Sunday, 30 May 2010

Spooky Sunday - 'Horrid Conjurations'

There follows an extract from A Mirrour for Saints and Sinners, a book of 'wonders' compiled by Samuel Clark in the 17th century. This section is all about extraordinary sorcerers. Further extracts, provided by Cate Ludlow, who recently acquired a copy, can be found in the latest edition of Paranormal Magazine (

There was in Denmark one Otto, a great magician, and a great Pirat, who used to passe the seas without the help of a ship, or any other vessel, and by his Divelish arts to raise stormes, and drown his enemies; but at last being over matched by one that was more expert in that Art than himself, he was by him drowned in the seas.

There was a conjurer in Saltzburg, who attempted to gather together all the Serpents thereabouts into a Ditch, and to feed them there; but as he was practising of it, the Divel drew him into the ditch amongst them where he perished miserably.

The Governor of Mafcon, a great Magician, as he was at dinner with some company, was snatched away by the Divel, hoisted up into the air, and carried three times around the town to the great astonishment of the inhabitants, to whom he cried for help, but all in vaine.

Anno Christi 1437, in the reign of Charles the Seventh, King of France, Sir Giles of Britane, high-constable of France, was a wicked Magician, having murthered above one hundred and fifty Infants, and women great with child, with whose blood he wrote books filled with horrid conjurations, which being proved against him, he was adjudged to be hanged, and burnt to death, which was accordingly executed.

The Lord of Orne in Lorraine, when Noblemen, or Gentlemen came to visit him, used (as they thought) to serve them very honourably with all sorts of dainty dishes, and viands, but when they departed, they found their stomachs empty, having eaten nothing. One time a lord’s servant, having forgotten something behind him, went back, and suddenly entering the Hall, found a Munkie beating the Lord of the house that had seated them: others reported that he hath beene seene through the chink of a door lying on his belly along upon a Table, and a Munkie scourging him very strongly, to whom he would say, Let me alone, wilt thou always thus torment me? At last he fell into so great misery and beggary that he was fain to get into a Hospital at Paris, where he ended his wretched life.

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