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Creepy Occult Paintings From 18th Century Witchcraft Book (Kinda NSFW)

Witchcraft, chimera and demons in glorious watercolour.

Witchcraft to Western ears and eyes conjures up Harry Potter and Hobbits. It’s nothing but pure make-believe, but it hasn’t always been so. In other parts of the world, like Sub Saharan Africa, witchcraft is still a terrifyingly real phenomenon and responsible for thousands of rapes and murders. It’s easy to laugh and point from over here in our educated Westerly vantage point. But it hasn’t always been the case.

Images VIA

The last person hung for witchcraft in England was in 1716, which was probably before you and I were born, but in the global scheme of things that’s not that far back. The following pictures come from a book about witchcraft published in 1775; at that point in time it must have been a pretty racy thing to own.

The book has a snappy title: Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros, translated by Google that comes out as: BRIEF rarest whole art of magic sistematisatae the most celebrated masters of this art. So, that’s pretty clear.

The book consists of text written in German and Latin and a bunch of awesomely weird watercolours. Images of demons, witches and spirits. All in glorious technicolour.

(Click the arrows below to navigate through the slides.)

Old Occult Witchcraft - Body Idols


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