From Fact to Fallacy:The Evolution of Margaret Alice Murray’s Witch-Cult


  • Catherine Noble



Mary Alice Murray, Witch cult


The evolution of Margaret Murray’s theory of a historical witch-cult deserves as much scrutiny as the topic of witchcraft itself. Its widespread acceptance despite glaring inaccuracies to the eyes of a modern reader testifies how little interest the academic world had in witchcraft in the first half of the twentieth century. Its enduring popularity in the face of contrary evidence reveals the emotional nerve struck by Murray’s works. Today there are those still devoted to the concept of an ancient witch-cult, and they credit Murray with discovering it, even though the cult they describe may bear almost no relation to Murray’s witches.

Author Biography

Catherine Noble

Catherine Noble is a graduate student and teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Department of History. Her studies have focused on Medieval and Renaissance Europe, particularly England, and her thesis will address Renaissance occult philosophy.


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How to Cite

Noble, C. (2007). From Fact to Fallacy:The Evolution of Margaret Alice Murray’s Witch-Cult. Pomegranate, 7(1), 5–26.