Filled with fears grim fact, mystery and records, the history of witchcraft can be traced back to long centuries ago. Many negative things are associated with though and people often avoid the topic. Derived from the word “Wicca” known to mean “the wise one”, the word “witchcraft ” is seen as a phenomenon which is not ordinary. i.e. magical, a form of worship for pagan, religion, etc.
The practice of witchcraft was not seen as a threat or dangerous practice, not until 1000AD, when the practice began to incur the wrath of Christians, priests and some members of the society. The practice was considered as a religion that is against the Christians. Between 1482 and 1782, more than a thousand people in Europe where accused of witchcraft and were executed. In 1602, Lord Chief Justice Anderson said ” the land is full of witches, and they are present in all places “. He said their presence is not for fun nor as a symbol, but that they are serious threats to life, very dangerous and deadly to divine order. According to Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, a major partaker in the purging of the society of witchcraft practices, the church burnt almost 5million women at the stake, and between the year 1482 and 1782, close to 100,000 people were accused of the practice of Witchcraft, and about 40-50 of them were killed all across Europe. Although the killing of witches had been approved by Pope Gregory IX in 1200, the existence of witches was believed to be just an ordinary myth, not until 1498 when they were declared to be real and existing by Pope Innocent VIII. It is worthy to know that the full-fledge killing of witches was recorded between 1500s to 1600s. The first war ever to be waged against witches began in 1022AD, after a witch was burnt to death, and also in Salem 1692 when 150 people were prosecuted after being accused of practicing witchcraft.
In England, 1542,1562 and 1604, the practice of witchcraft became a serious crime, which is punishable under the English law. Although across Europe, 70-80% of all the people accused of Witchcraft were female, it is also worth of note that not all witches are female, some men too could also be witches. The fact that the proportion of female to male witches is high, does not mean that its only women that practices witchcraft. In some countries like Hungary, Poland, the county of Namur, Essex England, etc.,women are know to have larger number in the practice of witchcraft.
One of the major reason women are mostly accused of being witches is because of the believe that women are spiritually and morally weaker than men. Also, in a research, it was discovered that most people who are being accused of the practice of witchcraft are mostly widows, and elders. The history of witchcraft is not just a stock of shocking and hypnotism events but it is also the study of the crusade of humankind against practicing witchcraft.