Modern inhabitants of the United States are a people of belief—they believe, or so pollsters report, in a supreme being (90 percent), the Devil (70 percent), and angels (77 percent).1 Some 31 percent also believe in witches.2 General readers curious about the historical variety of witchcraft beliefs in the United States will find Owen Davies's book an interesting and useful starting point. In researching America Bewitched, Davies found hundreds of cases of witch beliefs over the past three centuries. His evidence speaks authoritatively to the deep-rooted nature of magical beliefs and practices. The witchcraft of Davies's book is primarily non-diabolic, comprising mostly the practices of maleficium that are pervasive in so many societies. America Bewitched is chock-full of interesting cases, involving an admirably wide range of participants—newly arrived immigrants, longtime inhabitants of European, African, and Amerindian descent, neighbors, strangers, men, and women. His cases also encompass the...

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