Familiars And Transformations

THE question of familiars is one which has always puzzled the student of witch-trials, and almost more than any other has been the cause of the belief that hysteria and hallucination were the foundation of the witches' confessions. Yet when the accounts are carefully examined, the circumstantial detail given in the evidence shows that here, as elsewhere, a foundation of fact underlies the statements of the accused. These statements are often misunderstood and therefore misrepresented by the recorders, and still more so by the modern commentator, but by comparison of the details a considerable amount of information can be gained.

The familiars can be divided into two types: (1) those by which the witch divined, (2) those who attended on the witch to obey her commands.

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