University of Hertfordshire

Professor Owen Davies

Owen Davies

Professor Owen Davies

Postal address:
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
United Kingdom




                      The Haunted: A Social History of Ghosts 


Much of my work concerns the belief in witchcraft, magic and ghosts from the ancient world to the modern era. This has also led to work on popular medicine and folklore, international comparative studies, and interdisciplinary research applying anthropological and biomedical knowledge to historical topics. I also have interests in landscape history.

My most recent major work is: America Bewitched: The Story of Witchcraft after Salem (OUP). This explores the nature and strength of witchcraft beliefs in American society from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, including detailed accounts of the murder and abuse of suspected witches in European, Native American and African American communities. This follows on from Grimoires: A History of Magic Books (2009), which traces the development of grimoires and the conjurations and spells they contained from ancient Egypt to modern America, and from Europe to the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. It is published by Oxford University Press.


                      Grimoires: A History of Magic Books



I am currently editing the Oxford Illustrated History of Witchcraft and Magic.

As a Co-Investigator for the Every Day Lives in War AHRC Engagement Centre, I am currently working with a range of non-academic partners to explore aspects of every day life during the First World War, while also exploring more specific aspects of the supernatural and belief.

I am also a Co-Investigator on a major Wellcome Trust project, 'Harnessing the Power of the Criminal Corpse'.

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