According to the Malleus Maleficarum, a 15th-century witch hunter's manual, a witch can be identified by her possession of devil's marks and her inability to cry even under torture or before a judge. This book also claimed that a witch could not be burned or drowned.Continue Reading
The Malleus Maleficarum also listed typical traits of a witch, such as female sex and a propensity toward lustful behavior. Because it was thought that witches ate infants, midwifes were especially prone to witchcraft accusations.
Consisting primarily of compiled witch-hunting techniques, the Malleus Maleficarum was in widespread use during the European witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries. Its three sections argued for the existence of witchcraft, explained how to identify and interrogate accused witches, and instructed witchcraft judges on how to protect themselves from malicious spells.Learn more about Superstition