The best books on occult, witchcraft, and a little mystery

Who am I?

From the time I was very young, Witchcraft and the supernatural have always fascinated me. I can remember staying up late to watch horror movies or reading an Edgar Allen Poe book under the sheets with a flashlight when I was supposed to be asleep. I knew this was never a phase or something I would “outgrow”; the spell had been cast and I was forever in its power. I’ve tried to read everything I could on Witchcraft, its history and practice and anything regarding the occult. It was all of this reading and research that really helped me to write Widdershins and everything that came after. Enjoy the list!


I wrote...

Widdershins

By Eve Lestrange,

Book cover of Widdershins

What is my book about?

Widdershins introduces a strong female character into the horror genre-Christina Lafage, an Eighteenth-Century French girl who sells her soul for the fierce power of the black arts. Christina's world is filled with spell casting, black magic, distant lands, and intense power. The story unfolds with Christina's introduction to the black arts by a mysterious benefactor that she meets in a wooded grove. This benefactor, Madame Duchamp, takes Christina under her wing and teaches her to use the powers of the occult and bend the laws of nature to her will as they provide spells and services for the wealthy aristocrats of Paris. The story quickly explodes into an electrifying series of events that lead her to Egypt where her power is put to the ultimate test.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

The Tomb and Other Tales

By H. P. Lovecraft,

Book cover of The Tomb and Other Tales

Why this book?

This was the first book I ever read by HP Lovecraft and after reading it, I read everything else that I could find by such a talented writer. Lovecraft’s stories are dark, doom-ridden tales that are filled with cosmic horror, nightmarish landscapes, and indescribable monsters. But it’s not only the tales themselves that captivated me, it’s the style in which they were written. Lovecraft has such a beautiful literary style of writing that really made me feel what the characters felt and see what horrors they witnessed. His work definitely inspired me to pick up pen and paper and write stories of my own.

The Tomb and Other Tales

By H. P. Lovecraft,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tomb and Other Tales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Golden Bough

By James George Frazer,

Book cover of The Golden Bough

Why this book?

Being a fan of history, mythology, and folklore really drew me to this book. It delves into ancient magic, pagan practices, and other traditions that continue to this day. The book was thoroughly researched and opens a window into mankind’s beliefs and superstitions throughout the ages. The book explores the similarities between different cultures’ creation myths and ritualistic practices as well as Christianity’s appropriation of many pagan holidays, rituals, and locations. Anyone interested in mythology or folklore should definitely have this on their reading list.

The Golden Bough

By James George Frazer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Golden Bough as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published originally in two volumes in 1890, this extraordinary study of primitive myth and magic, collected from sources around the world, led Frazer to identify parallel patterns of ritual, symbols and belief across many centuries and many different cultures.
Frazer's learning inspired a whole generation of ethnographers and comparative anthropologists, and had a particularly powerful effect on many other thinkers and writers such as Sigmund Freud, D H Lawrence, Joyce, Yeats and T S Eliot.


The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft

By Kathryn Paulsen,

Book cover of The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft

Why this book?

This was the first occult book I ever bought, so it holds a special place in my heart. The title alone, drew me to it and I was not disappointed. The book is full of all kinds of spells and information on herbs, amulets and talismans, ceremonial magic, Satanism & Witchcraft, potions, and many other wicked goodies. I love old occult books and this one, first published in 1970, started my occult library which has continued to grow. 

The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft

By Kathryn Paulsen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Raising Hell: A Concise History of the Black Arts and Those Who Dared to Practice Them

By Robert Masello,

Book cover of Raising Hell: A Concise History of the Black Arts and Those Who Dared to Practice Them

Why this book?

This is an excellent, yet brief history of the Black Arts and the famous (or infamous) people who practiced them. It was while reading this book, particularly the chapter on LaVoisin, that inspired the story of Christina Lafage, the main character in Widdershins. The book also describes other interesting practitioners, such as Dr. John Dee, Eliphas Levi, Nostradamus, Aleister Crowley, and many more. The chapters on Black Magic and Sorcery and Raising the Dead also contributed to my ideas for my book. I often find myself referring to this book over and over again for great source material.

Raising Hell: A Concise History of the Black Arts and Those Who Dared to Practice Them

By Robert Masello,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Raising Hell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A concise history of the black arts and those who practise them.

The Da Vinci Code

By Dan Brown,

Book cover of The Da Vinci Code

Why this book?

I loved this book because it made me think. What if everything we were conditioned to believe is a lie? How many historical facts have we lost, or how many are being deliberately kept from us?

I really love the way Dan Brown blurs the line between historical facts and myth while inserting plenty of drama and mystery. I’ve always appreciated art, but this book definitely showed me a new way of looking at and interpreting paintings and sculptures. Are there really hidden meanings in art? Hmmm…

The Da Vinci Code

By Dan Brown,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Da Vinci Code as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police have found a series of baffling codes.

As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, begin to sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci - and suggests the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vault of history.

Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine code and quickly assemble the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in witchcraft, occult, and the Holy Grail?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about witchcraft, occult, and the Holy Grail.

Witchcraft Explore 212 books about witchcraft
Occult Explore 53 books about occult
The Holy Grail Explore 6 books about the Holy Grail

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Black Echo, Dark Matter, and The Snowman if you like this list.