Laws and acts were made concerning witchcraft. Some were made right when the witch hunts started and some were made after they ended, and some in-between. The first was the Witchcraft Act 1542, made by Henry VIII. It stated that witchcraft is a felony, and is punishable by death. The next one was the Witchcraft Act 1562, which was passed by Elizabeth I. It was more fair towards people found guilty of witchcraft; say that they can only use the death penalty if the person being accused had harmed someone while they had been alive using witchcraft. Also the Scottish Witchcraft Act 1563, where if you practiced witch craft you needed to die and if you had ever helped a witch you needed to die. Others included the Witchcraft Act 1604, and the Witchcraft Act of 1735. Even now there is still a witchcraft act in place in South Africa that is based off the act that was established in 1735. It is called The Witchcraft Suppression Act 3 of 1957 and “prohibits various activities related to witchcraft, witch smelling or witch-hunting.”
Looking and learning about witches became a huge craze, and many books were written about it. The most famous book was named "The Malleus Maleficarum". It was written by written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer, a German Catholic. This book was every person’s guide to witchcraft. It talked about how to find a witch and once found how to kill them. The title is translated as “The Hammer of Witches”, and is still universally known today. The book says that three things are necessary for witchcraft: the person wanted to be a witch, the help of the Devil, and the Permission of God. Widows and adult women with children were the most charged with witchcraft. The book has three parts: the first part explains why witches’ exist; the second part is how to determine if a person is a witch, and the third part is instructions to accuse, persecute, and kill a witch. Some examples that the book states that were proof that they were a witch are: a mole or birthmark (given by the devil), and people who didn’t cry during the trials. The reason that this book succeed so well is that Kramer gave the Pope a lot of money to sign off on it and give it the churches condolences.
The witch trials came from the Christian church. The ﬁrst trials of witchcraft came from the Catholic Inquisition. At first everyone who was tried was only there because an anonymous person told the people that they were a witch. At first both the Catholics and Protestants did not persecute witches, but then in the late part of the trials they both did.
In Europe, most cases did not even compare with the witch trials that would follow it like the Salem Witch Trials . In York,