The Wild Hunt and the Witches' Sabbath

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Recent writing on the medieval origins of the concept of the witches' sabbath have emphasized the importance of beliefs in nocturnal processions or cavalcades of spirits, known in modern times by the umbrella term of the ‘Wild Hunt’. This article suggests that the modern notion of the Hunt was created by Jacob Grimm, who conflated different medieval traditions with modern folklore. It further argues that a different approach to the study of medieval spirit processions, which confines itself to medieval and early modern sources and distinguishes between the types of procession described in them, results in different conclusions, with regard both to the character of the Hunt and to its relationship with the sabbath.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-178
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2014

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