In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII released the papal bull Summis Desiderantes in response to the German inquisitor, Heinrick Kramer’s request to prosecute witchcraft in Germany.
The purpose of this article is to acquaint the reader with the period of the witch trials. The newly formed church did not originally intend to pursue witchcraft so vigorously, but did so by default due to the influence of Mary, Queen of Scots, who rejected laws and clauses which contained anti-Catholic rhetoric.
No creature of the night seems to excite the western imagination quite like the vampire. While others like Frankenstein and the Mummy have lost their lustre over the years, vampires abound in books and films. In the local video store, the horror shelves are stocked with films like ‘The Lost Boys’, and posters proclaim the release of ‘Fright Night II’.
It is thus that Henri Boguet introduces his ‘Examen of Witches’ (1602): a manual based upon his own experiences as a judge concerned with the trial, torture, and burning of numerous victims of the witch scare in Burgundy towards the end of the sixteenth-century. Boguet knows that witches exist because he can cite both learned authority and factual evidence to prove his case conclusively.
Many myths, from all over the world, narrate the tale of an ancestor who stole fire from God’s hearth and gave it to man. Prometheus from Greece, Ilya from Brazil, Anansi from North America, Maui from Oceania, and Lucifer from the Middle East personify this hero. But let us take a closer look at the version of this myth from the Congo — the Africa of the Pygmies.
According to many theorists, Contemporary Pagan rituals are the primary agent for cohesiveness in an otherwise individualistic and vacillating religious structure.
Though it was based on the infamous death sentence of 1587, the Edison Manufacturing Company’s film ‘Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots’ (1895)— which was also distributed under the less-specific titles ‘Execution’ and ‘Execution Scene’ — features no historical context, its narrative consisting solely of brutal capital punishment that lasts fewer than fifteen seconds.