If folk think thou are a witch –
and thou make a free and voluntary confession to that effect –
then thou are indeed a witch.
From my voluntarie Confession and Examination (April 2, 1612)
“Richard Baldwyn sayd get out of my ground Whores and Witches, I will burne the one of you, and hang the other.
To whom [I] answered: I care not for thee, hang thy selfe.
Presently whereupon . . . going ouer the next hedge, the said Spirit or Diuell called Tibb appeared . . .and [I] sayd, Revenge thee of him.
And so the said Spirit vanished . . . and [I] neuer saw him since.”
Source: Potts, Thomas. The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, 1613.
“His Majesty King James has made it a sacred duty to identify and eradicate all witchcraft, sorcery and enchantment as quickly as possible. While there has always been a need to guard against the satanic powers of the witch, it is my sad duty to inform you that there are still those who walk among us who have been seduced by the Evil One. These are not simple cunning folk we speak of – they are, in fact, demon worshipers!
We are talking about the wild women who use magic and spells instead of prayer, who consort with the powers of evil, pretending to heal and do good. Well rest assured that Thy God doth drive them out before thee, that they might be recognized and defeated. God commands that all practitioners of the black arts be put to death, for the Bible states Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
Though we have won several recent battles against Satan, all the learned men agree that the witches of England are still multiplying. The reason for this is the prior leniency of judges and the irrational arguments of sceptics. We know that the Prince of Darkness is hell bent on recovering his lost empire and that every night these creatures – these hags – anoint themselves with devil’s grease made from the boiled fat of murdered infants. Then they slip under cracks, up chimneys, through keyholes and, mounted on broomsticks or spindles, travel to wicked sabbats throughout the land.
Signs of bewitchment include sickness, child loss, and finding reptiles, flies, and cockroaches in your houses. Look for marks on the body where the witch gives suckle to diabolical familiar spirits. Prick these warts and teats, they cause no pain and neither will a drop of blood be shed, for witches are made of wood and that is why they float on water. They are unable to recite the Lord’s Prayer. Remember, my fellow Christians, to disbelieve in the existence of witches is the greatest heresy. This dangerous scepticism must be stilted, and those who defend the evildoers are equally guilty. So when we go from hence let us be vigilant and prepared. May the Lord God guide us in our duties. Amen.”
(Blackest of Magic)
I only saw Tibb a few sundry times over the next five or six years. He always came at the Daylight Gate and asked what I bid.
“Naught,” said I, for I wanted nothing from him yet.
Then one Sabbeth morn he appeared in the likeness of a brown dog, jumped straight in my lap, and suckled from a spot beneath my left arm. It hurt like the devil and I cried out, “Jesus! Save us all!”
Then I fell into a madness, or so they tell me.
All I recall is wandering in purgatory for nigh-on eight weeks, while the spirits of darkness whispered their secrets and my true self came to the fore.
I awoke no longer as Elizabeth Southerns. I’d become the wise Old Demdike.
I first met Tibb nigh-on twenty years ago, near Gouldshey stone-pit. He came to me in the shape of a lad, dressed up all fancy in a black and brown coat. I thought he was some young master who’d got himself lost ’til he beckoned me over and demanded, “Give me thy soul!”
“Why would I do that?” I asked him, staring at the face of a fallen angel.
“If ye do, thou can have all thy wants,” says he.
I thought on his words and requested he utter his name.
“Tibb,” he told me – and I knew then it was a spirit or devil stood afore me.
I pondered the offer. Such a promise was mighty tempting indeed – and so I verily agreed.
“If you’re feelin’ lost and fussin’ o’er the best path to take,
follow the first animal ye spot
(be it a hare, bird, cat, insect or mouse).
When it fades from view follow the next creature that crosses your path.
Then the next. And the next. And so on, ’til they lead
to where your destiny lies.
Look with faithful eyes and you’ll soon see
what answer doth await thee!”