"Witchcraft is a subject that fascinates us all. From childhood most people develop an impression of what a witch is - mysterious, malignant, and usually an old woman. Throughout the ages, witchcraft has raised questions about the distinction between fantasy and reality, faith and proof, primitivism and modernity. And the 'witch-craze' claimed many lives." But why have witches featured so heavily in our cultures and consciousness? From Halloween to superstitions, and literary manifestations such as Faust and even Harry Potter, witches still appear to have a role in our society. In this Very Short Introduction Malcolm Gaskill challenges the historical myths, arguing that much of what we think we known is wrong.