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The Witches' Book of the Dead Paperback – October 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578635063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578635061
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Dare to take the ancient journey into the realm of the dead, guided by the necromantic knowledge of the Witches and Warlocks of old. This book is not for the fearful but rather for the sincere seeker of the netherworld in all its truth and dark beauty. Stride now into this dark world with necromantic Warlock Christian Day, who has touched the shadowland and now brings it to you within each and every chapter of this well-researched tome. Begin your journey now!” —Reverend Lori Bruno, Hereditary Strega and High Priestess of Our Lord and Lady of the Trinacrian Rose Church

“Christian Day has stirred up all the ancient lore of Majick and placed it in the hands of his readers. Very well researched.” –Reverend Laurie Cabot, High Priestess of the Cabot Tradition and founder of the Cabot Kent Hermetic Temple

“The Witches' Book of the Dead is a well-researched and thoughtful compendium of magical lore, necromancy, spirit contact, and mediumship. It mixes a rich background of historical information with practical applications of ritual and magical practice. Day is not afraid to draw back the veil and peer behind it. Let him show you what he has discovered! A very good read; a volume full of worthwhile information.”—Raymond Buckland, author of Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft

“Impressively researched, compelling, and immensely readable, Day’s first book resurrects the vast power of the spirit world and offers it to modern-day practitioners.”—Fiona Horne, radio and television personality and author of eight books including Witch: A Magical Journey

“In these pages, you will discover clear, lucid instructions for contacting the dead, as well as explanations for why you might want to do so.  While simultaneously emphasizing the sacred nature of his subject, Christian has written a fun, easy-to-read and easy-to-access instructional manual for interaction with the ever-present souls of the dead.”—Judika Illes, author of The Encyclopedia of Spirits, The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, and The Weiser Field Guide to Witches

“Jam-packed with practical advice, easy-to-follow instructions, and covering everything from exorcism to necromancy, The Witches' Book of the Dead truly is the quintessential guide to working with the spirit world. A must have for every magical practitioner's bookshelf!”—Dorothy Morrison, author of Utterly Wicked

“A powerful modern manual for practitioners seeking to add necromancy to their repertoire, rooted deeply in history and tradition.”—Christopher Penczak, co-founder of the Temple of Witchcraft and author of The Plant Spirit Familiar

“This book is an invaluable text that can open pathways to subjects otherwise deemed unapproachable in a way that makes necromancy understandable to all.”—Leilah Wendell, author of The Necromantic Ritual Book, Encounters with Death, and Our Name Is Melancholy

“Christian Day presents every aspect of necromancy clearly, practically, and matter-of-factly.  From start to finish, this is a fascinating compendium of necromantic lore, and I recommend it highly!”—Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, headmaster of The Grey School of Wizardry and author of Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard

“This book is fresh, exciting, and like nothing you have ever read before!”—Rosemary Ellen Guiley, author of The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits

“A shocking, witty, and scholarly thesis offers the historian, the sorcerer, and the curiosity seeker something to ponder and something to remember—we do not walk alone.”—Bloody Mary, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, occult historian, psychopomp, and owner of Bloody Mary’s Tours

“This book delivers a call back to an often-neglected source of power, wisdom, and guidance: necromancy and communion with the unseen side of humanity. It is a fascinating compendium and a useful tool but definitely a controversial challenge. Read and enjoy, but apply the techniques with care and caution!”—Orion Foxwood, co-founder of the House of Brigh Faery Seership Institute and author of The Tree of Enchantment

“Filled with mystery and magick, The Witches' Book of the Dead is deliciously dark, edgy, thought provoking, and beautifully crafted.”—Ellen Dugan, author of Practical Protection Magick

“Christian Day is an amazing resource when it comes to magic and Witchy legend and lore. Day breaks down Witchcraft history, humanizes the folks who have always stood casting and conjuring at the outskirts of society, and then celebrates them like one would cheer a rock star. A great book and mystical look into connecting with the other side and transforming the universe around us.”—Jeff Belanger, founder of, author of The World's Most Haunted Places, and host of 30 Odd Minutes

“Christian writes with wisdom and authority, and makes the reader feel safe and secure, knowing they are being lead through advanced ritual practices by someone who knows his stuff A-Z.”—Edain McCoy, author of Advanced Witchcraft: Go Deeper, Reach Further, Fly Higher

“Without a doubt this is the most useful and unambiguous book available to the modern practitioner.” —Peter Paddon, author of The Book of the Veil, Through the Veil,  and A Grimoire for Modern Cunningfolk

“You may not agree with all that Day proposes—and you get the sense he’d probably welcome a good intellectual brawl—but you can’t deny that this passionate, personal take on the meaning and practice of magic is thoughtful, bravely-drawn, and fascinating.”—Lesley Bannatyne, author of Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America's Fright Night

“Christian Day has outdone himself with this rare, beautifully written, brilliant work. If you are tired of reading regurgitated, watered-down 101 books or have found yourself in a place where you wish to delve deeper into the core of the occult, then this is a must read.”—Starrfire Price, founder and webmistress,

“If you're one of those of the living who subscribes to the notion that magick is exclusively about love, light, and life, and death is a subject to be avoided, put this book down. It is neither for the faint of heart, weak of mind or the fear enslaved soul.”—Mulysa Mayhem, priestess of Hekate, Magickal Tattoo Artist, and Owner of Good Mojo Tattoos, Beverly, MA

“The Witches' Book of the Dead offers contemplative, genuine methods, while written in a gratifying narrative style. Read it for the information other manuscripts have lacked.”—Sabrina The Ink Witch, artist and founder of

“From Altars to Yew wands, no (grave) stone was left unturned in this well researched and beautifully written compendium of necromancy.”—Marla Brooks, author of Workplace Spells, Animal Spells and Magick, and host of Stirring the Cauldron Radio

“A rare gem on the proverbial bookshelf of any working Witch!”—Rev. Jonathan Sousa, Southern Italian Traditionalist and author of WitchHeart: Essays in Traditional Craft Philosophy

“The Witches' Book of the Dead is without a doubt one of the most in depth works on darker magic I have ever had the pleasure to read.”—Corvis Nocturnum, author of Cemetery Gates: Death and Mourning through the Ages

“Destined to be a classic in occult literature.” —Denise Alvarado, author of The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook

About the Author

Christian Day is a modern-day Warlock living in the "Witch City" of Salem, Massachusetts. He is the creator and coordinator of the annual Festival of the Dead, the owner of Salem Witch shops HEX and OMEN, and has appeared on The Travel Channel, Showtime, TLC, MSNBC, TMZ, and, and has been widely quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and USA Today. Visit him at:, or

More About the Author

Christian Day is a modern day Warlock living in the "Witch City" of Salem, Massachusetts. A practitioner of the ancient arts of Witchcraft--a spiritual path devoted to old world folk magic, healing, and veneration of the dead, Christian owns two occult shops in Salem: HEX: Old World Witchery, dedicated to the practices of Witchcraft, Hoodoo, and Conjure, and OMEN, a psychic parlor and Witchcraft emporium which features a staff of gifted psychic readers. Each October, Christian hosts Salem's annual Festival of the Dead, an event series that includes such popular events as the Official Salem Witches' Halloween Ball, an Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo, and an authentic séance. Among his many media appearances, Christian has been featured on The Travel Channel, Showtime, TLC, MSNBC, Biography, Dish Network and in The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald,, and, of course, The Salem News.

Christian was born one town north of Salem in Beverly, Massachusetts, where his aunt is a city councilor and his late grandfather was a pharmacist--heirs to the legacy of the potion-makers of old--for many years. He always had a keen sense of the mysterious growing up, and was always intrigued by paranormal phenomena, mystic places, and Ouija boards. While never fully embracing the occult, he was never very far from it.

At the age of 17, Christian bought his first deck of Tarot cards and so began the path of magic that would continue for over two decades. At 18, he dedicated himself fully to the practice of Witchcraft, a vow he made during a thunderstorm when the moon was full. He collected dozens of magical books, attended classes in Witchcraft and psychic development, and took advantage of the knowledge available throughout Salem's many occult and metaphysical shops.

In 1995, Christian founded, a site dedicated to exploring the Tarot from a Witch's point of view. Still popular today, the site offers a three card reading, Tarot postcards, and was Christian's first foray into networking with a global community of Witches when the internet was still very young. The site led to Christian's decade-long career in web marketing, working for private clients, startups, and advertising agencies.

In 1995, he was initiated by Salem's Shawn Poirier into Raven Moon Coven, a family-tradition where Witchcraft was considered to be a survival of old world folk magic, necromancy, and natural wisdom. When Shawn passed into spirit in 2007, Christian and his coven sister, Leanne Marrama, took the helm of the coven, teaching students and helping to guide their coven sisters and brothers through the disciplines of magic.

In 2003, Christian created Festival of the Dead with his business partner and best friend, the late Shawn Poirier. Christian and Shawn realized that the powers that be in Salem were trying to squash the city's association with Witchcraft and Halloween and so they decided to bring the holiday back to its roots as a celebration of the dead, creating a month-long series of events dedicated to Death's macabre customs, heretical histories, and strange rituals. Watching Christian's innate sense for marketing and promotions, the city realized that the Witch had value after all, the tide turned, and now Christian sits on the board of directors of Destination Salem, the city's official Office of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, where he aids in finding ways to honor the tragic history of Salem's 1692 Witch trials while celebrating the growing presence of the world's largest modern-day Witch community.

In 2007, Christian's best friend Shawn passed into spirit and left him with the crucial legacy of keeping Salem a place of magic for all who visit.

In 2008, Christian decided to create permanent roots in Salem and opened his first Witch Shop, HEX: Old World Witchery, even purchasing the commercial condo space the shop was to occupy. HEX was designed as an answer to what Christian feels is an unnecessary mainstreaming of Witchcraft into just another faith, devoid of the magic and mystery that has made the Craft such a lasting and powerful practice. With HEX, Christian set about to manifest the magical energies of old world Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and where they intersected with New World Hoodoo, Conjure, and Voodoo. While Christian wanted to have the more commonly used spells for love, money, and healing, he also wanted HEX to offer everything from spells kits for hexing--to be used only in the name of justice--to candles used to stop another woman from snagging your husband. The spiritual heart of the shop is the ancestral altar, where thousands of visitors leave messages and offerings to their beloved dead throughout the year.

To complete the picture, Christian invited hereditary Sicilian Witch Lori Bruno to take her place in the front window of HEX where she reads for her many clients and helps to define the old world energy of the shop. Born to a Strega tradition, Lori is Christian's magical mentor and gave him the ritual sword of renowned Witch Dr. Leo Louis Martello, which Christian considers his greatest milestone in the Craft. Lori and Christian have forged a partnership of magic that continues to define the city as a place of authentic Witchcraft.

In 2010, Christian opened his second shop, OMEN, a Psychic Parlor and Witchcraft Emporium that focuses on psychic readings, spiritual counseling, and classes. While OMEN is also a retail shop, the products are more geared towards divination and healing and, where HEX features an altar for the dead, the heart of OMEN is its healing altar, where visitors leave healing requests for those who need it. Christian refers to OMEN as "the softer side of Sears," and feels that it is a safe introduction for those not quite ready for the hardcore magic of HEX.

Christian calls himself a Warlock rather than a Witch. After much research into the term--used for centuries to describe male practitioners of Witchcraft, necromancers, and those who challenge the authority of the church, he adopted the word in 2010 as a means of celebrating the divine masculine and as a vow to protect and empower his family, tribe, and, of course, his city.

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone who calls themselves a Witch or a Warlock.
Each of us needs to find what works best for us when dealing with the spirits of the dead, after all.
Alan Heartsong
This book is loaded with as much personality as well researched information and experience.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Alan Heartsong on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book deals with a topic that a lot of people have problems facing - Death. Working with the spirits of the dead, suggestions for how to interact with them and involve them in your daily life are approached with practicality, wisdom, and a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor at times.

Honestly, there is a LOT of really great historical research in there, and I'd have bought the book for that alone. It puts a lot of facts in order and ties an overall picture together that many modern-day witches have forgotten about.

I will probably never have a human or other skull on my altar, except possibly a crystal one (when I can afford it), but then I don't think the skull is at all necessary. Each of us needs to find what works best for us when dealing with the spirits of the dead, after all. However I also don't think *having* a skull as part of your spiritual work is a bad thing. That is, in addition to the one that (hopefully) houses your own brain.

Christian Day, that colorful boisterous fellow who people love to pay attention to, is a natural born storyteller and should consider some fiction writing as well, he'd probably be good at it. I've been practicing Wicca since 1984, and I heartily recommend this excellently crafted book. Mr. Day has included some poignant personal stories, as well as amusing anecdotes, and I think has treated the subject of necromancy with the practicality and respect that it deserves, while not taking himself or the subject matter too seriously.

Real witches don't run from death, and apparently neither do real warlocks. After all, it's going to happen to all of us eventually, isn't it?
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58 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Rhonny Reaper on November 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
The name Christian Day in the Pagan community comes with a trail of controversy. Luckily for me, I feel, I had no clue who he was before reading this book (to be frank, I never heard of him...I just liked the book's premise. Hell, I didn't even read the "about the author" till after I read the book!), so whatever he said on TMZ about Charlie Sheen or what not had no effect on my review. With that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed The Witches' Book of the Dead and have been dying to tell you all about it!

The book opens with a bit of history and back story about Witches and their role in the practice of talking to the dead. Day does a very good job at showing how in old times, people who were known to communicate with the dead were outcast...yet called upon in secret by people in power. It's well written, not too long or drawn out, and interesting.

The next part of the book goes into the basics: tools, connecting with the spirit world, and what Christian calls "The Death Current", or the state of being connected with the flow of energy of the dead. Day also goes into having an altar to the dead and the importance of the Skull to a Witch. To some, the idea of having an actual skull is a bit...well strange (I thought so at first), but Day does a fantastic job in letting people know the importance it has in working with the dead and the symbolism it hold in Witches' history (I still do not own a real human skull, but I do have plenty of great substitutes on my altar such as a glass skull and a resin skull with a lid I use for offerings to The Morrigan).

The book then goes into the heart of what readers want to know, how to work with the dead, protect yourself if needed, and how to communicate with the dead.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful By RevEric on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was looking for a title for this review like "WOW!" or "AMAZING!", but I will go with a very sincere "Impressed" because having studied the Occult for 23 years now, it takes a lot to impress me.

While we are always learning on our path, even after 23 years, I found myself reading this book and running to the nearest Witch Shoppes to buy Skeleton Keys, searching on line for Skulls, and going to CVS for a jar of honey. Not because I felt they are 'required', but because it just made Magickal sense.

I was elated to see the author didn't 'tip toe through the tulips' as it were and is not a fluffy bunny Wiccan. Witchcraft is gray. I found myself in complete agreement with his ideology, while our pantheon is different.

The research is amazing. I can't say I could have put this together. When I first saw the title, "The Witches' Book of the Dead", I figured that was a pretty damn tall order to follow the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Tibetan Book of the Dead...books that have for eons been the standard for religious practice. I was further shocked that nobody put such a book together for Witches and Warlocks until now. Kudos to the author for that one.

Suffice it to say, I do believe it lived up to it's title. My Magickal life is richer for having read (and practiced) what is within the book. But honestly, do I have anything negative to say? Not really. Definitely go out and buy this book, especially if you wish to do any work with the dead.

~ Reverend Eric Fraize
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
After finding staleness in many of the books out there on Witches and the Pagan culture and magic it was wonderful to see a fresh sense of reverence and joy from Christian Day. He doesn't soft pedal his book, it is exactly as the title states a book dealing with the DEAD. The time, research and passion demonstrated in each word of this book is staggering. This book I feel is a wonderful, empowering, and NOT your run of the mill book on magic. I think if you are sincere, and desire to reclaim some of the power of the Witch you could look far and wide before finding a better guide than Christian Day.

Christian walks you through step by step through a magic that few of us have the bravery or strength of spirit to pursue. Each chapter is broken into "bite sized" pieces, where we are given the HISTORY, which to me is VERY important to any magical work that I wish to learn. Not only the history though that is WONDERFUL, but he teaches you the "why" to each step not just the "what". He has gone to great lengths to remind readers this isn't a path to take lightly, just as all magic this is SERIOUS work, one to be walked with intelligence, and CAUTION.

You will find instructions on working with our Victorious, and blessed dead. There isn't anything "fluffy" about his work, you see this world through the eyes of Christian Day. About the time you form a question, it will be answered in the following paragraph. Each chapter is woven together to create a breathtaking tapestry of words. Christian has poured his heart and love into this Tome of magic, and it's is evident in every word. As a mother, and student I was left with few questions.

To Christian, I would like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for facing the adversity and hardships you suffered to put this knowledge into our hands. Without you there wouldn't be a light to guide people down this empowering path.
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