From the archives: Hallowe’en

Biblical necromancers, illustrated demons, the first vampire, and the bloodthirsty Medieval battle between the vices and the virtues.

William Sidney Mount / Public domain

In the First Book of Samuel the Witch of Endor raises the ghost of Samuel. Biblical scholars have grappled with the question this raises: is necromancy canonically real?

Asmodeus, a King of Demons from the Dictionaire Infernal
Louis Le Breton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The 19th century Dictionnaire Infernal provides detailed illustrations of dozens of demons. Including Leonard, the party demon.

Jure Grando died in 1656 and was decapitated sixteen years later. He is the first real person in history to be described as a vampire.

The Psychomachia is the most epic grudge match of Medieval Europe: personifications of the virtues face off against the vices. The result is gloriously gory. “the teeth are loosened within, the mangled tongue fills the lacerated throat with gouts of blood. At this strange meal the throat revolts, as gulping down the melted bones, it belches forth the morsels once swallowed”

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