Presenter: Dr Charlotte-Rose Millar

In early modern England, the night was a time to be feared, a time in which devout Protestants needed to guard themselves against the Devil’s assaults. In English witchcraft narratives, both accused witches and supposed victims describe their terror of the Devil appearing to them in the night. In some cases, the Devil appeared in the form of an animal (a familiar) to torment a hapless man or woman. In others, the Devil appeared as a nightmare encounter, one which left the victim literally paralysed with terror. By exploring the experiences of both victims and witches, this paper will highlight how early modern men and women viewed the night as a dangerous time of demonic attack and temptation.

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