Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Entertaining Satan” as Want to Read:
Entertaining Satan
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Entertaining Satan

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  151 ratings  ·  12 reviews

In the first edition of the Bancroft Prize-winning Entertaining Satan, John Putnam Demos presented an entirely new perspective on American witchcraft. By investigating the surviving historical documents of over a hundred actual witchcraft cases, he vividly recreated the world of New England during the witchcraft trials and brought to light fascinating information on the ro

ebook, 0 pages
Published by Oxford University Press (first published October 28th 1982)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Entertaining Satan, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Entertaining Satan

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 451)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mark Bowles
A. Summary: This book examines 4 particular areas of Salem witchcraft (biology, psychology, sociology, and historical) to answer such questions as; Who were the witches? (biography) What did the victims believe? (psychology) Why was witchcraft so potent in New Englander’s life? (sociology) Why did witchcraft occur where and when it did? (history)
B. Biography: Who was the typical witch?
1. Female, middle aged (40-60), English Puritan, married but with few or no children, low social position
2. Freq
I liked it. An in depth look at the witchcraft culture endemic in New England at its founding. I was struck by how exhaustive the court records were for several of the witchcraft trials considering the frontier nature of these settlements and the litigious nature of Puritans that I was not aware of. I really enjoyed seeing the trends and conclusions the author drew from his compiling of the surviving court papers and town histories and how these fit into the larger witch scare movement winding d ...more
A detailed analysis of various factors surrounding witchcraft in the Colonies. If you were an older, childless woman who was often in conflict with your neighbors, you were more likely to be accused of witchcraft than others. If you were a young woman, being bewitched by a neighbor and subject to fits and other signs of demonic possession would bring you fame and recognition otherwise denied to those of your age and sex. If your town was involved in Indian wars and other strife, people were more ...more
Pj Reed martinez
I read this in high school many years ago, but it gives some interesting insight on the Salem Witch Trials and beliefs during that period of time.
Although the history narrated in this book is quite fascinating, it was impossible to get past the constant psychoanalysis of the people. There are other forms (and more accurate) of psychology and the use of Freud's outdated methods to identify with these figures makes this book one very difficult to read. I found myself constantly skipping entire pages looking for the historical accounts through all of the muck. If I had not been forced to read this for a class I would have out it down immedia ...more
Darcia Helle
Being a Massachusetts native, I have always been fascinated by the witch trials in Salem. This book covers the subject in amazing detail. The research is in-depth and the writing thoroughly entertaining.
Jean Louise
Apr 07, 2009 Jean Louise rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history/witchcraft enthusiasts
Demos left me with a new perspective on the witchcraft crisis. I'm not sure that his use of Freudian analysis is valid, however his exploration on the role of pyschology was very interesting.
This book contains a lot of information that is neatly organized and easy to follow. A good reference for those who need a basic look at the how's and why's of witchcraft trials in early New England.
Andrea Rexilius
I especially like the title of this book. It's as if I am preparing to have Satan over for dinner, or it may be a description of Satan as jester, etc.
Excellent resource for those interested in the whys and hows of the witch trials in early New England.
Too psyco-analytical for my taste, otherwise quite interesting.
Destiny Grace
Destiny Grace marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
Amanda Kelley
Amanda Kelley marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
Eva marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2015
Iain Peck
Iain Peck marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2015
Brian Selleck
Brian Selleck marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2015
Rebecca marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2015
Gnomepartay marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2015
Sandra marked it as to-read
Jan 18, 2015
Candice Bentley
Candice Bentley marked it as to-read
Jan 18, 2015
Ariella marked it as to-read
Jan 10, 2015
Nicole marked it as to-read
Jan 08, 2015
Lynn marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2015
Erica Tavares
Erica Tavares marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2015
Jayme marked it as to-read
Dec 24, 2014
Joseph added it
Dec 24, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Damned Women: Sinners and Witches in Puritan New England
  • In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692
  • The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege
  • Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft
  • The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England
  • The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry Into the Salem Witch Trials
  • Witchcraft at Salem
  • Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692
  • Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion
  • Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts
  • Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall
  • The Salem Witch Trials Reader
  • Judge Sewall's Apology: The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of an American Conscience
  • The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity
  • The Witchcraft of Salem Village
  • Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life
  • The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction
  • Death in Salem: The Private Lives behind the 1692 Witch Hunt
The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America The Enemy Within: 2,000 Years of Witch-hunting in the Western World A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic Circles and Lines: The Shape of Life in Early America

Share This Book