For three centuries, as the Black Death rampaged through Europe and the Reformation tore the Church apart, tens of thousands were arrested as witches and subjected to torture and execution, including being burned alive. This graphic novel examines the background; the witch hunters’ methods; who profited; the brave few who protested; and how the Enlightenment gradually replaced fear and superstition with reason and science.
Famed witch hunters Heinrich Kramer, architect of the infamous Malleus Maleficarum, and Matthew Hopkins, England’s notorious “Witchfinder General,” are covered as are the Salem Witch Trials and the last executions in Europe.
About the Authors
Rocky Wood is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of many books about Stephen King. He is president of the Horror Writers Association and lives in Victoria, Australia.
Lisa Morton is a playwright, fiction and reference book author and screenwriter. A Bram Stoker Award winner for superior achievement in horror writing, she lives in North Hollywood, California.
Greg Chapman is a fiction writer and horror illustrator, specializing in comics and graphic novels. Two horror novellas were published in 2011. He lives in Central Queensland, Australia.
I have been fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials since I first heard about them as a child. I did reports and term papers on them in school along with the Crusades, the real Dracula etc. Anything that contained a hint of mystery, magic and the macabre was fodder for my ever burgeoning imagination, much to the detriment of the teachers that had to read and grade these. I am sure some of them thought I was deranged or well on my way to becoming a serial killer.
Through my research for the Salem Witch Trials not only did I discover that there were never any witches burned there I also discovered the persecution of witches in the rest of the world and the atrocities that were bestowed upon them.
I received McFarland’s “Witch Hunts” in the mail and when I opened it I immediately was transported back in time to the those wonderful days of discovery as a child…though this is no children’s book by any means.
It is a meticulous telling of a time when people, mostly woman were being hunted, tortured and killed in horrible ways for the accusation of being in league with Satan, as a witch.
Greg Chapman’s illustrations are gorgeous and really capture the essence of what Lisa and Rock have written. The book is full of terribly gruesome imagery and just as gruesome text describing what these supposed witches went through.
The book also details those behind the crusade against witches, describing how they benefited and profited by the suffering of those they accused, showing once again how organized religion in the name of their faith, has been one of the greatest dealers of suffering, persecution and death known to mankind.
Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it is an apt metaphor in this occasion. Hundreds of years later, well into the supposedly enlightened times there are still those that prey on, humiliate and harm those that are different. Funny how things never seem to change.
Do yourself a favor and pick up this absolutely stunning non-fiction graphic novel, it is eye opening and meticulously presented. It will linger with you long after you put it down and I give it my highest recommendation.