The Occult and Supernatural

5 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 36 ratings

The Occult and Supernatural Collection Publisher's summary

Occult literature deals with supernatural forces or beings such as ghosts, vampires, or werewolves. It involves mystical or esoteric things outside the realm of science and encompasses subgenres like the supernatural and paranormal. 

The Occult and Supernatural Collection includes:

Book 1 The Book of Were-Wolves by Sabine Baring-Gould. The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924) was an Anglican priest, antiquarian, folklorist, and novelist. He is remembered best as the composer of the hymns "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "Now the Day Is Over". The werewolf is described down the ages as it appears among the ancients, in northern realms and in medieval Europe, and the author analyzes specific case. This work was the first academic study of lycanthropy in English, and draws upon a vast body of lore and myth. Lycanthropy among the ancients: the were-wolf in the North; the origin of the Scandinavian were-wolf; the were-wolf in the Middle Ages. 

Book 2: The Discovery of Witches by Matthew Hopkins. Hopkins (c. 1620-1647) was an English witch-hunter whose career flourished during the English Civil War. Claiming to hold the office of Witchfinder General, his witch hunts were mainly restricted to East Anglia. Hopkins is believed to have been responsible for the executions of 300 alleged witches between the years 1644 and 1646. This short but interesting pamphlet consists of a series of questions directed at Hopkins by county magistrates, and Hopkins’ answers, in which he tries to justify his murderous deeds. The county magistrates wished to know how Hopkins determined who is a witch, what a witch does, how a witch is tortured to extract a confession and the like. Their questions reveal a sceptical view of his activities. This work contains sections in which the author chronologically recounts individual legal cases involving witchcraft, citing about three instances in each section. He examines the reasonable explanations for the supernatural accusations as well as the cultural context that explains the fervor with which many of the supposed witches were persecuted. 

Book 3: Irish Witchcraft and Demonology by John D. Seymour explores Ireland’s demonic supernatural. The author discusses notorious Irish witches like Alice Kyteler, the Carnmore Witch, Florence Newton, the witch at Yougal, the devils of Ballinagarde and Damerville, and the enchanted Earl of Desmond. A broad spectrum of other paranormal phenomena such as poltergeists, hauntings and even a UFO account are included. This book is not a collection of ghost stories but a comprehensive investigation of the occult in a Celtic culture, and is highly recommended.

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