Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer): the Inquisition’s guide to the diagnosis, behavior, trial, and punishment of witches.

witchhammer title page


The guide on how to exterminate witches also translates to “Hammer of Witches“, was written by a Catholic clergyman, Heinrich Kramer and published under his Latin name, Henricus Institoris, in Speyer, Germany, 1487. Kramer’s book was the #1 best seller – second to the Bible.

Kramer’s suggested legal procedures of the Inquisition were immediately rejected and so the inquisitor was censured himself,  just a few years after publication. Secular courts, not inquisitorial courts, resorted to the Malleus Maleficarum.

Institoris is a very rare surname, few people in Slovakia have the family name and might have arised from Slovakia. Around 373 people have been found who wears Institoris as their family name. Institoris is used widely across the globe.Namelist

Question I Whether the Belief that there are such Beings as Witches is so Essential a Part
of the Catholic Faith that Obstinacy to maintain the Opposite Opinion manifestly savours of Heresy.
Question II If it be in Accordance with the Catholic Faith to maintain that in Order to bring about some Effect of Magic, the Devil must intimately co-operate with the Witch,
or whether one without the other, that is to say, the Devil without the Witch, or
conversely, could produce such an Effect.
Question III Whether Children can be Generated by Incubi and Succubi.
Question IV By which Devils are the Operations of Incubus and Succubus Practised?
Question V What is the Source of the Increase of Works of Witchcraft? Whence comes it that the Practice of Witchcraft hath so notably increased?
Question VI Concerning Witches who copulate with Devils. Why is it that Women are chiefly addicted to Evil superstitions?
Question VII Whether Witches can Sway the Minds of Men to Love or Hatred.
Question VIII Whether Witches can Hebetate the Powers of Generation or Obstruct the
Venereal Act.
Question IX Whether Witches may work some Prestidigatory Illusion so that the Male Organ appears to be entirely removed and separate from the Body.
Question X Whether Witches can by some Glamour Change Men into Beasts.
Question XI That Witches who are Midwives in Various Ways Kill the Child Conceived in the Womb, and Procure an Abortion; or if they do not this Offer New-born Children
to Devils.
Question XII Whether the Permission of Almighty God is an Accompaniment of Witchcraft.
Question XIII Herein is set forth the Question, concerning the Two Divine Permissions which God justly allows, namely, that the Devil, the Author or all Evil, should Sin, and
that our First Parents should Fall, from which Origins the Works of Witches are
justly suffered to take place.
Solutions of the Arguments.
Question XIV The Enormity of Witches is Considered, and it is shown that the Whole Matter should be rightly Set Forth and Declared.
Question XV It is Shown that, on Account of the Sins of Witches, the Innocent are often
Bewitched, yea, Sometimes even for their Own Sins.
Question XVI The Foregoing Truths are Set out in Particular, this by a Comparison of the
Works of Witches with Other Baleful Superstitions.
Question XVII A Comparison of their Crimes under Fourteen Heads, with the Sins of the Devils of all and every Kind.
Question XVIII Here follows the Method of Preaching against and Controverting Five
Arguments of Laymen and Lewd Folk, which seem to be Variously Approved,
that God does not Allow so Great Power to the Devil and Witches as is involved
in the Performance of such Mighty Works of Witchcraft.

PDF format (in full) – Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer)


– altered by Hystoria

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