magic. In 2009, the government reports that extrajudicial torture and murder of alleged witches - usually lone women - is spreading from the Highland areas to cities as villagers migrate to urban areas.
A Saudi woman, Fawza Falih, was arrested by the Saudi religious police in 2005. The illiterate woman allegedly beaten and forced to fingerprint a confession that had not been read out to her. As of February 2008, the woman was convicted of using sorcery to render a man impotent, and was sentenced to death, facing execution by beheading.
On November 9, 2009, Lebanese TV presenter Ali Sibat (who was arrested in Medina in 2008) was sentenced to death on charges of witchcraft. According to Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, "Saudi courts are sanctioning a literal witch hunt by the religious police." Also according to Human Rights Watch, two other people have been arrested on similar charges in November 2009 alone.
The wide distribution of the practice of witch-hunts in geographically and culturally separated societies (Europe, Africa, India, New Guinea) since the 1960s has triggered interest in the anthropological background of this behaviour. The belief in magic and divination, and attempts to use magic to influence personal well-being (to increase life, win love, etc.) are human cultural universals.
Belief in witchcraft has been shown to have similarities in societies throughout the world. It presents a framework to explain the occurrence of otherwise random misfortunes such as sickness or death, and the witch sorcerer provides an image of evil. Reports on indigenous practices in the Americas, Asia and Africa collected during the early modern age of exploration have indeed been taken to suggest that not just the belief in witchcraft but also the periodic outbreak of witch-hunts are a human cultural universal.
In modern terminology 'witch-hunt' has acquired usage referring to the act of seeking and persecuting any perceived enemy, particularly when the search is conducted using extreme measures and with little regard to actual guilt or innocence. It is used whether or not it is sanctioned by the government, or merely occurs within the "court of public opinion".
The first such use reported by the Oxford English Dictionary dates to 1932. Another early instance is George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia (1938). The term is used by Orwell to describe how, in the Spanish Civil War, political persecutions became a regular occurrence.
The term is used when a hunt for wrongdoers becomes abused, and a defendant can be convicted merely on an accusation. For example, in the History Channel documentary America: The Story of Us, narrator Liev Schreiber explains that "the search for runaway slaves becomes a witch hunt. A black man can be convicted with merely an accusation. Unlike white people, they do not have the right to trial by jury. Judges are paid ten dollars to rule them as slaves, five to set them free."
Use of the term was popularized in the United States in the context of the McCarthyist search for communists during the Cold War, which was discredited partly through being compared to the Salem witch trials.
From the 1960s, the term was in wide use and could also be applied to isolated incidents or scandals, specifically public smear-campaigns against individuals. The McMartin preschool trial of 1984 to 1990 is another iconic example of a moral panic which saw day care providers accused of what was dubbed "satanic ritual abuse", i.e. the charge of physical and sexual child abuse out of an alleged Satanist motivation. The case and the associated media coverage was frequently termed a witch-hunt by commentators.
- Auto de fé
- Christian views on witchcraft
- Execution by burning
- European witchcraft
- Trial by ordeal
- List of people executed for witchcraft
- Pierre de Lancre (conductor of a bloody witch-hunt in Labourd)
- Torsåker witch trials
- Basque witch trials
- Würzburg witch trial
- Ramsele witch trial
- North Berwick witch trials
- Bideford witch trial
- Torture of witches
- St Osyth Witches
- "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" (Episode from the original series The Twilight Zone)
- The most common estimates are between 40,000 and 60,000 deaths. Brian Levack (The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe) multiplied the number of known European witch trials by the average rate of conviction and execution, to arrive at a figure of around 60,000 deaths. Anne Lewellyn Barstow (Witchcraze) adjusted Levack's estimate to account for lost records, estimating 100,000 deaths. Ronald Hutton (Triumph of the Moon) argues that Levack's estimate had already been adjusted for these, and revises the figure to approximately 40,000.
- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia article on Witchcraft, last accessed 31 March 2006. There is some discrepancy between translations; compare with that given in the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Witchcraft (accessed 31 March 2006), and the L. W. King translation (accessed 31 March 2006)
- Behringer (2004), 48-50.
- Garnsey, Peter; Saller, Richard P. (1987). The Roman Empire: Economy, Society, and Culture. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press. pp. 168–174. ISBN 0-520-06067-9.
- "witch" here translates the Hebrew מכשפה, and is rendered φαρμακός in the Septuagint.
- "those that have familiar spirits": Hebrew אוב, or ἐγγαστρίμυθος "ventriloquist, soothsayer" in the Septuagint; "wizards": Hebrew ידעני or γνώστης "diviner" in the Septuagint.
- Jordanes; Charles C. Mierow (transl.). The Origin and Deeds of the Goths. pp. § 24.
- Medieval Sourcebook: The Anglo-Saxon Dooms, 560-975
- Jeffrey Burton Russell, A History of Medieval Christianity (173).
- Levack, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, (49).
- The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe.
- Meewis, Wim (1992) De Vierschaar, Uitgevering Pelckmans, pag 115
- H. C. Erik Midelfort, “Heartland of the Witchcraze: Central and Northern Europe,” History Today 31 (February 1981): 27-31.
- H.C. Erik Midelfort, Witch Hunting in Southwestern Germany 1562-1684,1972,71
- Behringer (2004), p. 83.
- Fraden, Judith Bloom, Dennis Brindell Fraden. The Salem Witch Trials. Marshall Cavendish. 2008. Pg. 15
- "Estimates of executions". http://www.summerlands.com/crossroads/remembrance/current.htm. Based on Ronald Hutton's essay Counting the Witch Hunt.
- Charles Alva Hoyt, Witchcraft, Southern Illinois University Pres, 2nd edition, 1989, pp. 66-70, ISBN 0809315440
- Gibson, M (2006). "Witchcraft in the Courts". In Gibson, Marion. Witchcraft And Society in England And America, 1550–1750. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 1–18. ISBN 978-0-8264-8300-3.
- Summers, M (2003). Geography of Witchcraft. Kessinger Publishing. pp. 153-60. ISBN 0766145360.
- Template:Nl icon "Laatste executie van heks in Borculo". Archeonnet.nl. 2003-10-11. http://archeonet.nl/index.php?itemid=5967. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Last witch executed in Denmark". www.executedtoday.com. 2010-04-04. http://www.executedtoday.com/2010/04/04/1693-anne-palles-last-witch-executed-in-denmark/. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- Timeline The Last Witchfinder
- (German) Anna Schwaegelin at Historicum.net
- "Last witch in Europe cleared". Swissinfo.ch. 2008-08-27. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Last_witch_in_Europe_cleared.html?cid=662078. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- Google Print, p.88+89
- Mohammed A. Diwan: Conflict between state legal norms and norms underlying popular beliefs: witchcraft in africa as a case study; in: 14 Duke J. of Comp. & Int'l L. 351
- "Congo witch-hunt's child victims". BBC News. 1999-12-22. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/575178.stm. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
- "Tanzania arrests 'witch killers'". BBC News. 2003-10-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3209047.stm. Retrieved 2007-04-16. "It is believed that any aged, old woman with red eyes is a witch"
- A Modern Movement of Witch Finders Audrey I Richards (Africa: Journal of the International Institute of African Languages and Cultures, Ed. Diedrich Westermann.) Vol VIII, 1935, published by Oxford University Press, London.
- Christian responses to witchcraft and sorcery
- "Whereas witchcraft cases in the colonial era, especially in former British Central Africa, were based on the official dogma that witchcraft is an illusion (so that people invoking witchcraft would be punished as either impostors or slanderers), in contemporary legal practice in Africa witchcraft appears as a reality and as an actionable offence in its own right." Wim van Binsbergen, Witchcraft in Modern Africa (2002).
- section 251 of the Cameroonian penal code (26 Aug. 2004). Two other provisions of the penal code [translation] "state that witchcraft may be an aggravating factor for dishonest acts" (Afrik.com 26 Aug. 2004). A person convicted of witchcraft may face a prison term of 2 to 10 years and a fine. Cameroon: Witchcraft in Cameroon; tribes or geographical areas in which witchcraft is practised; the government's attitude, UNHCR (2004).
- Mob burns to death 11 Kenyan "witches"
- "The Gambia: Hundreds accused of "witchcraft" and poisoned in government campaign"
- "Witch-Hunt in Gambia"
- STUDIA INSTITUTI ANTHROPOS, Vol. 41 = Anthony J. Gittins : Mende Religion. Steyler Verlag, Nettetal, 1987. p. 197
- STUDIA INSTITUTI ANTHROPOS, Vol. 41 = Anthony J. Gittins : Mende Religion. Steyler Verlag, Nettetal, 1987. p. 201
- The Hindu, Nearly 200 women killed every year after being branded witches, 26 July 2010. Herald Sun, 200 'witches' killed in India each year - report, 26 July 2010.
- A Jharkhand case publicized in international media in 2009 concerned five Muslim women. - BBC News, October 30, 2009
- The Times, King Abdullah urged to spare Saudi ‘witchcraft’ woman’s life, 16 Februar 2008. BBC News, Pleas for condemned Saudi 'witch', 14 February 2008.
- TV Presenter On Death Row For Witchcraft - Sky News, November 24, 2009
- Jean Sybil La Fontaine, Speak of the devil: tales of satanic abuse in contemporary England, Cambridge University Press, 1998, ISBN 9780521629348 34-37.
- Behringer (2004), 50.
- J. F. Carter, What we are about to Receive (xviii. 204): "Once the election is over [...] we shall quietly lay aside our witch hunting."
- Template:Cite video
- Jensen, Gary F. (2007). The Path of the Devil. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. Ch. 8. ISBN 0742546977.
- Murphy, Brenda (1999). Congressional Theatre. Cambridge University Press. pp. Ch. 4. ISBN 0521891663.
- de Young, Mary (2004). The Day Care Ritual Abuse Moral Panic. Jefferson, North Carolina, United States: McFarland and Company. ISBN 0786418303. http://books.google.com/?id=_e8ZkJBtz0EC.
- Behringer, Wolfgang. Witches and Witch Hunts: A Global History. Malden Massachusetts: Polity Press, 2004.
- Briggs, Robin. 'Many reasons why': witchcraft and the problem of multiple explanation, in Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe. Studies in Culture and Belief, ed. Jonathan Barry, Marianne Hester, and Gareth Roberts, Cambridge University Press, 1996.
- Cohn, Norman. Europe's Inner Demons: The Demonization of Christians in Medieval Christendom, Revised Edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993.
- Goode, Erich; Ben-Yahuda, Nachman (1994). Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance. Cambridge, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 063118905X.
- Klaits, Joseph. Servants of Satan: The Age of the Witch Hunts. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985
- Levack, Brian P. The Great Scottish Witch Hunt of 1661-1662, The Journal of British Studies, Vol.20, No, 1. (Autumn, 1980), pp. 90–108.
- Levack, Brian P. The witch hunt in early modern Europe, Third Edition. London and New York: Longman, 2006.
- Macfarlane, Alan. Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England: A regional and Comparative Study. New York and Evanston: Harper & Row Publishers, 1970.
- Midlefort, Erick H.C. Witch Hunting in Southeastern Germany 1562-1684: The Social and Intellectual Foundation. California: Stanford University Press, 1972. ISBN 0804708053
- Oberman, H. A., J. D. Tracy, Thomas A. Brady (eds.), Handbook of European History, 1400-1600: Visions, Programs, Outcomes (1995) ISBN 9004097619
- Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader (2002) ISBN 0415214920
- Poole, Robert. The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories (2002) ISBN 0719062047
- Purkiss, Diane. "A Holocaust of One's Own: The Myth of the Burning Times." Chapter in The Witch and History: Early Modern and Twentieth Century Representatives New York, NY: Routledge, 1996, pp. 7–29.
- Robisheaux, Thomas. The Last Witch of Langenburg: Murder in a German Village. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. (2009) ISBN 9780393065510
- Sagan, Carl. The Demon-Haunted World, Random House, 1996. ISBN 039453512X
- Thurston, Robert. The Witch Hunts: A History of the Witch Persecutions in Europe and North America. Pearson/Longman, 2007.
- Purkiss, Diane. The Bottom of the Garden, Dark History of Fairies, Hobgoblins, and Other Troublesome Things. Chapter 3 Brith and Death: Fairies in Scottish Witch-trials New York, NY: New York University Press, 2000, pp. 85–115.
- West, Robert H. Reginald Scot and Renaissance Writings. Boston: Twayne Publishers,1984.
- Briggs, K.M. Pale Hecate’s Team, an Examination of the Beliefs on Witchcraft and Magic among Shakespeare’s Contemporaries and His Immediate Successors. New York: The Humanities Press, 1962.
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- The Stages of a Witch Trial — a series of articles by Jenny Gibbons.
- 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia entry on "Witchcraft"
- Jenny Gibbons (1998). . Retrieved 21 November 2006.
- The Decline and End of Witch Trials in Europe by James Hannam
- Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project
- Cornish witch-trials
- Witch Trials
- Dame Alice le Kyteler, convicted of witchcraft in Kilkenny, Ireland, 1324
- Elizabethan Superstitions in the Elizabethan Period by Linda Alchin
- Douglas Linder (2005), A Brief History of Witchcraft Persecutions before Salem
- Witchcraft in Scotland
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