As anyone who reads this blog regularly will know, I have been spending quite a lot of time recently at Innerpeffray Library, the oldest lending library in Scotland, where I have been transcribing excerpts (especially the bits about lechery and bawdiness) from various arcane antiquarian books for the edification of my readers.
So, especially for Hallowe'en, here are some sections from my great favourite, the Treatise of Specters, and from that other rollicking tome, The Discovery of Witchcraft.
Let us start with the Treatise, which offers us some delightful tales of leprosy inflicted by witchcraft.
These two passages are from the part entitled An History of Strange Apparitions, and cunning delusions of Devils.
The first one brings whole new meaning to that thing my mother used to say to me when I was a child, about not making a nasty face in case the wind changed and it stuck that way. Here, a sudden wind brings disfiguring disease:
NB Brisacum is probably the French town of Neuf-Brisach, close to the German border. The other name was not clearly legible but is evidently another town close by.
The second story, below, mentions the "black wood", presumably the Black Forest on the other side of the border. Here, a witch engages in the traditional occupation of cursing her tormenter:
When Innerpeffray Library opens again in March I shall post some more excerpts. In the meantime I hope those who have read the ones I have already posted have enjoyed them, and I wish everyone a Happy Hallowe'en!