This project is the culmination of the work of the Fall 2007 Aquinas College HY 401 Witchcraft Seminar class. The students were expected to research and write an original piece of scholarship on witchcraft, a field of history that has exploded in scholarly interest in recent years. The papers were peer-reviewed, professor reviewed, and finally edited by Stacey Dearing and Will Eberle as part of an independent study project on scholarly editing. The papers represent the capstone work of Aquinas history majors and are meant to be a step toward producing graduate level research. The issues covered range from individual biographies, to the function of the Roman law in witchcraft trials, to the role that gender and church relations played in the trials. The editors would like to thank Dr. Charles D. Gunnoe for his help throughout the editing process and for a great semester.
The title of our collection is borrowed from a line in the “documentary” Witches Curse from the Channel 4/ PBS series Secrets of the Dead. The class found the pseudo-scientific claims of this production to be so ridiculously overstated and historically implausible that it provided backhanded inspiration for class discussions and research.