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The Long Lost Friend: An American Grimoire

Two centuries ago, in a valley near Reading, Pennsylvania, a man wrote a book of charms, incantations, and recipes taken from German tradition. Although he received condemnation for revealing magical secrets, his book became an instant classic. It became a sourcebook of spells for German-speaking immigrants, and its promises of invulnerability brought it wider success – until its reputation was stained with bloody murder.

This talk explores The Long-Lost Friend, an American grimoire that became a sensation in its native Pennsylvania and far beyond. We will explore its author, John George Hohman, the culture in which he lived, and the spells in the book itself – and why it is no longer used within that community.

Speaker Bio:

Dan Harms is a librarian and author from upstate New York, and editor of the Llewellyn annotated edition of The Long-Lost Friend. He has also edited The Book of Oberon, Angels, Demons, and Spirits, and the Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia. His research interests include early modern grimoires, nineteenth-century ritual magic, and roleplaying games.

Curated and Hosted by Dr Amy Hale

Dr. Amy Hale is an Atlanta-based anthropologist and folklorist writing about esoteric history, art, culture, women and Cornwall in various combinations. Her biography of Ithell Colquhoun, Genius of the Fern Loved Gully, is available from Strange Attractor Press, and she is also the editor of the forthcoming collection Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses from Palgrave Macmillan. Other writings can be found at her Medium site and her website