Faust’s Höllenzwang, known as The Book of Hell’s Charms, is a legendary book kept in a church in Zellerfeld. If you’re unlucky enough to be able to read it, it summons the Devil. If he is summoned, pray that you’re able to read it backwards or he may take your soul.
“Your head’s like mine, like all our heads; big enough to contain every god and devil there ever was. Big enough to hold the weight of oceans and the turning stars. Whole universes fit in there! But what do we choose to keep in this miraculous cabinet? Little broken things, sad trinkets that we play with over and over. The world turns our key and we play the same little tune again and again and we think that tune’s all we are.”
– GRANT MORRISON, THE INVISIBLES
A Hand of Glory is a severed, pickled hand of a hanged evildoer, either the left hand or the hand that did the evil dead. When combined with a candle made from the evildoer’s fat, it has the power to unlock doors and freeze people in place. The candle’s flame can only be put out with milk, and only shows to its holder. Photo of a Hand of Glory on display at Whitby Museum by Badobadop
The Ovinnik is an evil spirit of the barn from Slavic folklore. He may set fire to your grain and burn down your barn unless you placate him with roosters and pancakes (bliny). A warm touch from an Ovinnik on New Years Eve is auspicious for the year ahead, but a cold touch portends misery. Photo: Natalie.sk. Sculpture: Anton Shipitsa
The Adversary is an archetype found across cultures, manifesting as figures such as Satan, the Devil, Iblis, Mephistopheles, and Samael. Sometimes depicted as separate from God and other times an agent of them, this figure represents the inclination of evil in humanity.
Images: Hell, Hans Memling, 1485 | Satan, Gustave Doré, in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, 1866 | Adam and the Angels watched by Iblis, Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī, 1415 | Jacob Wrestles with the Angel Samael, Gustave Doré, 1855
This 18th century hijab scroll contains sacred text, with a veiled meaning (hence hijab), that protects it’s owner from evil. Usually carried by children, it repels devils, evil spirits, and jinn while calling on God’s protection from calamity, disease, suffering, ruin, and inundation. Source: Bavarian State Library