This is a reprint of a book published in the 1830's by Sir Walter Scott as a favor to his son-in-law. Scott researches folklore, superstition, and witchcraft (through folklore, trial records, and previous scholars) in depth to give the reader a comprehensive body of knowledge. The modern reader will find more here than she ever knew. Countless court cases from all of Europe and especially Scotland (where the author resided) and England are presented. Scott writes from the point of view that he lives in a scientific age and that the possibility of these occurences is absurd, but, because he gives you all of the information from which he derives his opinion, you can make your own. Personally, I'm a fanciful person and would like to believe in ghosts and such, but in most of the cases he has plausible explanations for their being impossible (especially pertaining to witchcraft). Interesting to note, in not one of the cases of witchcraft did any of the accused, or the accusers mention goddess worship. Neither did they in any of the 'accepted' mystical hobbies of the era either. He talks of things of which I have never heard. For example, seers claimed to have captured fairies or slyphs in their crystal balls and they were not "seeing something" as in the movies, but getting the information from the agent inside the ball. This is an excellent book for both the skeptic and believer, as well as Christian or pagan.