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raise someone from the grave
|“||Raise the dead and you'll never know what you raise||”|
— Essex eerie witch
Raising the dead is the supernatural ability to restore life or consciousness in someone recently deceased.
This practice is considered dangerous even by the most expert witches as it requires manipulating and managing intangible forces straight from Hell. There are several practices that fall into this category, ranging from mediumship, or the ability to talk and see spirits and ghosts, to the most dangerous and difficult that allow the invocation, incarnation or full resuscitation of a deceased by means of rituals and incantations. While mild forms of raising has been demonstrated by Rose Browning and Petrus, who were able to revive briefly animals or non-sentient people to use them for lowly purposes such as attacking someone, more refined and articulated dark rituals were employed by Tituba and her disciple Mary Sibley to get the most amazing results: summoning and revitalize souls from Hell.
Distinctions and dangers
|“||Risking necromancy without my aid is dangerous enough, but to raise Increase Mather from the dead...||”|
— Tituba to Mary Sibley
The main distinction lies in the manner in which occurs the invocation of the spirit in question. While necromancy in the literal sense of the term is divination through the dead, namely to give voice to the dead in order to discover things that the witch currently ignore, call forth a phantom or even worse, completely resurrect a person by restoring the soul in the body, is a dangerous and prohibited matter for reasons easy to understand. According to one of the Essex Hive elders, when a witch raise a dead one never knows what is awakening, thus the reason why witches do not resort to these extreme practices of witchcraft involving the dead.
- Petrus, formidable seer and witch, used to employ resurrection rituals to raising his stuffed animals in order to use them to attack potential unwanted guests of his hut, or to find out what their supernatural eyes had seen.
- Rose Browning proved to be able to raise a handful of dead bodies from the crags, simply dripping the ground with blood directly from her severed wrists . These corpses are revived as a mass of non-sentient living dead, also known as revenants, to attack her captors Cotton Mather and John Alden.
- Mary Sibley has proved an outstanding pupil in going beyond the teachings of her teacher and being able to revive the ghost of the infamous Increase Mather to extort information about their common enemy, the Countess Von Marburg. Moreover, Mary Sibley also attempted to resurrect George Sibley, recently killed by the Countess by drowning him through a spell so strong that not even repeated blood sacrifices and incantations performed by Mary Sibley and Tituba were able to counter. Mary was rather good at bartering her soul with that of John Alden, then raising her lost love while dying in his arms, having paid the price for such ritual with her own soul.
- The Devil has raised a flock of dead crows to attack Tituba, showing how not even animals are safe from the witch's manipulation and once raised from the dead, these beings may be affected by the invisible threads of physical and mental control, like a puppeteer with his dolls.
Known Spells and Rituals
- Mass Raising of the Undead: Blood is the sacrifice, that when accompanied with this incantation, and shed upon the Earth, will return any decedent human in the vicinity to a semblance of life, ever obedient to the sorcerer's will.
- Incantation: "Neopheyn! Barbas! Aligon! Anaboth! Madicon! Furcas!"
- Used by: Rose Browning
- To Bring Back a Soul from the Precipice of Death: A familiar must give all his lifeblood for this working, wherein a witch may use every last drop to imprint an image of her palm upon a dead man's heart. Once the blood mark is blessed with ash, a candle is placed above it. The rhyme below is intoned.
- Incantation: "Splinter of life, take haste, take hold. Quicken the breath to awaken the soul." (repeated until the corpse wakes up).
- Used by: Mary and Tituba
- Note: Mary had to use her own blood to augment the spell, slicing her tongue so that she may give George a "Kiss of Life" by bleeding into his mouth. The Countess' magic was too strong, as the drowning curse would activate everytime Mary resuscitated George.
- To Summon a Spirit from the Underworld: If a witch seeks answers which only a dead man may provide, she must exhume what remains of him, a head, if able, and bring it to her abode and lay it within a circle of candles, scattered thereupon with the very earth that filled his tomb. As these words of power are intoned, she must feast on a morsel of his flesh and kiss his dead lips, and wait for his emergence within the confines of a protective circle drawn from salt. The dead man's ghost will appear in spectral form. The witch may feed the ghost her blood to give him speech if she wishes, or she may leave him as silent as the grave.
- Incantation: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Every man feeds the conqueror worm. I eat your flesh, so obey, you must. By my command, moist earth turn. Give up your dead, their secrets to tell. [Name], I call you from Hell."
- Used by: Mary Sibley
- While necromancy ensures the opportunity to converse with the dead, raising the dead allows them to walk on earth for a longer or shorter period depending on the ritual employed by the witch. Both allow to interact with the souls of the departed, but on different levels.
- Good part of the third season seems to be focused on the negative consequences of raising the dead, according to the implication given by season three's released promos.