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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Devil's mark (also, witch's mark) In books dedicated to the identification of witches, it is said that Satan places his mark upon the body of a witch, usually a red or blue spot, to more easily recognize his property. The mark was also believed to be insensitive to pain and to not bleed if pierced.
      Tertullian (circa 155-222), one of the Latin Fathers, certified that witches were so marked, and this became the official and convenient manner of recognizing these evil folks, since no one is free of some sort of scar, mole, crease, wart, or bump that can be elevated to the status of a Satanic brand mark, especially when substantial rewards are available to the one who discovers such a sign. As a result, witch-hunters eagerly examined every part of a suspect's body, accepting the slightest suggestion of a mark as evidence. They were invariably successful.



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