Summoning Satan

‘One Tom Cummins of Aiskew, when he would have speech and advice on matters from the Evil One, did then at midnight spit upon the Bible, tear out a leaf, cast it upon the fire, gather up the black ash and bury it under a hearth stone, when Satan would spring up.’

Tom Cummins died in Bedale in 1782.

Marvels, Magic & Witchcraft in the North Riding of Yorkshire. David Naitby’s Bedale Treasury. David Kirkby. Summerfield Press 2005

A Bedale incantation to charm away evil


Nine circles do I round ye run,

on each a black bean. Every one

to a black beetle turneth.

Nine spiders now about you spin their arran webs,

to ward off what’s out, to guard what’s in,

should ill clouds hang aboon ye.

Nine feathers now round ye fly,

each bird doth watch baith yeth and sky,

should ought ill come again ye

From Marvels, Magic & Witchcraft in the North Riding of Yorkshire. David Kirby. 2005