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The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  19 reviews
An historical and human compendium, from original sources in the world's great libraries, describing the witches' sabbat and pact, incubi and succubi, eyewitness reports of trials, werewolves, and vampires, sexual relations with the devil, demoniacal possessions and exorcism, poltergeists, barbarous tortures, and the theological and legal theories of the inquisition, ...more
Hardcover, 1981 Edition, 557 pages
Published 1981 by Bonanza Books (first published 1959)
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Stephen Simpson
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
An excellent reference source on witchcraft, and the delusions/persecutions of Western Europe, largely focused on the 15-18th centuries. It is an encyclopedia and reads like one (numerous topical entries), so don't expect it to read like a normal book.

I suppose some people could quibble that the author takes a very specific definition of witchcraft, one that excludes what people would recognize today as Wicca or what Alistair Crowley was about. Likewise, the book is quite clear in establishing
...more
Elizabeth R.
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-anyway
Just a neat book I picked up back in the 80s after studying Chaucer with Professor Robbins. Shouldn't everyone have a few bits of esoteric reference materials in their library?
Steve Asher
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I remember wanting to read this book for years. When I happened across this in an old book shop, I knew it was fate. The first thing that grabbed me was the cover. I know we are not to judge a book by its cover, but what can I sat it was Gothic and pulled me in. I love how it carries elements of folklore, social beliefs, and fears of the day. I have researched the paranormal as a writer myself for a long time. Still, I found cases that I scarcely knew existed. Anyone who loves startling cases ...more
D.M.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To put it simply, this is a remarkable book.
I've been carting this thing around for something like 30 years, referring to it occasionally but never really certain I would actually sit and read right through it. I am so glad I finally did. Robbins may not have set out to write this as a readable (rather than a reference) book, so it is certainly to his credit that it is very enjoyable to read.
To clarify the title: Robbins makes it quite clear that his definition of 'witchcraft' is that practice
...more
Wayne
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A treasure trove of useful information on the witchcraft persecutions that gripped Europe, England and Colonial America especially useful as a launching pad for further reading. The bibliographies are nearly worth the price of admission; with that said I did notice some errors namely in dates and locations e.g. 1682 was listed as the year for the Essex County witchcraft trials, The Mercy Brown vampire scare was located in Rhode Island not Massachusetts, Robbins's analysis of the lithobolia ...more
Mason Fake Name Here
A good book that is very repetitive if you read it from A to Z, but worthwhile.
In the end, I came away from this book with a sense of how profoundly fucked the human race really is. The editors of this book give absolutely no space to the existence of witchcraft--as it should be. So don't read this book if you're some "New Age Magician" thinking it'll tell you how to read the future or summon a demon.
MissS3LFD3STRUKT
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: occult
“The words witch and witchcraft, in everyday usage for over a thousand years, have undergone several changes of meaning; and today witchcraft, having reverted to its original connotation of magic and sorcery, does not convey the precise and limited definition it once had during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries."
Christian Brown
This book is an encyclopedia of witchcraft and magic throughout the world. It is organized by region. It is a comphrensive read, but it is somewhat slanted and biased. It is told from a Christian perspective and seems to have a slant that magic and witchcraft is "bad" or "evil" in most forms.
Joe Tucker
very very informative and easily read.
Sharon
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
Well written.
Cara
This book wasn't nearly as interesting as I thought it was going to be. The Vampire Encyclopedia was much better. I found myself easier bored and skimming through much of the book.
sage
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mine's the 2nd edition, September 1960.
Madamemortician
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this when I just have free time. It's pretty massive, but very interesting.
Kristina Kiskinova
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Долу-горе полезно за бъдещата ми вещерска кариера. :D
Aaron Meyer
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: occult, witchcraft
A very useful encyclopedia on witchcraft and demonology. It's not the be all end all, but it is a good one to have on the reference shelf.
Scooby
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Apr 24, 2013
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Rossell Hope Robbins was born on July 22, 1912, in Wallasey, Cheshire, England, to Rossell Casson Robbins, formerly of Liverpool, England, and Alice Eveline Hope Robbins, formerly of Kirkcudbright, Scotland.

He began his education at Wallasey Grammar School, 1921-30, then proceeded to the University of Liverpool, where in 1933, as a student of J. H. G. Grattan, he received, with first class
...more
“The words witch and witchcraft, in everyday usage for over a thousand years, have undergone several changes of meaning; and today witchcraft, having reverted to its original connotation of magic and sorcery, does not convey the precise and limited definition it once had during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. If witchcraft had never meant anything more than the craft of "an old, weather-beaten crone..." Europe would not have suffered, for three centuries from 1450 to 1750, the shocking nightmare, the foulest crime and the deepest shame of western civilization, the blackout of everything that homo sapiens, the reasoning man, has ever upheld. This book is about that shame...degradation stifled decency, the filthiest passions masqueraded under the cover of religion, and man's intellect was subverted to condone bestialities that even Swift's Yahoos would blush.

Never were so many wrong, so long...”
1 likes
“Throughout these centuries, those who should, by their birth, training, and position, have been the conscience of the world, accepted the delusion and promoted it. Such men not only appealed to the emotions of religion, but perverted the entire structure of logic and reason. Everything was sacrificed to a preconceived prejudice. The logic of the Demonologists, all highly educated men, leaders in their own disciplines, is the most terrifying feature of witchcraft. Because of their turning rational thinking on its head--far more than the most foul act of a torturer or witch judge--the centuries of the witchcraft mania may be called the centuries of uncivilization.” 0 likes
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