The History of Witches and Witchcraft

In Europe, witches were considered in terms of theology. It was believed that Satan enters the bodies of women to acquire physical presence. The Inquisition aimed to eradicate witchcraft by torturing and executing them. The purpose of these beliefs was to blame witches for diseases and epidemics as well as to show people the authority of the church (“Witchcraft and Sorcery (Anthropology)”).

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For example, witch-hunting was one of the most valued events, and public executions of witches were performed. In the US, such beliefs were contrary to democratic ideals, namely, they were against intolerance and prejudice. The wide memorization of the witch-hunting events in the US serves as a symbol of anti-democratic views.

The Western-European version of witchcraft was not necessarily associated with the classical theory that establishes the link between sorcery and witches. The physical presence of witches was perceived as a stigmatized image with a Devil’s mark or red eyes (“Witches and Witchcraft: A Cross-Cultural Perspective”). Another sign of the Western-European version is that is closely related to the church and theology.

In non-Western-European countries, such as Cameroon or Papua New Guinea, sorcery is the main feature of witchcraft that was seen as the way of politics. The theories of conspiracy and mafia were viewed as the result of witchcraft when a person suddenly acquired enormous political power. In addition, there were some elements of European traditions and symbols. The sorcery skills were learned intentionally, and special substances were bought for use on plantations as herbicides (“Witchcraft and Sorcery (Anthropology)”). Thus, in Western-European witchcraft, sorcery was a part of rituals, while Cameroon or Papua New Guinea used it as an inherent component of politics, agriculture, and so on.

Works Cited

“Witchcraft and Sorcery (Anthropology).” What-When-How. Web.

“Witches and Witchcraft: A Cross-Cultural Perspective.” Knoji. 2020. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "The History of Witches and Witchcraft." June 20, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The History of Witches and Witchcraft." June 20, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The History of Witches and Witchcraft'. 20 June.

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