The Witch of Endor: A Study in History and Folklore [free online event]

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The Bible account of the “Witch of Endor” raising the spirit of Samuel has been long debated. This talk explores its folkloric aspects

About this event

Prof. Owen Davies (University of Hertfordshire): The Folklore Society Presidential Address 2022: ‘The Witch of Endor: A Study in History and Folklore’

Online talk, Tuesday 28 June, 17:30-18:30

The Old Testament account, in 1 Samuel 28, of how the “Witch of Endor” apparently raised the spirit of the prophet Samuel has been a matter of theological debate for centuries. In this talk Owen Davies looks at two aspects of interest to the folklorist.

  • First, how the “woman of Endor” described in the King James Bible became popularly known as the “witch of Endor”.
  • Secondly, how the account of the raising of the spirit of Samuel became a widespread defense of both ghosts and the existence of witchcraft in British and American folk belief.

The lecture will be delivered both to virtual attendees and an in-person audience at 50 Fitzroy Street. In-person attendance is restricted to Folklore Society members attending the Annual General Meeting of The Folklore Society from 18:30-19:30.



Date and time

Tue, 28 June 2022

17:30 – 18:30 BST


Online event

About the Presenter

The Folklore Society (FLS) is a learned society devoted to the study of traditional culture in all its forms. It was founded in London in 1878 and was one of the first organisations established in the world for the study of folklore. The term ‘folklore’ describes the overarching concept that holds together a number of aspects of vernacular culture and cultural traditions, and is also the name of the discipline which studies them.

The Folklore Society’s interest and expertise covers such topics as traditional music, song, dance and drama, narrative, arts and crafts, customs and belief. We are also interested in popular religion, traditional and regional food, folk medicine, children’s folklore, traditional sayings, proverbs, rhymes and jingles.


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