A study into the enigmatic devil of folkloric witchcraft and his many forms
• Explains the Dark Man phenomenon through centuries-old folklore and mythology, testimony from British witch trials, and modern accounts
• Challenges the simplistic concept of the Devil as “evil,” explaining how encounters with this entity can reveal one’s life purpose and how the Dark Man can be an initiator into witchcraft
• Presents interviews with those who have witnessed the Dark Man firsthand, offering insights into how he can serve as a guide to a more positive life
From the fortean phantoms that terrorized Victorian England to the haunted crossroads of the Irish hinterlands, the Devil—also known as the Dark Man—has found countless novel ways to influence culture and bring us face to face with our fears. Tracing this enigmatic entity through the centuries via mythology, folklore, occult writings, and modern accounts, Darragh Mason shows how the Dark Man is more than just a myth: he is a real, vital presence in our world.
Drawing on Irish manuscripts dating back to the 12th century, testimony from 15th and 16th century Scottish witches, his own experiences, and interviews with contemporary witches and mystics, Mason builds the case for the “pattern” of the Dark Man phenomenon, showing what his presence can mean, what it’s like for those who experience him, and how his appearance serves as a calling to the path of witchcraft. In doing so, Mason challenges conventional understandings of the Dark Man as an “evil” presence, emphasizing his role in questioning authority and liberating individuals from the confines of strict social convention. He shows how the Dark Man’s presence serves as a potent illustrator of the battles between light and dark in Irish mythology, acting as an instructive figure on the nature of reality, the experience of individuation, and the return to the void through dissolution of duality.
But, Mason emphasizes, these stories of the Dark Man are not necessarily just folktales. Sharing a series of interviews with contemporary figures, including Orion Foxwood and Peter Grey, who speak of the nature of this spirit and their experiences with Him, the author illustrates how encounters with the Dark Man can challenge you to make changes—often painful ones—and how if you meet His challenges, you may be bestowed with mystical gifts and initiated into witchcraft. Ultimately, Mason shows how the Dark Man may be a liberating figure: if one faces Him and moves beyond the fear, He can open the door to a richer, more fulfilling, and more magical life.