This guide is intended for students and reasearchers studying the phenomenon of the witch hunts in the history of Western Europe and the United States of America at the University of Oxford, although students and researches from any field may find it useful.
Use this guide to find out about sources and commentary for the witchcraft panics and the subsequent trials, including ebooks, ejournals, and databases.
Between (at least) the 14th and 18th centuries, societies across Europe and colonial America could be convulsed by such an acute fear of the existence and exercise of demonic powers within their communities that the authorities for law and order became involved.
Court records are crucial - though not the sole - evidence of these waves of panic, and the consequences which could befall those found guilty.
It is feared that at least 60,000 people may have been executed as a result - women possibly accounting for 80% of those condemned.
Please use this box as a starting point - consult the other pages of this guide( indicated by the tabs above) for more structured guidance on particular sources & countries
Some examples of material & commentary that is available electronically. The first examples require an Oxford SSO for remote access, whereas the last two are on the free web, and available to any interested researcher.