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Bellevance
05-12-2011, 06:35 PM
Here's a request. For a novel I am writing, I wonder if anyone can suggest what chants or prayers may have been voiced by a crowd of ecstatically hateful Christians during a witch-burning.

Thanks for your thoughts.

gothicangel
05-12-2011, 06:42 PM
Here's a request. For a novel I am writing, I wonder if anyone can suggest what chants or prayers may have been voiced by a crowd of ecstatically hateful Christians during a witch-burning.

Thanks for your thoughts.

I would imagine that there would be a sermon/bible reading given by a church leader. Doubtful about any chanting.

Not sure about 'hateful Christians'. Witch trials and burnings were more about state control of 'undesireables' than based in religion. Scotland is an interesting case study where the Scottish monarch James VI use hysteria about witches to quash rebellion in the highlands and subdues Gaelic culture.

jimbro
05-12-2011, 06:46 PM
Here's a request. For a novel I am writing, I wonder if anyone can suggest what chants or prayers may have been voiced by a crowd of ecstatically hateful Christians during a witch-burning.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Probably not chants.

Just singing Kumbaya and roasting marshmellows...:evil

Chris P
05-12-2011, 06:52 PM
Burn baby burn, disco inferno.... (sorry, couldn't resist)

I don't know what they would have actually done, but Exodus 22:18 ("You shall not permit a witch to live") might have been recited. The first commandment might have been more familiar to your characters, however (Exodus 20:3 or Deuteronomy 5:7).

It is also possible they might have recited a quasi-biblical catch phrase, perhaps something the local priest might have used to wind up the locals. If you're looking for a mass hysteria situation you can almost come up with anything.

pandora
05-12-2011, 07:02 PM
Where and when is the "witch burning" happening? What type of hateful Christians? A cult? Is the Inquisition involved, witch hunters or just someone's next door neighbors? Typically witches and heretics were burned to "save them from themselves." I think you could be more specific about this question, for us or for yourself, for a useful answer. I am interested to find out more context...

VoireyLinger
05-12-2011, 07:12 PM
My initial thought when I read the post was Christians don't chant. It's not part of our religion.

If they are killing because of a religious fervor, then they would most likely recite prayers, the most commonly recited one being the Lord's Prayer.

I can also see some screaming at the witch to repent. Looking at the historical records, the attitude of 'witch hunts' were more self-righteous than hate-filled so you would likely have more comments and reactions based not on loathing so much as a position of superiority. There was a lot of prestige involved in witch hunting.

Mr Flibble
05-12-2011, 07:21 PM
Am I the only one whose first thought was 'She turned me into a newt.' >> 'I got better.'

If people are getting all hyped up, you probably can't go wrong with calls to 'Burn her!' etc. You know, mob stuff rather than religious stuff.

Aureluis
05-12-2011, 07:28 PM
There's a verse in the bible that say's "Suffer not a witch to live."

Williebee
05-12-2011, 07:29 PM
"Go to the light! Go to the light! Go to the light!"
"Wait, not you, Ellroy! Damn fool kid. I tell ya' Wanda, the boy's not right."

:)


Assuming this is fiction and you aren't going for historical accuracy here:

A crowd chant really doesn't work if it is anything long or complicated (think soccer or football games or wrestling matches)
Repeated cries of "Burn Her/Him!" would be logical.

Whatever the goal the preacher/ringleader is selling would also be logical. In other words, if the ringleader has convinced his followers that burning "the witch" will free them of a curse, you might get "Burn the witch, Lift the Curse!" over and over.

Good luck.

gothicangel
05-12-2011, 07:40 PM
Burn baby burn, disco inferno.... (sorry, couldn't resist)


Or how about: Your Sex Is On Fire?

I'll stop now . . . ;)

Manuel Royal
05-12-2011, 07:46 PM
All depends on context. Is it a historical witch-burning (like in, say, 16th Century Germany) or a posited modern-day burning? What kind of Christians? (I'd assume Protestants, but that's pretty broad.)

Bellevance
05-12-2011, 08:55 PM
Thanks, everyone, for these ideas and suggestions. As to context, the novel is a YA fantasy set in the indefinite future in a much diminished America--long after the Oil Age, severe climate disruptions, flooding, drought, desertification of the west, rebellion, and other unnamed cataclysms--an America that is now a decidedly repressive theocracy, thoroughly in the grip of cultish evangelical Christians ("the gels"), who are the villains.

The bible verses I am familiar with ("Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" and so on), and I have used some elsewhere in the ms. I guess what I have in mind is some half-hysterical phrase that might have been part of a prayer or part of a sermon once delivered by the pastor who's officiating on this fiery occasion. Something on the order of "Repent!" but longer and with a flavor of good riddance, you diabolical fiend.

PinkAmy
05-12-2011, 09:32 PM
There are some good documentaries about the Salem Witch trials, some with reenactments. There was always a lot of shouting. A while back I read everything I could about them. Witches were never burned at the stake in the USA, they were drowned. There was a test to tell for sure if a woman was a witch. They tied her down with bags of rocks. If she floated to the top, she was a witch and had to be forcibly drowned. If she sunk, oops, she wasn't a witch but she was dead anyway.

shaldna
05-12-2011, 10:55 PM
Traditionally in Protestant countries witches were hanged, not burned. And when they were burned they were usually already dead, mostly as a result of hanging or drowning.

However, burning was popular for a time in some parts of eastern europe.

Burning is for werewolves.



[from wiki]
When Charlemagne imposed Christianity upon the people of Saxony in 789, he proclaimed:
If anyone, deceived by the Devil, shall believe, as is customary among pagans, that any man or woman is a night-witch, and eats men, and on that account burn that person to death... he shall be executed.

Similarly, the Lombard code of 643 states:
Let nobody presume to kill a foreign serving maid or female slave as a witch, for it is not possible, nor ought to be believed by Christian minds.[2]
This conforms to the teachings of the Canon Episcopi of circa 900 AD (alleged to date from 314 AD), following the thoughts of Augustine of Hippo which stated that witchcraft did not exist and that to believe in it was heretical.[3] The Church of the time, rather than opposing witchcraft, opposed what it saw as the foolish and backward belief in witchcraft. To believe that witchcraft could possibly have any power was to deny the supreme power of God.


Some of these might give you ideas of how people acted during witch trials and executions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_witchcraft
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pendle_witches
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trier_witch_trials
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulda_witch_trials
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%BCrzburg_witch_trial
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Berwick_witch_trials
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tors%C3%A5ker_witch_trials
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salzburg_witch_trials
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doruch%C3%B3w_witch_trial
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudun_possessions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_trials_in_Early_Modern_Europe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malleus_Maleficarum

Puma
05-12-2011, 11:12 PM
One of my "greats" grandmothers was accused of witchcraft (by a step-grand-daughter) and subjected to the water torture / test in Germany about 1630. She survived (but for less than a year after that.)

In a short story I wrote about the incident, these were some of the things I had the spectators shout.

"God's will be done."
"Hexe! Witch!"
"You will die, witch."
"Hexe von schwartz Zauber!"
"Your black magic will not save you now!"

Hope the ideas help. Puma

bearilou
05-12-2011, 11:39 PM
Would they need to be chanting? Is the purpose to whip up the masses into a frenzy?

In my mind, it'd be creepier that they all stood in silent witness as the person burned.

Kitti
05-13-2011, 01:04 AM
One of the absolute creepiest phrases I've come across (at heretic executions, not witch burnings) was "Kill them all. For the Lord knows them that are His!"

Aka, "we don't know if you're a Cathar or not, but the Lord will figure it out once you're dead and you'll be rewarded or punished properly."

Or, as one country music song (which I happen to like, so it's not a slam on country music here) declares:
"It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send 'em all to their maker and he'll settle 'em down"

BunnyMaz
05-13-2011, 04:58 AM
Would it not help to watch some recordings of televangelist sermons on witchcraft? Not bashing the faith of the people, but you've got a crowd of incensed, emotional people responding to the calls of some central figure denouncing a specific thing. Could work as a basis?

Rowan
05-13-2011, 02:07 PM
This is a good resource: http://www.malleusmaleficarum.org/


The Malleus Maleficarum (Latin for “The Hammer of Witches”, or “Hexenhammer” in German) is one of the most famous medieval treatises on witches. It was written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, and was first published in Germany in 1487. Its main purpose was to challenge all arguments against the existence of witchcraft and to instruct magistrates on how to identify, interrogate and convict witches.


As a pagan/witch, I've done a bit of reading on the topic, but I think (as others have stated), you're less likely to have chanting and more likely to have the ignorant masses hurling insults and the like. Fear-based insults derived from ignorance, which is alive and well--even in this day and age.

Best of luck!

Rowan
05-13-2011, 02:12 PM
There are some good documentaries about the Salem Witch trials, some with reenactments. There was always a lot of shouting. A while back I read everything I could about them. Witches were never burned at the stake in the USA, they were drowned. There was a test to tell for sure if a woman was a witch. They tied her down with bags of rocks. If she floated to the top, she was a witch and had to be forcibly drowned. If she sunk, oops, she wasn't a witch but she was dead anyway.

Bolding is mine.

Actually, the "witches" (victims) accused in the Salem Witch trials were hanged, and not drowned, with one exception. (Others died in prison.) Here's but one source:
http://www.salemwitchtrials.com/faqs.html#burnedatstake


Were the victims of the Salem witch trials burned at the stake?
With the exception of Giles Corey--who was crushed to death for refusing to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, the executed were hanged, not burned. In Colonial America, witchcraft was a felony punishable by death by hanging. However, in Europe witchcraft was considered heresy and punishable by burning at the stake.

DrZoidberg
05-13-2011, 02:15 PM
"She turned me into a newt".

shaldna
05-13-2011, 03:53 PM
This is a good resource: http://www.malleusmaleficarum.org/


As a pagan/witch, I've done a bit of reading on the topic, but I think (as others have stated), you're less likely to have chanting and more likely to have the ignorant masses hurling insults and the like. Fear-based insults derived from ignorance, which is alive and well--even in this day and age.

Best of luck!

Interstingly the Malleus Maleficarum was banned by the Church for a long time, even at the height of witchunting mania.

Kitti
05-13-2011, 06:26 PM
If you're interested in historical witch-burning, PM me. I have taught university courses on the subject and know way too much for my own good.

crunchyblanket
05-13-2011, 06:30 PM
"She turned me into a newt".


....I got better!

Rowan
05-13-2011, 07:32 PM
Interstingly the Malleus Maleficarum was banned by the Church for a long time, even at the height of witchunting mania.

Interesting. According to one site (same as listed above--can't vouch for content): http://www.malleusmaleficarum.org/


While general consensus is that The Catholic Church banned the book in 1490 by placing it on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum) (“List of Prohibited Books”), the first Index was, in fact, produced in 1559 under the direction of Pope Paul IV. Therefore such claims are dubious, at best. I believe people are confusing the fact that the Inquisition reportedly denounced Heinrich Kramer in 1490 as being a ban upon the Malleus Maleficarum. Thus far, I’ve yet to find the Malleus on any Index Librorum Prohibitorum (copies of which are available on the Internet – most notably the 1559 (http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/ILP-1559.htm) and 1948 (http://www.cvm.qc.ca/gconti/905/BABEL/Index%20Librorum%20Prohibitorum-1948.htm) editions).


Kitti and Medievalist: can you weigh in on this? (Sorry to go off-topic, but I find this interesting.)

Another source: http://historicmysteries.com/the-malleus-maleficarum


Common belief holds that the Malleus Maleficarum was banned just four years after it was written. However, it does not seem to appear on the first official list of banned books by the Catholic Church. Otherwise known as the “Pauline Index,” Pope Paul IV’s list did not include the Malleus Maleficarum. Still, it may have been banned, but it was not out of print or use. It was printed numerous times in the 16th and 17th century. It was also used extensively by both the Catholics and Protestants.

B.D. Eyeslie
05-13-2011, 08:02 PM
Many in Salem were hanged after being pressed with stones of a suficient weight to extract a confession. If I remember correctly, only one or two with held and died from the pressing.

Executioner: You have a choice; you can be burned at the stake, or have your head chopped off.

Curley: I'll be burned at the stake.

Moe: Why, you fool?

Curley: a hot steak is better than a cold chop. nuuk, nuuk!

shaldna
05-13-2011, 10:41 PM
Kitti and Medievalist: can you weigh in on this? (Sorry to go off-topic, but I find this interesting.)


Me too. I'd been taught at school that it had been banned and it had never occured to me to question it. Either of you have any insight? It's a very interesting topic (both witch hunting and book banning)


Many in Salem were hanged after being pressed with stones of a suficient weight to extract a confession. If I remember correctly, only one or two with held and died from the pressing.

I think it was only Giles Corey who was pressed to death, I think the rest were hung.

Cyia
05-13-2011, 11:12 PM
I think it was only Giles Corey who was pressed to death, I think the rest were hung.


Yep. He refused to confirm or deny, so they crushed him, hoping to extract a confession.

Kitti
05-14-2011, 12:55 AM
I'll try to be brief:

There used to be a point of real confusion about the authorship of the MM, based on contemporary evidence that assigned authorship to both Kramer and this other guy, Sprenger. However Sprenger hated Kramer's guts and most historians are nowadays certain the joint-authorship story was just a publicity ploy on Kramer's part. From pretty much the moment Kramer was given permission to conduct his trials (Papal Bull, 1484, usually attached to early editions of the MM), Sprenger was doing his best to discredit Kramer and everything he did. By 1490 Kramer was kicked out of the Dominican order and Sprenger threatened to excommunicate him in 1493. None of this stopped the dissemination of the MM and in 1500 he was sent by the Pope to fight heresy in Bohemia, so he wasn't completely discredited in the Catholic church, either. So I'm guessing that rumors about the MM being immediately condemned must spring from these conflicts, as editions of the book were printed in Spain through the 1490s.

(On a side note: claims that Kramer was a woman-hater are misleading. What he actually believed that women were more primitive and emotional, so that they made for very holy mystics as well as evil witches. Basically, when they were good they were very good, but when they were bad....)

I haven't read every copy of the Index, so I can't definitely say I "know" for sure the MM was never placed on the Index, but it was openly printed in Italy through the 17th c. so it hadn't fallen afoul of the Roman Inquisition. The Spanish Inquisition (Suprema) did warn people off the book in 1538, stating that Kramer might have been "mistaken" in his opinions, but that's because they were highly skeptical about the reality of witchcraft in the first place (something which Kramer asserts, whereas many other theologians writing about the crime dodged the subject by talking about women who "thought" they were witches).

Aaaaaaand so much for being brief.

Karen Junker
05-14-2011, 01:03 AM
Executioner: You have a choice; you can be burned at the stake, or have your head chopped off.



As a witch, I find your joke about this very serious topic to be in extremely bad taste.

B.D. Eyeslie
05-14-2011, 02:01 AM
Yes, many witches do find the Three Stooges to be fine examples of bad taste; however, Curley was no more a witch than any of the victims of the Salem Hysteria of the late 17th century. Be as it may, you, as a witch, can find kinship wherever you wish, but please realize that my poor attempt at humor was no more aimed at followers of Wicca than at Jesus Christ, Joan of Arc, or any of the thousands of innocents throughout the world who have met this horrible fate. Lighten up.

Rowan
05-14-2011, 05:25 AM
KITTI:
Thank you! That was very helpful. :)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
05-14-2011, 05:42 AM
Doesn't really matter who humor is aimed at if it splatters over on to people who are offended. Let's remember AW's one hard and fast rule: Respect Your Fellow Writer.

Now, as the descendant of the last woman hanged for witchcraft in Connecticut, I can testify that all witches weren't drowned.

And in an effort to get back to the OP, have you considered having the atmosphere be one more of celebration than one of being a semi-mindless mob? Maybe these folks were happy to cleanse the evil out of their midst.

Bellevance
05-14-2011, 11:28 PM
...have you considered having the atmosphere be one more of celebration than one of being a semi-mindless mob? Maybe these folks were happy to cleanse the evil out of their midst.

Thanks, OF Girl. The atmosphere is indeed one of fervent and grateful celebration at this point in the story, since the village people believe that the last of the witches that have plagued the Regions is about to be consigned to the agonizing pyre, a much-deserved fate. But they have suffered for many weeks at the hands of the witches, and so they're feeling vengeful in their exhilaration.

I think it's really just language I'm after, the right phrase, an expression of righteous triumph.