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Owen Davies, The Witch of Endor: A Study in History and Folklore (Audio Recording)

Prof. Owen Davies, Folklore Society Presidential Address, 2022: ‘The Witch of Endor: A Study in History and Folklore’. Lecture delivered online and to a live audience at 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT, Tuesday 28 June 2022, 17:30-18:30. Click here for the audio recording on YouTube.

The Old Testament account, in 1 Samuel 28, of how the “Witch of Endor” apparently raised the spirit of the prophet Samuel has been a matter of theological debate for centuries. In this talk Owen Davies looks at two aspects of interest to the folklorist. First, how the “woman of Endor” described in the King James Bible became popularly known as the “witch of Endor”. Secondly, how the account of the raising of the spirit of Samuel became a widespread defence of both ghosts and the existence of witchcraft in British and American folk belief.

Image credit: ‘Saul and the Witch of Endor’ by Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen; Wikimedia Commons