Necromancy is the ancient practice of black magic that facilitates communication with the dead. Due to this, Necromancy is often referred to as the ‘Death Magic.’ Sometimes these communications are used to discover information about future events or get insights on certain questions. In ancient practices, Necromancy was not used to have mere communication but to bring the dead back to life and to make the dead perform magic at the request of a necromancer. It was also a technical field with entry to only highly trained practitioners. Although the ancient practice of Necromancy ceased existing due to the collective fear of accepting dark aspects of ourselves, this art of occult is still practiced in the modern world in a more implicit manner. Examples of this would be the use of ‘Ouija Boards’ and consulting ‘Mediums’ to communicate and find ethereal information from the dead.


The oldest literary proof of Necromancy can be found in ‘Homer’s Odyssey.’ The story depicts the practice of Necromancy to communicate and gain esoteric information from the dead. In the story, the powerful sorceress Circe summons the spirit of prophet Tiresias for Odysseus to gain knowledge about his future. Another notable literacy mention is seen in the bible when King Saul visits a necromancer to contact the spirit of Samuel to know the outcome of an upcoming battle.

A Necromancer usually has a familiar spirit who is continuously in contact with them. Moving these spirits from one place to another can often take up to six months. Therefore, Necromancers generally stay in one place forever- they don’t move around or change homes often. Ancient Necromancers used several instruments to communicate with the dead- the most popular of them being Oracular Heads, also known as an Oboth. Oracular heads are typically the skull and first two vertebrae of the deceased person of the familiar spirit, which are cleaned and filled with a variety of herbs and spices. The outside of the skull is then moulded with clay to resemble a living person. The oracular heads are only supposed to be acquired if the person whose head is intended to be used after death gave the permission to do so while alive. Nevertheless, most of them are obtained by force.

Although the widespread Catholic ideology and massacres of those who practiced the esoteric arts of witchcraft and occult wiped ancient Necromancy from the world, there are still people who practice it. These religions and communities believe that communication with the dead is no stranger than the approved practices of praying to saints or ancestors. Some groups that still preach and practice Necromancy are from Brazil, Haiti, communities of New York, etc. These communities use insignificant objects such as dolls or pots to house their spirits instead of using ancient instruments such as Oboth.