Bibliography of the Most Useful Books of Articles on the Witch Hunts

Below is my brief selection of some books in English that are especially valuable and sound in trying to understand the Witch Hunts. I would suggest that the reader/researcher always be wary of books that lack a scholarly apparatus (footnotes or endnotes), accept uncritically the worst accusations of feminists or atheists, and/or suggest that witches actually existed during the time of the hunts.

Secondary Sources by one Author

Farrington, Karen. Dark Justice: A History of Punishment and Torture. New York: Smithmark, 1996.

Klaits, J. Servants of Satan: The Age of the Witch-hunts. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1985.

Levack, Brian P. The Witch Hunts in Early Modern Europe. 3rd ed. London: Longman, 2006.

Pavlac, Brian A. Witch Hunts in the Western World: Persecution and Punishment from the Inquisition through the Salem Trials. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2009.

Russell, Jeffrey B. A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics and Pagans. London: Thames and Hudson, 1980.

Scarre, Geoffrey. Witchcraft and Magic in 16th and 17th Century Europe. Studies in European History. London: Macmillan Press, 1987.

Wiesner, Merry E. "Witchcraft," pp. 218-238 in Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Collections of Secondary Sources

Barry, Jonathan, Marianne Hester and Gareth Roberts, ed. Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe. Past and Present Publications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Breslaw, Elaine G., ed. Witches in the Atlantic World: A Historical Reader & Primary Sourcebook. New York: New York University Press, 2000.

Oldridge, Darren, ed. The Witchcraft Reader. Second ed. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Parish, Helen, ed. Superstition and Magic in Early Modern Europe: A Reader. Bloomsbury Academic. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2015.

Collections of Primary Sources

Kors, Alan Charles and Edward Peters, ed. Witchcraft in Europe 400-1700: A Documentary History. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000. For more on Edward Peters, click here.

Levack, Brian P., ed. The Witchcraft Sourcebook. London: Routledge, 2004.

Maxwell-Stuart, P. G. Witch Beliefs and Witch Trials in the Middle Ages: Documents and Readings. New York and London: Continuum, 2011.

See also this annotated bibliography produced with the work of students.


Ten Theories about the Causes of the Witch Hunts:
ideas by historians about the origins of the Witch Hunts
Ten Common Errors and Myths about the Witch Hunts:
corrections to mistaken ideas people frequently have about the Witch Hunts
Timeline of the Hunts to 1800:
chronology of key events, sources and people involved in the witch hunts
Primary Source: Letters from the Witch Trial of Rebecca Lemp:
a family deals with accusations.
a review of torture in the witch hunts and today.
Suffer your own persecution!
Try a witch hunt simulation
make choices to survive or not.
link to index