The Witches’ Book of the Dead

by Christian Day

Book Cover: The Witches’ Book of the Dead
Conjure the spirits of the dead!

Witches are creatures of magic. They cast spells, heal the sick, and foretell the future. And, of course, Witches commune with the spirits of the dead.

The spirits of the dead can confer magical talents, fame, love, and wealth on those brave enough to beseech them. In The Witches’ Book of the Dead, modern-day Warlock Christian Day shows you how to build relationships with the spirits of your beloved dead that they may help you discover hidden opportunities and bring blessings to your life. Honor and remember the dead and they will honor and remember you!

The Witches’ Book of the Dead explores the enduring bond between Witchcraft and death. Learn about Witches of legend who have raised the dead, the tools of necromancy, methods of spirit contact, rituals, recipes, exercises, and more. 

This revised and expanded 10th anniversary edition offers 70 pages of new material, including chapters on the deities of the dead and the Afterlife, a new preface, a new foreword by Salem Witch Laurie Cabot, as well as updated research, insight, spells, and recipes throughout!  Dare to walk between the worlds with Christian Day as he guides you into the shadowy realms where the dead long to connect with us once more!

Published:
Praise for the Witches’ Book of the Dead!

The Witches’ Book of the Dead takes the reader on a spiritual journey through the necromantic history of Witchcraft. Christian Day’s insight gives an articulate perspective on the edgy grasp of the Afterlife and connecting the dead with our reality. Very knowledgeable and thought-provoking.”

The Witches Book of the Dead is one of the most well-researched writings I have seen. I absolutely applaud Christian for the writing, teaching and wisdom that lie in the pages of this book. He truly put his heart on a plate (or pages) in the writing here. The expression of faith mixed with the magic is something we don’t see too often nowadays. I dare say that anyone who takes the time to literally read the sacrifice he made while writing such a brilliant book would not look at the dead in the same way. This holds true across the landscapes of traditions. I am amazed and proud to see a no-nonsense approach to the spirits of the dead, our ancestors, and the principalities that watch over them!”

“You will love this informative work, handcrafted with honor and respect. A truly amazing volume of mysticism, magick, legend, lore, and practical, hands-on advice interspersed with delightful and compelling artwork. Lift the veil. Conjure the spirits. It is your birthright.”

Solidly rooted in the necromancy of Greek and Roman antiquity, but completely workable by a modern practitioner anywhere in the world, The Witches’ Book of the Dead will have you conjuring and consorting with shades of the departed in no time. Herein lies the antidote to lame Witchcraft that seems like a mirror image of Protestantism. The Witch who works this material will do more than ask their deities for favors, they will make deals with the departed and traffic freely between the living and the dead.”

“Throughout history, mystical traditions from cultures the world over have taught aspiring initiates and neophytes the importance of and methodologies behind working with the spirits of the dead. For the modern Witch in the twenty-first century, The Witches’ Book of the Dead continues on that tradition by offering a practical approach on not only how to reach beyond the veil but also how to understand that with which you’ll inevitably come into contact. Whether through his research or many personal anecdotes, Christian Day offers a holistic breakdown of the partnership between the powers of the Witch and the powers of the dead.”

“Christian Day’s revised and expanded edition of The Witches’ Book of the Dead is a true gem. Having been one of the few texts created with accessible instructions for incorporating departed spirits into your practice, it is now even more thorough. Backed by impressive research and personal insight, Day further takes readers on a journey to the spirit world, plunging into the depths of contacting spirits, mediumship, exorcism, necromancy, and the Afterlife. All aspects of spirit work are covered. Do you dare tap into the magic of the dead? If yes, this book is a must for you!”

“Some of my best friends are Witches. While careful to observe those pledges of secrecy made at their initiation, most have generously shared with me details of their core beliefs and practices, as well as such differences, more formal than doctrinal, as still prevail among them. It is to the author’s immense credit that in this book he transcends such differences and presents us with a wide-ranging, but never superficial, account of the Witches’ approach to death, dying, and the Afterlife, as well as details of the rituals and practices associated with each. That he does so with a lightness of touch—bordering at times on the mischievous—both secures and sustains the reader’s attention, even that of a semi-skeptical non-Witch like me! Well presented, well written, and, most important of all, well worth reading.”

“Aptly resurrecting the skill and practice of necromancy that is often forgotten and left to die out within our community, The Witches’ Book of the Dead is an indispensable guide for any Witch who has a serious respect for those who have gone before us. Within these pages you will discover the fascinating history of necromancy, learn about the working tools commonly employed, and find an honest and down-to-earth approach to the necessary safety measures that should be taken. Christian Day took the time to include the inner mechanics of ritual. The inner work that drives ritual is sadly lacking in many occult works. This is not the case here. The methods of tapping into the Death Current are clearly explained from the outset and are a much-needed skill that drives the power of all the magical workings that follow in the text. Finally, in this revised and expanded edition of The Witches’ Book of the Dead, you will find information exploring what happens when we ourselves become one of the dead. No Witch should be without a copy!”

“Utter the words Witch, Warlock, or sorcerer, and the result is typically all manner of misconceptions. Add dying and death into the equation, and the feelings evoked are often frightening. The long-awaited second edition of The Witches’ Book of the Dead puts a halt to such notions with meticulously researched insight into Witchcraft and the roles of the Witch in society. It also approaches the taboo topic of what lies beyond the mortal coil with sensitivity and impressive insights. Day approaches death and the spirits of the dead in a grounded, matter-of-fact way. Let’s face it, it’s not a cozy topic. Working with the dead is not a game. It’s, well, deadly serious. The Witches’ Book of the Dead is prudent and practical about the dangers of spirit work. It provides information on how to protect yourself from would-be nasty ass phantoms, balanced by welcoming those who would help you. There is a tongue-in-cheek saying, ‘Never conjure anything bigger than your head.’ You need to know the powers-that-be, and whether or not you’re in deep waters. Day lays out the groundwork for conscientious conjuring, including pivotal preparatory activities, creating a mindful Altar for the Dead, the must-haves in your tool kit for Afterlife work, and responsible rituals. If you are thinking about spirit contact, any type of necromancy, or researching ghosts and hauntings, The Witches’ Book of the Dead is an essential guide and partner in your quest. Don’t astral travel without it!”

“Good news for Witches! Author, business owner, and Warlock Christian Day has revised and expanded his ground-breaking work, The Witches’ Book of the Dead. Sumptuous illustrations and photographs, more step-by-step rituals for necromantic communication with the spirits, more recipes for appropriate potions, helpful appendices, and a well-developed listing of deities and entities associated with the Underworld are contained within this meticulously researched book. Day adds a personal touch with his own experiences with media, mediumship, ghost-hunting, and ceremonial magick. This book is a vital addition to any Witch’s bookshelf.”

“Erudite, eloquent, evocative, and evergreen, the re-release of the 10-year anniversary edition of The Witches’ Book of the Dead is long overdue. Death frightens people and so we try to ignore it and turn away. But, never afraid to tackle subjects other’s would rather tiptoe around, Christian Day’s work is well researched, well thought out, and is just what the Craft needs today. Within these pages are everything any self respecting Witch, wizard, or Warlock needs to navigate the world of the dead and build a safe and effective practice with those who have passed—it’s one of the things we are supposed to be able to do, after all! It’s a must have if you’re serious about understanding and developing your craft in all its wondrous guises.”

“This book is heavy. In a time when young seekers can claim to be Witches just because they learned how to be one on TikTok, it is refreshing to find an authoritative reference book that actually teaches the way. There are practical exercises and spells mixed in with well-researched historical details, and a gazetteer to the denizens of the spirit world. There is a sound introduction to ghosts and the gadgets to capture their voices and image. The reader will come away with a deep understanding of the Goddesses and Gods of death and transformation, and be able to conduct rites and ceremonies in honor of their own beloved dead.”

“Christian Day is always phenomenally well-researched, intelligent, intriguing, even provocative. However, I was stuck while reading The Witches’ Book of the Dead, that in spite of being all of the above, this one is from his heart. It is not only a great gift of knowledge to his readers, but also a fine and disarmingly sincere offering to his Gods and the Dead.”

“Christian Day and I have been friends since the day we met eyes over thirty years ago. He was fiery with a thirst for knowledge—not one to follow or be complacent with the written word of Witchcraft. He wanted history and majick to give him the clues to find something much deeper. I have seen my friend grow into a wise man, initiated in and of the Craft—a great practitioner who has looked between the pages of written history and the study of traditions to reveal our more ancient past. The shadows are a place we look to discover those we have lost, a place we can visit to build relationships with our ancestors. The call of the Gods is not one of distress; it is arms wide open. It is breath drawn in and a release of energy to commune with the Other Side. It is raw exposure of truth and being able to touch and hear the words of the dead. They are alive to us in another realm, vibrating differently than this plane of existence. The corners of the Underworld are to be visited, respected, and understood. In The Witches’ Book of the Dead, Christian offers a symphony of familiarity that could only come from someone with natural talent. Through the techniques therein and personal stories of those loved and lost, you share in his deep compassion for life on the Other Side.”

“The literature of Witchcraft features a myriad of books on the ancient art of necromancy, yet many (perhaps too many) only scratch the surface of the subject. Here is the solution at your fingertips. The Witches’ Book of the Dead takes the historical framework of necromancy, its rituals and studies, and presents them in depth, explaining step-by-step for both the neophyte and the adept. Christian Day has always stood out for his honest interest in understanding those old ritualistic traditions and putting them into practice with enormous respect and decorum. This newly expanded edition is no exception. As a Warlock and endowed master of the Craft, Christian delivers a balanced and eloquent combination of stories, philosophy, rituals, and ancestry, with a well-researched perspective. This grimoire is an instant classic which future authors will use as a mandatory reference.”

The Witches’ Book of the Dead was an instant classic when it came out ten years ago, and (if you can believe it) it’s even more fabulous now. In a single tome, Christian has given us everything we need to know in order to work with the dead safely and effectively. This engaging, comprehensive book is an essential: it belongs on every Witch’s shelf.”

“Ten years ago, Christian Day wrote a book. A great one! Now, he proves that size matters in this expanded and revised edition. The Witches’ Book of the Dead is well-researched, engaging, and in Day’s usual style, provocative. It’s a must-read for those who wish to peek behind the veil and communicate with other worlds.”

“Life and Death are inextricably entwined. To deal in the magical and spiritual reality of one without the other is an approach to the magical arts which is as unsound as it is unsafe. The Witches’ Book of the Dead attempts to address this dancing balance which, along with magic itself, is at the heart of any serious study of Witchcraft. This book deftly lays out centuries of discovery, understanding, and experience of the relationships between the living and the dead. An easy, warm, and personable writing style belies a deep knowledge and very practical experience of the subject, the author encouraging the reader to step into the shadows as well as the light. There is a great deal of factual information, with carefully referenced sources, pragmatically mixed with very sane and solid principles, with plenty of clearly described and easy-to-follow practical magical techniques. I have no hesitation in recommending The Witches’ Book of the Dead to any and all students or practitioners of magic and Witchcraft at any stage in their journey through the veils and can I only wistfully regret it not being written thirty years ago!”

“Embark on a mysterious journey between the realms of the living and the dead with no better guide than Christian Day, whose work, reverence, and respect for the dead is known worldwide. When The Witches’ Book of the Dead was first released in 2011, it was ground-breaking and dramatically changed the landscape of occult publishing. It was not only the first book of its kind in modern times but it built a bridge between traditional Witchcraft and the African Traditional Religions of the Americas, so much so that it directly led to numerous books on conjure, rootwork, and voodoo being published as well as demystifying necromancy for millions within the neopagan movement. With the new revisions, chapters, and foreword, the magic continues and draws the reader onto the unique path Christian has cast into every word. Work of this nature is a rare and sacred feat and that is the best reason I can recommend this book. Enjoy the journey.”

The Witches’ Book of the Dead, is an intelligently researched and written revelation of the necromantic roots of Witchcraft or sorcery. Nearly every historical topic connected to the fundamental spiritual ground of Witchcraft is given a thoughtful treatment within. The book’s metaphysical teachings and ritual instructions are clear and user-friendly, but it never sacrifices depth or dignity to become so. It is also warmly strung together by the personal experiences of its author. While so many other books on sorcery or Witchcraft stray into transcendent spaces and try to climb onto higher planes away from the dark earth (and the many graves in the damp ground, suffused as they are with the power of the dead) this book keeps people in the presence of the real world, and the unseen world of spirits that exists within it. This is not a manual of some false or cliche enlightenment; it is a manual that helps people to make friends with spirits and to live better lives thereby.”

“Considering the role Death plays in Witchcraft one would think that resources on working with death and necromancy were abundant for the eager practitioner. That is not the case. The Witches’ Book of the Dead is a remarkable tome and rare one at that. Christian Day not only lays out the history and lore of Witches working with death but also walks you through how to incorporate these factual gems into your craft. This is no dense book of facts nor is it a simple Spellbook. It is, however, a compendium of knowledge that is necessary for any Witch regardless of experience or practice. Christian Day brings forth a wonderful companion that makes the veil between words the thinnest it’s ever been, allowing you to explore the other realm with such clarity.”

“Necromancy is an important part of the practitioner’s rites of passage, for it is the transmutation of consciousness and matter. In his book, The Witches’ Book of the Dead, Christian Day incorporates his wisdom and knowledge to provide the reader with much-needed guidance (along with intervention) for working with and honoring our ancestors. His techniques are based on the correct and safe methodology of the Craft.”

“It wasn’t until I read the first edition of The Witches Book of the Dead that I finally found a source that put into words things I had been trying to say my entire life. This book became the groundwork for my personal practice and is the book I recommend to any Witch, new or seasoned, who has a connection with the dead. This revised and expanded edition is beautifully laid out with eye-catching pages while retaining all the valuable information of the original. It shares, unapologetically, information that a Witch may need to help them work with the dead more efficiently.”

Praise for the First Edition!

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.”

“Christian Day masterfully handles the old art of Witchcraft. It is a refreshing change to find serious scholarship and the absence of sugarcoating in a book of this popular genre. Day went to painstaking measures in his research, and references from both obscure and dominant sources were collected and expertly integrated for the reader. Political correctness is not an issue for the author, and his focus is upon the tried and true. Through this book, I feel that the spirits of the dead have found a voice for all to hear.”

“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. Whether you’re hoping to communicate with loved ones on the Other Side, are seeking dreams of the dead, or dare to conduct the ancient rites of necromancy, The Witches’ Book of the Dead is the perfect guide.”

“Filled with mystery and magick, The Witches’ Book of the Dead is deliciously dark, edgy, thought provoking, and beautifully crafted.”

“Christian Day is a refreshing new voice and makes a dynamic debut in The Witches’ Book of the Dead, a book devoted to establishing true and meaningful communication with those on the Other Side. Day is a meticulous researcher, a talented and skilled practitioner, and a great writer who shares his knowledge and personal experiences with an engaging style and sense of humor. The history and folklore are fascinating, and every technique and ritual has passed the test of experience. Not only will you be informed and entertained, you will be inspired to action. This book is fresh, exciting, and like nothing you have ever read before!”

The Witches’ Book of the Dead reflects the spirit of a Warlock who plays by his own rules (as every great Witch or Warlock should). 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.”

“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!”

“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!”

“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.”

“Christian Day creates a heady blend of history, lore, and real practice in his book on the necromantic arts. Without a doubt this is the most useful and unambiguous book available to the modern practitioner, one that is sure to become an occult classic.”

“Christian Day effectively reminds us that as Witches we belong not only to a Cult of Sex and Fertility, but just as importantly, to a Cult of Death. A powerful modern manual for practitioners seeking to add necromancy to their repertoire, rooted deeply in history and tradition.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Christian Day’s book is worth the price if only for the new scholarship on Pagan history and etymology. He reminds us of our historical links to the dead and of our role as mediums between the worlds, then goes on to show us how to reclaim that part of our magickal heritage. Even with the impressive scholarly bibliography, he remains easy to read. His practical information is based on personal research and experience, and is complete and clear. This is the only book I’ve ever read on contacting the dead or on necromancy where I’ve felt comfortable enough to put the information into action. 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.”

“Throughout the book, the author reminds the reader that working with the dead can be a safe and indeed, an integral aspect of the tradition for the practicing Witch. […] Day prefaces the chapter Methods of Spirit Contact with a reminder to the reader: ‘Before you open a door, know how to close it!’ This aspect of working with the dead is often omitted in many other books about Witchcraft and is the single most common reason why people experience problems after they establish contact. […] I find the current popular trend of cursing out spirits and bossing them around in an attempt to make them angry and respond to the trivial requests of a nosey ghost hunter absolutely reprehensible. Apparently, Day seems to agree with this stance. He points out the need to be respectful and mindful of the requests made to the dead. He reminds the reader that we can draw from the earliest shamanic and tribal cultures and from the ancient Witches to see that the dead were approached with respect and with offerings in hand prior to asking them for a favor. This is just common courtesy. […] I highly recommend you get a copy of The Witches’ Book of the Dead by Christian Day. It will show you how to walk between worlds, leaving you embracing the dead, as well as the living.”

“The time has come for us to recognize and respect the sacred art of Necromantic Practice. It has long been a misunderstood path. The Witches Book of the Dead presents the journey in a way that people from all walks of life and belief can access and learn about the true nature of Necromancy. It is an invaluable text that can open pathways to subjects otherwise deemed unapproachable, making necromancy understandable to all. Connection with the dead is our creation of the future. If we lose sight of what Death teaches us, then we lose sight of what the future holds. Christian walks us through the jaded past of necromancy and brings us full circle into the modern age of Necromantic Practice. Replete with numerous historical references and anecdotes, the author illustrates how our entire culture has been influenced by necromancers since time began. While there is great focus on the Witch or Warlock as necromancer, that should not deter others who seek this path as a way to commune with the dead. There is ample information and devotions for anyone who seeks communion with those beyond the veil. The dead have much to teach us, but perhaps Death is the greatest teacher of all. The value of all of our days can only be measured in what we leave behind so that others may have a torch to light the way. The Witches Book of the Dead is such a tool. Use it wisely and with the utmost of reverence, and always remember that mankind cannot truly appreciate life until he comes to accept and embrace his own death.”

“Some people believe that Witches are heartless. Others believe we have no soul. But Christian Day proves them wrong by putting his heart AND soul into writing The Witches’ Book of the Dead. To me, honoring our ancestors and remembering the old traditions are of the utmost importance. The ability to communicate with them and ask for their assistance not only enriches our lives but keeps their magick very much alive. From Altars to Yew wands, no (grave) stone was left unturned in this well researched and beautifully written compendium of Necromancy.”

“Death is one of those things that recurs in life, whether it’s facing the death of friends, pets, family members, or facing one’s own mortality. For those empowered in their spiritual path, it’s of utmost importance that we have a peaceful, respectful, wise—even intimate—relationship with Death as a supreme force that upholds reality. This guidebook is one of few. Written by the ever-controversial Christian Day, this book offers well-researched and intelligent perspectives on death and dying, pushing the reader to question themselves, their magick, and their own Danse avec la mort. This beautiful tome piercingly reaches to the psyche of genuine magickal practitioners, reminding us that we have always, and shall continue to, work with forces beyond our immediate consciousness. For those exploring the serenity of shadow and the deeper levels of Craft, this book is most definitely for you.”

“Employing the powers of the Sphinx: ‘To Know, to Will, To Dare and to Keep Silent,’ we’re grateful that Christian has ignored the ‘Keep Silent’ part. Finally a decent book that brings a perceived malevolent practice into the light in an open, honest and very blunt fashion—the only way he knows how! Although necromancy is a useful magickal practice, it has been much maligned and avoided as taboo for centuries. This tome is a refreshing take on working with the spirits of our dearly departed as well as the Cthonic deities who guide, guard and keep them. 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 but will appeal to magickal and mundane of all branches of spirituality from Wicca to Catholicism and beyond. And so, with an open mind, delve into its pages and become enlightened. Imor mortis conturbat me, mortui vivos docent. Mors vincit omnia! (The fear of death confounds me, let the Dead teach the living. Death always wins.)”

The Witches’ Book of the Dead by Christian Day is without a doubt one of the most in depth works on darker magic I have ever had the pleasure to read. The author skillfully describes the wisdom of the old wise ones, from myth and the true historic version, and unlike other writers he is unafraid to touch upon subjects such as Necromancy, the Veil beyond and the dangers of spirit work. I especially found myself enthralled by his section on the Altar of the Dead, as it brought forth the need for not losing sight of those who have gone before us. A true must-have for anyone’s occult library!”

“As a Southern Conjure Man, Witch and Faery Seer, I applaud Christian for beckoning the reader’s attention back to humanity’s closest next-of-kin in the spirit world—the ancestral spirits. 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!”

About the Author

Christian Day is a modern day Warlock living in the Crescent City of New Orleans, Louisiana and, with his husband warlock Brian Cain, owns Warlocks, Inc., a business umbrella dedicated to their various business pursuits. Christian and Brian host HexFest, an annual weekend of Witchery in New Orleans and Festival of the Dead, a monthlong celebration of the spirits held each October in Salem, Massachusetts that includes such popular events as the Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball, an Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo, and an authentic séance. Both an initiate and practitioner of the ancient arts of Witchcraft, Christian sees his practices as both a spiritual priesthood devoted to the magic of the old Gods and the practice of old world folk Witchery, healing, and communion with the dead. Christian and Brian own two occult shops in Salem, Massachusetts: 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. In 2012, he also opened a Hex shop in New Orleans, where he now lives and opened an Omen there in 2019.  Among his many media appearances, Christian has been featured on The Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, Showtime, TLC, MSNBC, Biography, Dish Network and in The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, CNN.com, USAToday.com and, of course, The Salem News.