Malleus Maleficarum; Hammer of the Witches

by mkleit

Malleus Maleficarum Book Cover



Hammer of the Witches (latin: Malleus Maleficarum; German: Der Hexenhammer) is a guide for witch hunter written in 1484AD by two Dominican priests; Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, who were ordered by Pope Innocent the 13th to publish the book in order to locate and cease witchcraft.



Dualism Initiated The Hammer:

In the 11th and 12th century, Dualism sects spread out in Europe, while the Roman Catholic Church ordered the quick eradication for the heretics. Dualism is the believe that there are two gods constantly at war against each other, the good god of the New Testament defined by Jesus Christ, and the bad god in the Old Testament defined by satan.
The Catholic Church placed its full power and most of its wealth over Europe to abolish Dualism sects, reaching 1165AD, where Pope Innocent 3rd declared the Roman Catholic Church a state so that heresy would be considered as treason and thus heretics are punished by death.
For about two centuries, Dualism sects have been almost totally eradicated by 1320AD. The Church looked to abolish other threats, thus Pope Paul 22nd declared the arrest, torture, and execution of those who made “pacts with hell”, in other words, witches. The declaration has targeted rich wealthy women and educated ones as well.


People believed that rich and educated women were making pacts with the Devil for certain powers, known as witchcraft


The Pope’s Bully:

In 1484AD, there was a belief that witches and devil worshipers gathered in the German Hertz Mountains’ deserted fields to practice satanic rituals. Pope Innocent 13th issued a declaration called: Summis Desiderantes, which put in charge two Dominican monks, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, to write a manual that explains how to locate, identify, persecute, and execute witches.


Content of the book:

[As it is from ]


Malleus Maleficarum Part I

“The first part treating of the three necessary concomitants of witchcraft, which are the devil, a witch and the permission of almighty God.”Malleus Maleficarum


The Malleus maleficarum consists of three parts. The first consisted of 18 questions that should be considered in the determination of whether someone was a witch or not:


1-      Whether the Belief that there are such Beings as Witches is so Essential a Part of the Catholic Faith that Obstinacy to maintain the Opposite Opinion manifestly savours of Heresy.

2-      If it be in Accordance with the Catholic Faith to maintain that in Order to bring about some Effect of Magic, the Devil must intimately co-operate with the Witch, or whether one without the other, that is to say, the Devil without the Witch, or conversely, could produce such an Effect.

3-      Whether Children can be Generated by Incubi and Succubi.

4-      By which Devils are the Operations of Incubus and Succubus Practised?

5-      What is the Source of the Increase of Works of Witchcraft? Whence comes it that the Practice of Witchcraft hath so notably increased?

6-      Concerning Witches who copulate with Devils. Why is it that Women are chiefly addicted to Evil superstitions?

7-      Whether Witches can Sway the Minds of Men to Love or Hatred.

8-      Whether Witches can Hebetate the Powers of Generation or Obstruct the Venereal Act.

9-      Whether Witches may work some Prestidigatory Illusion so that the Male Organ appears to be entirely removed and separate from the Body.

10-   Whether Witches can by some Glamour Change Men into Beasts.

11-   That Witches who are Midwives in Various Ways Kill the Child Conceived in the Womb, and Procure an Abortion; or if they do not this Offer New-born Children to Devils.

12-   Whether the Permission of Almighty God is an Accompaniment of Witchcraft.

13-   Herein is set forth the Question, concerning the Two Divine Permissions which God justly allows, namely, that the Devil, the Author or all Evil, should Sin, and that our First Parents should Fall, from which Origins the Works of Witches are justly suffered to take place.

14-   The Enormity of Witches is Considered, and it is shown that the Whole Matter should be rightly Set Forth and Declared.

15-   It is Shown that, on Account of the Sins of Witches, the Innocent are often Bewitched, yea, Sometimes even for their Own Sins.

16-   The Foregoing Truths are Set out in Particular, this by a Comparison of the Works of Witches with Other Baleful Superstitions.

17-   A Comparison of their Crimes under Fourteen Heads, with the Sins of the Devils of all and every Kind.

18-   Here follows the Method of Preaching against and Controverting Five Arguments of Laymen and Lewd Folk, which seem to be Variously Approved, that God does not Allow so Great Power to the Devil and Witches as is involved in the Performance of such Mighty Works of Witchcraft.

Malleus Maleficarum Book Cover


Malleus Maleficarum, Part II

Part II of the Malleus Maleficarum consisted of “Treating on the methods by which the works of witchcraft are wrought and directed and how they may be successfully annulled and dissolved.”

The first question was: Of those against whom the Power of Witches availeth not at all.

The solutions were discussed at length in the following chapters:


1-      Of the several Methods by which Devils through Witches Entice and Allure the Innocent to the Increase of that Horrid Craft and Company.

2-      Of the Way whereby a Formal Pact with Evil is made.

3-      How they are Transported from Place to Place.

4-      Here follows the Way whereby Witches copulate with those Devils known as Incubi.

5-      Witches commonly perform their Spells through the Sacraments of the Church. And how they Impair the Powers of Generation, and how they may Cause other Ills to happen to God’s Creatures of all kinds. But herein we except the Question of the Influence of the Stars.

6-      How Witches Impede and Prevent the Power of Procreation.

7-      How, as it were, they Deprive Man of his Virile Member.

8-      Of the Manner whereby they Change Men into the Shapes of Beasts.

9-      How Devils may enter the Human Body and the Head without doing any Hurt, when they cause such Metamorphosis by Means of Prestidigitation.

10-   Of the Method by which Devils through the Operations of Witches sometimes actually possess men.

11-   Of the Method by which they can Inflict Every Sort of Infirmity, generally Ills of the Graver Kind.

12-   Of the Way how in Particular they Afflict Men with Other Like Infirmities.

13-   How Witch Midwives commit most Horrid Crimes when they either Kill Children or Offer them to Devils in most Accursed Wise.

14-   Here followeth how Witches Injure Cattle in Various Ways.

15-   How they Raise and Stir up Hailstorms and Tempests, and Cause Lightning to Blast both Men and Beasts.

16-   Of Three Ways in which Men and Women may be Discovered to be Addicted to Witchcraft: Divided into Three Heads: and First of the Witchcraft of Archers.

Question number two: The Methods of Destroying and Curing Witchcraft

Introduction, wherein is Set Forth the Difficulty of this Question.

The following chapters attempt to answer question number two:


1-      The Remedies prescribed by the Holy Church against Incubus and Succubus Devils.

2-      Remedies prescribed for Those who are Bewitched by the Limitation of the Generative Power.

3-      Remedies prescribed for those who are Bewitched by being Inflamed with Inordinate Love or Extraordinary Hatred.

4-      Remedies prescribed for those who by Prestidigitative Art have lost their Virile Members or have seemingly been Transformed into the Shapes of Beasts.

5-      Prescribed Remedies for those who are Obsessed owing to some Spell.

6-      Prescribed Remedies; to wit, the Lawful Exorcisms of the Church, for all Sorts of Infirmities and Ills due to Witchcraft; and the Method of Exorcising those who are Bewitched.

7-      Remedies prescribed against Hailstorms, and for animals that are Bewitched.

8-      Certain Remedies prescribed against those Dark and Horrid Harms with which Devils may Afflict Men.


Malleus Maleficarum Bookcover

Malleus Malificarum Part III

The third part of the malleus Malificarum was “Relating to the judicial proceedings in both the eddlesiastical and civil courts against witches and indeed all heretics.”

It included an introduction on “Who are the Fit and Proper Judges in the Trial of Witches?” followed by the following chapters:


1-      The Method of Initiating a Process

2-      Of the Number of Witnesses

3-      Of the Solemn Adjuration and Re-examination of Witnesses

4-      Of the Quality and Condition of Witnesses

5-      Whether Mortal Enemies may be Admitted as Witnesses

6-      How the Trial is to be Proceeded with and Continued. And how the Witnesses are to be Examined in the Presence of Four Other Persons, and how the Accused is to be Questioned in Two Ways

7-      In Which Various Doubts are Set Forth with Regard to the Foregoing Questions and Negative Answers. Whether the Accused is to be Imprisoned, and when she is to be considered Manifestly Taken in the Foul Heresy of Witchcraft. This is the Second Action

8-      Which Follows from the Preceding Question, Whether the Witch is to be Imprisoned, and of the Method of Taking her. This is the Third Action of the Judge

9-      What is to be done after the Arrest, and whether the Names of the Witnesses should be made Known to the Accused. This is the Fourth Action

10-   What Kind of Defence may be Allowed, and of the Appointment of an Advocate. This is the Fifth Action

11-   What Course the Advocate should Adopt when the Names of the Witnesses are not Revealed to him. The Sixth Action

12-   Of the Same Matter, Declaring more Particularly how the Question of Personal Enmity is to be Investigated. The Seventh Action

13-   Of the Points to be Observed by the Judge before the Formal Examination in the Place of Detention and Torture. This is the Eighth Action

14-   Of the Method of Sentencing the Accused to be Questioned: and How she must be Questioned on the First Day; and Whether she may be Promised her Life. The Ninth Action

15-   Of the Continuing of the Torture, and of the Devices and Signs by which the Judge can Recognize a Witch; and how he ought to Protect himself from their Spells. Also how they are to be Shaved in Parts where they use to Conceal the Devil’s Masks and Tokens; together with the due Setting Forth of Various Means of Overcoming the Obstinacy in Keeping Silence and Refusal to Confess. And it is the Tenth Action

16-   Of the fit Time and of the Method of the Second Examination. And it is the Eleventh Action, concerning the Final Precautions to be Observed by the Judge

17-   Of Common Purgation, and especially of the Trial of Red-hot Iron, to which Witches Appeal

18-   Of the Manner of Pronouncing a Sentence which is Final and Definitive

19-   Of the Various Degrees of Overt Suspicion which render the Accused liable to be Sentenced

20-   Of the Firth Method of Pronouncing Sentence

21-   Of the Second Method of Pronouncing Sentence, when the Accused is no more than Defamed

22-   Of the Third Kind of Sentence, to be Pronounced on one who is Defamed, and who is to be put to the Question

23-   The Fourth Method of Sentencing, in the Case of one Accused upon a Light Suspicion

24-   The Fifth Manner of Sentence, in the Case of one under Strong Suspicion

25-   The Sixth Kind of Sentence, in the Case of one who is Gravely Suspect

26-   The Method of passing Sentence upon one who is both Suspect and Defamed

27-   The Method of passing Sentence upon one who hath Confessed to Heresy, but is still not Penitent

28-   The Method of passing Sentence upon one who hath Confessed to Heresy but is Relapsed, Albeit now Penitent

29-   The Method of passing Sentence upon one who hath Confessed to Heresy but is Impenitent, although not Relapsed

30-   Of One who has Confessed to Heresy, is Relapsed, and is also Impenitent

31-   Of One Taken and Convicted, but Denying Everything

32-   Of One who is Convicted but who hath Fled or who Contumaciously Absents himself

33-   Of the Method of passing Sentence upon one who has been Accused by another Witch, who has been or is to be Burned at the Stake

34-   Of the Method of passing Sentence upon a Witch who Annuls Spells wrought by Witchcraft; and of Witch Midwives and Archer-Wizards

35-   Finally, of the Method of passing Sentence upon Witches who Enter or Cause to be Entered an Appeal, whether such be Frivolous or Legitimate and Just


The death toll was estimated between 600000 and an excess of 9 million, since records were not kept in most cases. But the 250 years that followed the publishing of the book, via Gutenberg press, made it almost impossible to keep track of the death tolls as a result of the numerous printings of Malleus Maleficarum.


Witches were tortured, killed, and burnt alive on the stick as punishment for making a “pact with hell” which caused to the death of tens of thousands of women







Freedom to Speak, Respectfully.

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