Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Matthew Hopkins - Witchfinder General

The first book on the occult that i bought was "The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology" by Russell Hope Robbins. I loved having it around, it made me feel quite dangerous, especially because it wasn't one of these later-period new age sociable books on how to make love potions & colored candles, this was a straight-forward guide to the roots of Western witchcraft & demonology, straight from the wonderfully distorted minds of medieval European Christians. God bless 'em. It was chock full of old woodcuts from various pamphlets & books, including this fantastic piece depicting Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins interrogating some witches & their various familiars from his pamphlet "The Discovery of Witches". I'm still obsessed with the names "Vinegar Tom" & "Grizzdl Greedigut". Anyhow, Matthew Hopkins was a sadistic son of a Puritan clergyman operating in England during The English Civil War. He is tied to around 200 killings of supposed witches, but not alot is known about him. After attending the Real Witch's Ball/Convention in Columbus, Ohio years ago, looking for something alot more dangerous & exciting than i found, i wanted to become a Witchfinder General myself. Riding a black horse with an even more sadistic side-kick, i would have loved to torture & drown at least ONE witch! ha ha, ahem, but that is neither here nor there.

The Witchfinder General is featured in the fantastic movie by the same name (released as the Conqueror Worm in the USA), starring Vincent Price at his most terrifying as Matthew Hopkins. Check it out if you haven't seen it. Right now.

Witchfinder General is also a pretty good NWOBHM band. Here's their tune "Burning a Sinner". Check them out a bit more maybe.

Matthew Hopkins makes an appearance in Black Adder as Witchsmeller Pursuivant, which is also a band apparently. You'd do well to watch ALL of Black Adder as well. I'm dead serious. I should have mentioned in the last post, you must watch all of the Young Ones also, as part of your Goblinist Initiation.

1 comment:

  1. Young Ones are fantastic even their tune with Cliff Richard! love those old illustrations