Horror / Fantasy / SF / Reviews

Book review: The Necromancers by Peter Haining (Editor)

The necromancers Peter Haining

With The Necromancers, Peter Haining ventures yet again into the murky world of witchcraft and black magic. This book is a sensational combination of fact, fiction, and folklore. The facts are dubious at best, some are just plain silly (Aleister Crowley’s piece being one example). However, that does not downgrade the entertainment quotient of The Necromancers — one of Haining’s best efforts.

This is the book that inspired Dennis Wheatley to come up with his essay “Satanism and Witches : Essays and Stories”.

Here are some of the outstanding stories that you’ll find in this collection:

Robert Bloch – Beelzebub: A distracted writer haunted and eventually destroyed by a supernatural fly.

Sax Rohmer – The Witch Finders: The author of Fu Manchu pursues witch finders across Europe. A non-fiction piece, as claimed by Haining.

Anonymous – The Black Goat of Brandenberg: Satanists hope to learn the secrets of Germany’s lost treasure and in the process, offer human sacrifice to Lucifer. What happens next in this tantalizing drama?

Robert Anthony (Anthony Rudd) – The Witch-Baiter: Mynheer van Ragevoort, who condemns witches, is abducted by the members of a secret society and exposed to unspeakable horror.


Preface – Peter Haining
Introduction – Robert Bloch

Robert Graves – Modern Witchcraft
Rollo Ahmed – Black Magic Today
Aleister Crowley – The Black Lodge
Betty May – The Sacrifice
W. B. Yates – The Sorcerers
Denis Wheatley – A Life For A Life
C. W. Olliver – The Witches’ Sabbat
Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Salem Mass
Cotton Mather – The Tryals Of The New England Witches
[An Indictment For Witchcraft]
W. Harrison Ainsworth – The Lancashire Witches
Margaret Murray – An Initiation To Witchcraft
[A Pact With The Devil] [How To Raise A Spirit]
Anonymous – The Black Goat Of Brandenberg
Benvenuto Cellini – My Experiences In Necromancy
Lawrence Flammenberg – The Necromancer
E. F. Benson – Gavon’s Eve
[The Confession Of The Witches Of Elfdale]
Sax Rohmer – The Witch Finders
Robert Anthony – The Witch-Baiter
P. T. Barnum – The Spell On witchcraft
Frank Hamel – Familiars
August Derleth – Saunder’s Little Friend
Ronald Seth – The Chambre Ardente Affair
Algernon Blackwood – The Tarn Of Sacrifice
Montague Summers – The Hell-Fire Clubs
Michael Harrison – At The Heart Of It
Robert Bloch – Beelzebub

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