Sympathetic magic

Basis of all magic according to the anthropologist and folklorist Sir James George Frazer, founded on the idea that things act on each other because they are linked by invisible and secret bonds.


Form of magic in which the dead are re-animated and able to communicate with the sorcerer who invoked them, just as they would if they were alive.


Scottish Celtic practice similar to necromancy, in which spirits or demons are conjured up to help achieve some end, or to foretell the future.


One of 2500 species of plants belonging to the Solanaceae family. Its psychoactive effects have been known to physicians since ancient times.

Black cat

The numerous folk beliefs about black cats, and cats in general, are often contradictory. Superstitions surrounding black cats are almost certainly some of the most prevalent even today, along with the number thirteen and walking under a ladder.


Magic word that has been in use since at least the second century BCE, when it appears on a Greek amulet as a ba ga da.

Spell (magical)

Verbal charm to be spoken or chanted, sometimes a single magic word such as Abracadabra or the Renervate encountered in the fictional Harry Potter series of books.

Apotropaic eye

One of a number of signs used to ward off occult forms of evil such as spirits or demons.