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Few characters in world literature have a resume as long as the Devil, or a personality more complex and fascinating. Since the dawn of civilization, there has been a need to look outside of ourselves: to have something human-but-not-human there to mock us, tempt us, and define us by our weaknesses, desires, and foolishness. Satan has played this role adroitly whether he has been the lustful Pan, the gloomy Hades, the playful Puck, the ambitious Lucifer, the tempting Mephistopheles, the deceitful leprechaun, the monstrous Beast, or the lawyerly adversary of Job. In the realm of supernatural fiction since the rise of industrialism, Satan has taken on an urbane, enticing personality – often the ruin of the greedy and the foil of the virtuous.


The following stories look at several cultures’ interpretations of the King of Hell – some are humorous, some horrific, some philosophical, and some fantastical – but all ponder the relationship of humanity to its darker side. They follow the archfiend as he drives wedges in marriages, drags corrupt judges to hell, makes slick bargains with bankrupt nobles and slovenly drunks alike, retrieves the corpses of his human servants, “helps” treasure hunters, and animates the bodies of zombie-witches. Take a peek, make yourself easy, and don’t sign away your soul without a crackerjack lawyer.







Hymn to Lucifer – Aleister Crowley        

How Much Land Does a Man Need? – Leo Tolstoy                      

The Devil and Tom Walker – Washington Irving                         

Markheim – Robert Louis Stevenson                                             

A Talking Rat – Charles Dickens                                                        

Bon-Bon– Edgar Allan Poe                                                                  

Never Bet the Devil Your Head – Edgar Allan Poe                      

The Devil in the Belfry – Edgar Allan Poe                                       

The Devil’s Wager – William Makepeace Thackeray             

The Painter’s Bargain – William Makepeace Thackeray       

The Fortunes of Sir Robert Ardagh – J. S. Le Fanu                                

A Drunkard’s Dream – J. S. Le Fanu                                                     

 From the Memoirs of Satan – Wilhelm Hauff                                 

The Merry Men – Robert Louis Stevenson                                   

Thrawn Janet – Robert Louis Stevenson                                    

The Demon Pope – Richard Garnett                                                 

Madam Lucifer – Richard Garnett                                                   

Sir Dominick’s Bargain – J. S. Le Fanu                                                  

Mr Justice Harbottle – J. S. Le Fanu                                                       

The Generous Gambler – Charles Baudelaire                                

The Legend of Mont St. Michel – Guy de Maupassant                    

Young Goodman Brown – Nathaniel Hawthorne                     

The Dead Sexton – J. S. Le Fanu                                                              

St. John’s Eve – Nicolai Gogol                                                            

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