Vincent Price: Witchcraft ∼ Magic: An Adventure in Demonology – album


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Witchcraft – Magic: An Adventure in Demonology is a 1969 spoken word album, featuring the florid tones of horror legend Vincent Price as he discusses the world of witchcraft and the occult in all forms across four sides of vinyl, clocking in at an impressive (and exhaustive) 105 minutes.

While Price would crop up as narrator on albums by Alice Cooper and Michael Jackson (Thriller) in later years, this is his magnum opus – a book length study of witchcraft, produced by Roger Karshner and released by Capitol Records. Terry d’Oberoff is credited as both composer and director, while the impressive stereo sound effects were supplied by Douglas Leedy, a pioneer of late Sixties electronic experimentalism. There is no credit for the text, though it seems likely that this too is d’Oberoff.

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The LP consists of Price telling tales of witchcraft and devil worship – not fictional horror stories, but factual (well, factual-ish) accounts of historical events and aspects of the occult, helpfully split into various chapters on the sleeve – ‘Hitler and Witchcraft’, ‘Women as Witches’, ‘The World of Spirits and Demons’ and so on.

Price seems to have fun with the more lurid descriptions, his voice and (most likely) tongue in cheek attitude giving a gleefully macabre and somewhat leering tone to lines like “fornication with the Devil, child sacrifice, feasts of rotting human flesh” and “the tearing of her flesh with pincers, her body broken on the wheel, her fingernails ripped off, her feet thrust into a fire, whatever horrors the twisted mind of the hangman could devise” in the two part section entitled ‘Witch Tortures’.

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A surprising amount of the album actually seems to be a ‘how to’ guide to witchcraft, with handy chapters on ‘How to invoke spirits, demons, unseen forces’, ‘how to make a pact with the Devil’ and ”Curses, Spells, Charms’. “Of course you should never resort to this… except in the case of the most dire necessity” says Price of selling your soul to Satan, giving a little chuckle as he does so, before going on to give full and frank instructions nevertheless. Oh those Satanic Sixties!

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Price’s narration is occasionally interspersed with Macbeth-like witches cackling away in heavily treated manner. These are possibly the most over the top moments of the album, but they work as dramatic interludes.

The music by d’Oberoff is impressively creepy and discordant, as are the sound effects, which float from speaker to speaker in the way that only records from the early days of stereo did – even Price’s voice moves from left to right and back, adding a sense of displacement to the narration.

This is not easy listening, and neither is it the most approachable of audio books. But fans of Price and anyone interested in the occult will probably enjoy it. If nothing else, it’s a curious artefact from a time when public fascination with witchcraft, Satanism and black magic was at its peak.

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Originally released as a double album with accompanying booklet, the album has been issued on a CD of dubious legality and can also be found online if you look hard enough.

David Flint, Horrorpedia

Vincent-Price-Witchcraft-&-Magic-MP3

Buy on MP3 from Amazon.co.uk

Buy on MP3 with digital booklet from Amazon.com



Categories: 1960s, actors and actresses, album, folklore/mythology, occult, satanic horror, witch or witches

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8 replies

  1. I bought the double LP in ’98..I recorded a cassette tape of the lp. I have a cassette player in my old car and play it full blast for all to hear. I’m very lucky to have found it, only played once. In mint to near mint condition, the booklet tucked away in my bookcase of Magick..LOL..great source of occult lore. A must-have in any lp collection, especially spoken word. Happy searching..ya’ll!!!!

  2. I intend to find this on vinyl. I have a few outlets I can try, and the proprietors may be able to find it if they don’t have it already of a shelf. It’ll really more than simple rarity to stop me.

  3. I know this is an old post, but I would love to find a copy of this! Vincent was the best.

  4. Ah, Rachel, thanks for reminding us that we haven’t including buying links from Amazon, that Satanic company-on-earth, so that non-believers can check out Vincent’s evil work for “the Beast themselves. Cheers!

  5. OMGoodness. So sad. Vincent price seems to have been a satanist in real life. I truly hope he wasn’t, but every other project he took part in was about satan, satanism or witchcraft. I know Hollywood is sick, twisted and demonic but I was truly hoping Mr. Price was not a part of it. Truly seems he was steeped in the black arts and the foolish worship of “the beast.”

    Most likely, he may have been a member of the church of satan led by the pathetic, feeble-minded, lost in darkness, Anton Levay. So sad that a person would totally waste a gift from God, serving the devil. Depraved. Wouldn’t waste my hard earned money on this album and play this death curse in my ears if the continuance of humanity depended on it. Total load of B.S.

    • Of course he wasn’t a satanist. Anymore than Johnny Weismuller was born in a jungle. He was an actor. He got paid, because of his wonderful voice, to play and read creepy parts. This album is perfectly harmless and Vinny clearly thought so as he’s read several similar albums – some of which tell you how to DESTROY witches, in case you’re concerned. Does that make him a genuine witchfinder general, then? No. Still an actor! 😀

      He had a keen ear for ghoulish Halloween style tales, sure, but he also wrote several books on cookery and was an art collector and historian and wrote books on those subjects, too.

      So fear not, he was a cool host, not a ghoul ghost.
      The album is quite a slog but his voice makes it worth the effort.

  6. Just bought this on iTunes ($4.99). Includes the booklet – a high quality scan.

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