The witch trials throughout medieval europe have become renowned for their relentless, brutal torture and widespread execution. Whether floated as a form of class warfare, patriarchal dominance or religious persecution, the stories that remain are pitch black with their depictions of callous violence. Likewise, the legacy of The Medieval Inquisition, is too one of severe brutality and overzealous, corrupt authoritarians crushing those with differing beliefs and lifestyles. Despite this, there is one story from history of a group of individuals in Northern Italy that whilst crossing over with both The Inquisition and witch trials, somehow came out the other side with relatively few casualties. So unbelievable were the stories that came from the individuals involved, that The Inquisitors themselves wrote many off as simple fantasists in the face of their sincere admissions. Known as the Benandanti, this was a group of people whose story was truly one of the strangest in the myths, legends and lore of historical Witchcraft. This is Dark Histories, where the facts are worse than fiction.

Ginzburg, Carlo. (1966) The NIght Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. The John Hopkins University Press, MD, USA.

Peters, Edward M. (1989) Inquisition. University of California Press, CA, USA

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