Magical House Protection : The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft
Brian Hoggard

Belief in magic and particularly the power of witchcraft was once a deep and enduring presence in popular culture. “Diving into Brian Hoggard's Magical House Protection is a remarkable experience… [It] provides an immersive and fascinating read.”—Fortean Times People created and concealed many objects to protect themselves from harmful magic. Detailed are the principal forms of magical house protection in Britain and beyond from the fourteenth century to the present day. Witch-bottles, dried cats, horse skulls, written charms, protection marks and concealed shoes were all used widely as methods of repelling, diverting or trapping negative energies. Many of these practices and symbols can be found around the globe, demonstrating the universal nature of efforts by people to protect themselves from witchcraft. From the introduction: The most popular locations to conceal objects within buildings are usually at portals such as the hearth, the threshold and also voids or dead spaces. This suggests that people believed it was possible for dark forces to travel through the landscape and attack them in their homes. Whether these forces were emanations from a witch in the form of a spell, a witch's familiar pestering their property, an actual witch flying in spirit or a combination of all of those is difficult to tell. Additional sources of danger could be ghosts, fairies and demons. People went to great lengths to ensure their homes and property were protected, highlighting the fact that these beliefs and fears were visceral and, as far as they were concerned, literally terrifying.

Berghahn Books
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