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Witch Doctors in Illinois

The following is an excerpt from my new book Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History. Part Two explores beliefs about witchcraft, including witch doctors and witch masters called upon to break hexes. Order it today on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com When folk cures failed, superstitious Illinoisans turned to witch doctors, hoodoo doctors, “wizards,” or other individuals […]

Defeating Witches

The following is an excerpt from my new book Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History. Part Two explores beliefs about witchcraft, including counter magic and how witches were identified. Order it today on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com While many Illinois pioneers feared witches, they also believed there were ways to combat maleficium and eliminate witches. For […]

Shapeshifting and Familiars

The following is an excerpt from my new book Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History. Part Two explores beliefs about witchcraft, including a witch’s powers and abilities, which were surprisingly specific. Order it today on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com Shapeshifting was a common theme in witch tales. Storytellers claimed witches could transform into any number of […]

Correllianism and the Witch School

The following is an excerpt from my new book Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History. Part of the chapter on contemporary Illinois, the Witch School in Vermillion County had very interesting origins. Order it today on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com In 1990, a group of Wiccans created the Church of Gaia in Chicago, Illinois, which for […]

Windy City Witches

The following is an excerpt from my new book Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History. Folklorists and historians claimed witch beliefs were a rural phenomenon, but in this chapter I discuss several cases involving witchcraft from Chicago. Order it today on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com Over the next two decades, Chicago’s population more than tripled in […]